Tansy is a perennial plant in the aster family native to Eurasia. They have since naturalized in many places around the world including North America. Tansy has divided compound leaves and button like yellow flowers that are beloved by honeybees while at the same time repellent to other pest insects.
Historically Tansy’s insect repellent virtues were held in high esteem and indeed this plant has a long rich history of usage as a botanical medicine. Tansy was first recorded as being grown by ancient Greeks for medicinal purposes. In the 8th century, Tansy was grown in the herb gardens of Charlemagne and Benedictine monks worked with it to help treat aintestinal worms, rheumatism, fever, colds and digestive problems. The Cherokee worked with Tansy to help backaches and women wore it around the waist and in their shoes to help prevent miscarriages. The Cheyenne used an infusion of Tansy of the pulverized leaves and blossoms for dizziness and weakness. Though it is not worked with as much in modern day botanical medicine due to some potential toxicity, Tansy still holds the same healing virtues and has many benefits when worked with mindfully and in proper dosage. Tansy makes a beautiful golden yellow dye. A very valuable plant in the garden indeed.