At the end of July, many medicinal and spicy-aromatic plants bloom on the beds of the Red Garden. One of them is common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.). This perennial herb with leaves similar to mountain ash and large shields of bright yellow inflorescences is not only a weed.
Since ancient times, tansy has been used by mankind as a food, medicinal and industrial plant.
So on Easter in medieval England, tansy pancakes were baked, into the dough of which tansy juice was added. In some countries, tansy is cultivated as an essential oil plant. The leaves are used for flavoring salads, canned food, for flavoring liqueurs.
Common tansy is included in the pharmacopoeias of a number of European countries as an anthelmintic agent. Tansy is also used in folk medicine. Care must be taken when using tansy preparations, as the plant contains toxic alkaloids.
Green fabric dye is obtained from the roots of tansy. In ancient Egypt, tansy leaves were used to embalm deceased people. Tansy is also used as an insecticidal agent against fleas and flies.
In ornamental horticulture, a compact variety of common tansy “Crispa” with wavy leaves is used.
In Russia, tansy has been cultivated in pharmaceutical gardens in monastic and royal gardens since the middle of the 16th century.
Enjoy your walks in the gardens of the Russian Museum. Take good care of your plants, because even the worst weed can help people.