Costmary, Tanacetum balsamita

tanacetu,m balsamita

Costmary is one of these plants which dies back in winter, it just came back!

Costmary is known from ancient herbals and was widely grown in Elizabethan knot gardens.

It takes either sun or partial shade, but it needs full sun to produce flowers. Since the leaves are used this usually does not matter.

Costmary is also called Bible leaf because it makes neat fragrant bookmarks. Another common name was alecost since it was used for flavouring ales and spiced wines.

Today rarely used by herbalists, it was used for various illnesses: like menstruation problems, as a laxative, against stomach problems, as astringent, against melancholy, hysteria, dysentery, gallbladder disease, and to bring on delayed menstrual periods. Avoid internal use in pregnancy.

The herb can be used to scent a bath, in sachets or potpourri as it retains its scent well.

It can be sparingly used in salads, sauces, soups and in cold drinks.
Zones: 4b – 9a

Mother Earth Living
Herbs Treat and Taste
Dave’s Garden

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Height + Width:

Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba




Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa


Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu



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