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Tansy (Chrysanthemi vulgaris flos/herba)

Published July 6, 1988.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Chrysanthemi vulgaris flos, tansy flower.
Chrysanthemi vulgaris herba, tansy herb.

Composition of Drug

Tansy flower consists of the inflorescence of Chrysanthemum vulgare (L.) Bernhardi ([preferred] syn. Tanacetum vulgare L.) [Fam. Asteraceae], well as preparations thereof in effective dosage.

Tansy herb consists of the above-ground parts of C. vulgare (L.) Bernhardi ([preferred] syn. T. vulgare L.), as well as preparations thereof in effective dosage.


Tansy preparations are used as an anthelmintic, for migraine, neuralgia, rheumatism, meteorism and loss of appetite.

The effectiveness for the claimed applications has not been demonstrated.


Tansy contains an essential oil which usually includes thujone. Thujone possesses neurotoxic properties.

Abuse of large amounts of this herb or its essential oil to induce abortion caused the following symptoms of intoxication: vomiting, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, reddening of the face, severe clonic-tonic spasms after loss of consciousness, greatly accelerated breathing, and irregular heart beat. Mydriasis and pupillary rigidity, bleeding of the uterus, under certain circumstances abortion, kidney damage, liver damage.

The lethal dosage of the essential oil for humans is 15 - 30 g.

Uncontrolled usage of tansy, depending on the quality of the herb, can result in the absorption of thujone in toxic amounts, even at normal dosages.

Studies of the toxicity of thujone-free chemotypes are not available.


Since the effectiveness of tansy preparations for the claimed uses has not been documented, a therapeutic application cannot be justified because of the risks involved.