Other names: bitter buttons, bachelors buttons, ginger plant, golden buttons, parlsey fern, hindheel

Scientific name: Tanacetum vulgare

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    حشيشة الدود (hasheeshat ad-dood)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Compositae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Aerial parts

Collection: flowers are collected from july to september

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: upto 160 cm tall

Actions: Anthelmintic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic emmenagogue, stimulant, vermifuge

Known Constituents:  Oil including thujone, glycosides, sesquiterpene, lactones, terpenoids, flavanoids, tannin

Constituents Explained:


Tansy was once valued as a pot herb. It can be recognized by its feathery leaves and clusters of bright yellow button-like flowers. Full sun or partial shade. Zones 4-9.

Tansy is an aromatic, perennial plant which is cultivated and also found growing wild. The short creeping rootstock sends an erect, nearly round, often purplish-brown stem to a height of 1-5 feet. The alternate, smooth, lanceolate, dark green, fernlike, leaves are pinnately divided, their segments acute and toothed. Blooming from July to September, the golden-yellow flowers (1/2 inch rayless buttons) grow in terminal, flattened cymes. The fruit is an achene (a small, dry fruit with one seed which is attached to the ovary wall only at one point).

Pick tansy blossoms for drying as an ornamental in dry arrangements. Do not use tansy as a tea, food, or medicine; it can be toxic

Traditional Use:

Tansy is used to rid worms from the intestinal tract.  Some of the oils inside are considered dangerous at high doses.  Has been used as an enema for worms. Used as a bitter to stimulate digestion, and as an emmenagogue to stimulate menstruation.

Externally it was once used on scabies.  Its ability to stimulate the uterus means its often best avoided during pregnancy.  In the 19th century it was used as an embalming agent, and an insect repellant in houses.1

It has been used to relieve the bowels, promote mensturation.  The seeds have been used to expel worms specifically. It has been recommended to be taken in moderate doses, as an overdose may be toxic.1

Clinical Studies:



Latin name: Tanacetum vulgare

Family: N.O. Compositae

Other names:

Common Tansy, bitter buttons, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, or Golden Buttons.

Tansy is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant of the aster family that is native to temperate Europe and Asia. It has been introduced to other parts of the world and, in some areas, has become invasive. Tansy is a flowering herbaceous plant with finely divided compound leaves and yellow, button-like flowers. It has a stout, somewhat reddish, erect stem, usually smooth, 50—150 cm tall, and branching near the top. The leaves are alternate, 10—-15 cm long and are pinnately lobed, divided almost to the center into about seven pairs of segments, or lobes, which are again divided into smaller lobes having saw-toothed edges, thus giving the leaf a somewhat fernlike appearance. The roundish, flat-topped, button-like, yellow flower heads are produced in terminal clusters from mid to late summer. The scent is similar to that of camphor with hints of rosemary. The leaves and flowers are said to be poisonous if consumed in large quantities. The plant’s volatile oil is high in thujone, a substance found in absinthe that can cause convulsions. Some insects, notably the Tansy beetle, have evolved resistance to Tansy and live almost exclusively on it.

For many years, Tansy has been used as a medicinal herb. Tansy is largely used for expelling worms in children, the infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water being taken in teacupful doses, night and morning, fasting. 

It is also valuable in hysteria and in kidney weaknesses, the same infusion being taken in wineglassful doses, repeated frequently. It forms an excellent and safe emmenagogue, and is of good service in low forms of fever, in ague and hysterical and nervous affections. As a diaphoretic nervine it is also useful. 

In moderate doses, the plant and its essential oil are stomachic and cordial, being anti-flatulent and serving to allay spasms. 

In large doses, it becomes a violent irritant, and induces venous congestion of the abdominal organs.