▷ Little-Known (and UH-MAZING) Uses of Blue Tansy Essential Oil (2018 Update)
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Health Benefits of Blue Tansy Essential Oil

Blue Tansy Essential Oil

Blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum) is steam-distilled from the tops of the blue tansy flowers that grow wild in the Moroccan countryside. The flowers are a beautiful golden color, at times referred to as golden buttons. The oil is a deep, dark blue from the components within it, chamazulene and dihydrochamazulene.

In a survey of five companies, we averaged the total of chamazulene present between 11.93-27.60%. The components within an oil, referred to as the ‘chemical makeup’ of an oil, contribute to the therapeutic effects as well as the aroma.

In the case of tansy, the aroma is camphoraceous, herbal with a slightly sweet aroma. Blue tansy has a cooling effect and can be soothing to inflammation as well as nerve-related discomfort, acute arthritis symptoms, and other pain related issues.

There is no formal testing on the essential oil itself and to date, there are no traditional essential oil uses documented on blue tansy. When we have oils with no solid research, we then turn to the individual chemical components (constituents) within the oil. It’s like building a puzzle; each piece plays a part to make the whole oil.

Based on research of the individual components, we know that the therapeutic properties of this species of blue tansy are quite extensive, starting with camphor. Camphor has shown to have a quick absorption rate through inhalation, dermal application, and nasal instillation. This has been obvious from the rapid absorption shown in the mucous membranes and the gastrointestinal tract.

Let’s take a glance at the major constituents within the oil and some of the properties. The chemical makeup of Blue Tansy essential oil includes the following constituents:

  • Camphor: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, (mild) anesthetic, CNS depressant, antitussive, carminative, CNS stimulant, mucolytic, prevents bone loss, rubefacient, stimulant, and much more than we can list.

  • Sabinene: analgesic, antiarthritic, anti-inflammatory.

  • b-myrcene: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antibacterial, anti-tumoral.

  • p-cymene: analgesic, antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-rheumatic.

Other constituents that are under 5% of the content play a huge part in the overall actions. These include a-phellandrene, a- and b-pinene, limonene, camphene, trace amounts of linalool, carvone, carvacrol, and b-caryophyllene. Lastly, the components that contribute to that beautiful blue color are dihydrochamazulene and chamazulene.

Each one of these components has its individual actions and together, synergistically, offer an additional list of actions (antispasmodic, digestive aid, febrifuge, possible hormonal-like, diaphoretic, and hypotensive) within one oil.

*Since there is no formal testing, it’s advised to avoid blue tansy on or around infants, small children, and pregnant women. Blends have been provided and blue tansy may be excluded*

Blue tansy is a slight skin irritant. Those with sensitive or damaged skin should avoid this oil. Our advice is to use blue tansy with caution, blend with skin-friendly oils to ease the concern for irritation, use at a low dilution, and avoid internal use. For those that may prefer the plant, which does not carry the same safety concerns, perhaps you can find a source for the plant. Infusions of herbs is a great way to use the plant material in your medicine cabinet. Hydrosols are another option.

You can also use the various blends I’ll provide in a diffuser, keeping in mind that the safety precautions previously outlined as well as individual oil safety. 

*Some oils are unsafe to diffuse around animals, especially felines since they do not have the enzymes to metabolize some of the constituents within some essential oils*

Here is our list of uses for this amazing oil:

1. Alleviates Anxiety

Anxiety can come from many different sources. Blue tansy offers trace amounts of components such as linalool, carvone, and carvacrol that can help to calm anxiety symptoms. Blend with oils that relieve anxiety, such as in the following recipe:

Anxiety Ease Essential Oil Blend:
  • 1/2-Ounce carrier oil or unscented lotion
  • 1 drop Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 3 drops Sandalwood Santalum album or Santalum paniculatum

2. Reduces Nervousness

Blue tansy reduces nervous tension and stress and relieves inflammation of the nerves. When there is discomfort present related to the nerves you can treat the site, but can also treat the spinal area that connects to the site of discomfort. For example, if you have a headache, treat at sites such as the temples and the back of the neck and, if necessary based on your symptoms, you can also apply it to the first few cervical vertebrae.

The cranial nerves are part of the parasympathetic nervous system. Among other things, this controls the cardiac plexus, which regulates the rate of the beating of the heart. When we calm our nerves it reduces the heart rate, bringing us to a calmer state.

Nervous Tension Blend:
  • 1/2-Ounce carrier oil or unscented lotion
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia
  • 3 drops Patchouli Pogostemom cablin
  • 3 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia

3. Alleviate Depression

Depression is a mood disorder and frequently accompanied by a sense of sadness or loss of interest in day-to-day activities, affecting us emotionally and physically. Depression is not something that we can just snap out of. There are many options for treatment, including medications and psychotherapy.

Others look to different avenues such as retreats, herbal therapy, or other naturopathic treatment. If you are experiencing depression, speak to your physician to get some guidance.

Essential oils can help to ease the symptoms of depression such as sadness, irritability, sleeplessness, and lack of energy. They can help calm anxiety, lack of interest in sexual activity, and more. For depression and other emotional needs, inhalation is best.

I’ve often mentioned getting re-fillable aromatic inhalers. You simply place 15 drops of total oil (whether blend or single) into the inhaler onto the cotton. Snap on the cap and you are set to go. 

Depression Blend:
  • One Inhaler
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 Jasmine Absolute Jasminum grandiflorum
  • 6 drops Clary Sage Salvia sclarea
  • 5 Ho Wood Cinnamomun camphora ct linalool

Internally, and based on the content of chamazulene, there is a theoretical risk of interaction between blue tansy and drugs metabolized by enzymes CYP1A2, CYP3A4 and CYP2D6. These are enzymes involved in drug metabolism.

4. Control Impulsive Behavior

For behavioral issues, inhalers are quick and efficient. Carry your inhaler with you wherever you go so if you are feeling impulsive or anxious, you can simply take a deep steady inhale and find yourself calming down. 

Calming Blend:
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 drops Rose Otto Rosa damascena
  • 4 drops Distilled Lime Citrus aurantifolia
  • 5 drops Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana

5. Get Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

The following gives exceptional relief for arthritis and other inflammatory joint issues. Apply to achy joints as needed.

Arthritic Symptom and Pain Relief:
  • One-Ounce carrier oil or unscented lotion. 
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Scotch Pine Pinus sylvestris
  • 5 drops Plai Zingiber cassumunar
  • 3 drops Hemp Cannabis sativa
  • 5 drops Juniper Berry Juniperus communis

6. Treat Asthmatic Symptoms

Help open airways by relieving inflamed passages. If you or someone you are treating has asthma, check with your physician first. The following are safe for those with asthma. However, not all essential oils are. Check safety on all oils prior to use as some can trigger asthmatic attacks. Try this formula in an inhaler or diffusion.

Asthma Relief:
  • 1 drop Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 3 drops Ravensara Ravensara aromatica
  • 3 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia
  • 3 drops Rosemary Rosemary ct. verbenone
  • 5 drops Siberian Fir Abies sibirica

7. Emphysema Support

Blue tansy is excellent in treating symptoms related to emphysema. Try the following in an inhaler for quick relief.

Clear Breath:
  • One Inhaler (or diffuse)
  • 5 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Melaleuca officinalis
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus

Other options include, but are not limited to, hyssop, myrtle, cypress and, niaouli. 

8. Relieve Chest Congestion

You can relieve chest congestion through diffusion, inhalation, or topical application. Opening the airways and relieving inflammation allows for quicker healing and recovery from common colds and congestion.

Congestion Inhaler:
  • 1 drop Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 4 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole
  • 4 drops Ravintsara Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole
  • 3 drops Spike Lavender Lavendula latifolia
  • 4 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus

9. Treat Allergies

Try the following, keeping in mind that you should never use the adult blend for children.

Adult Allergy Relief:
  • One Inhaler
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia
  • 5 drops Ravintsara Cinnamomun camphora ct. 1,8 cineole

Child Allergy Relief:
  • One Inhaler (or diffuse)
  • 5 drops Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana
  • 5 drops Lavender Lavendula Angustifolia
  • 5 drops Ravensara Ravensara aromatica

10. Stop Coughs

Using the blend from #8 for chest congestion or the allergy blend in #9. Both blends are excellent for relieving coughing and breaking up mucus. Again, only use the child blend for children.

11. Treat or Prevent Bacterial Infections

Having your own hand soap available on the go helps to protect you from bacteria and bacterial infections.

Sanitizing Hand Soap Blend:
  • Two-Ounce container
  • 1 ½ Ounce Castile Soap
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 3 drops Peppermint Mentha x piperita
  • 5 drops Lemon Citrus limon
  • 9 drops Palmarosa Cymbopogon martini var. motia

12. Speed Bruise Healing

Blue tansy has rubefacient activities. A rubefacient is a substance for topical application that produces redness of the skin by causing dilation of the capillaries, which increases blood circulation (hyperemia). This reduces bruising and speeds up the healing process.

Oils considered rubefacients include (but are not limited to): 
  • Bergamot
  • Black pepper
  • Eucalyptus Globulus
  • Lemon
  • Siberian and Douglas fir
  • Sweet birch
  • Peppermint

For a carrier, apply arnica infused oil externally on unbroken skin to treat sore muscles and joints, as well as bruising and sprains and strains. Arnica is also a rubefacient. In addition to previously mentioned actions of a rubefacient, it may also cause a slight irritation to the area. If you do not have access to arnica, olive oil is another great option. If you substitute, ensure you are getting pure olive oil.

Bruise Ease:
  • One-Ounce Arnica infused oil
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 drops Peppermint Piperita mentha
  • 4 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum
  • 6 drops Siberian fir Abie sibirica

13. Treat Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles is the irritation of nerves endings and can be quite painful. Nowhere can we find research that blue tansy can help relieve the symptoms, although I’m sure it could bring some relief. However, we won’t leave you hanging. Andrea Butje at Aromahead Institute is a recipe that works! Visit Andrea’s blog here for the recipe.

14. Treat Sciatica

Blue tansy is one of a few essential oils recommended for ‘neat’ use for sciatica pain. Neat refers to using an essential oil without a carrier oil. For best results, thoroughly cleanse the area with warm water and completely dry. Careful to protect your hands, place a drop of blue tansy on a cotton ball and gently rub in. This will quickly bring relief.

15. Treat Measles and Mumps

Blue tansy will help to reduce the duration of mumps and measles. It’s healing to skin lesions and, since it’s a febrifuge, it will help to reduce any accompanied fever. Peppermint is also a febrifuge in low doses. Use caution with using high doses of peppermint during a fever. High doses have the opposite effect as it becomes warming instead of cooling.

You can make a cooling spray with Everclear alcohol. Do not substitute with rubbing alcohol, as the percentage is not high enough. If you choose water, it would be best to use a solubol to disperse the essential oils into the water. If you do not take this step, irritant essential oils can adhere to the skin and cause adverse reactions.

Measles and Mumps Essential Oil Blend:
  • One-Ounce carrier of choice
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 drops Peppermint Piperita mentha
  • 4 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum

16. Relieve Neuropathy

Blue tansy essential oil can ease neuropathy, pain caused by damage to nerves. Apply directly to the site of pain. Applying along the spine where the nerves run will also help to ease nerve pain.

Neuropathy Pain Relief Blend:
  • One-Ounce Arnica-infused oil or Olive oil
  • 5 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Black Spruce Picea mariana
  • 5 drops White Fir Abies concolor
  • 5 drops Siberian Fir Abies sibirica
  • 5 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis ct. 1,8 cineole

17. Treat Fibromyalgia

I received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia over ten years ago. Through drive and determination, I worked over the next eight months with a great physician. We discovered triggers such as sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and (the biggest factor) stress. Keeping your stress level down will decrease overall body aches and pain. Try the following to reduce stress, pain, and inflammation.

Fibromyalgia Essential Oil Blend:
  • One-Ounce Arnica-infused oil or carrier of choice
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia
  • 5 drops Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata var. geruina
  • 5 drops Black Spruce Picea mariana

18. Alleviate Ear Pain and Infection

Ear pain can be a direct result of infection, fluid, or sinus pressure. Finding the cause may not be an option at the onset of pain. Try massaging the lymph nodes right below and behind the ears to ease pain and release any built-up fluid.

Ear Pain and Infection Blend:
  • One-Ounce carrier oil of choice
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Plai Zingiber cassumunar
  • 5 drops Hemp Cannabis Sativa
  • 2 drops Juniper Berry Juniperus communis

19. Improve Digestion

Try the following blend to ease digestive discomfort. Apply counterclockwise over your abdominal area before and after your meal. Diffusing during your meal will also assist your digestion.

Digestion Aid Blend:
  • One-Ounce carrier of choice
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 drops Peppermint Piperita mentha
  • 5 drops Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
  • 5 drops Coriander Coriandrum sativum

20. Ease Dysentery Symptoms

Dysentery is the medical term for diarrhea with blood and is a type of inflammation in the intestines. Other symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, and a feeling of incomplete defecation. Several types of infections including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and protozoa cause it. Seek medical attention for dysentery. In the meantime, to ease symptoms, rub the following blend counterclockwise on your abdomen as often as needed.

Dysentery Symptom Blend:
  • One-Ounce carrier or unscented lotion
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 6 drops Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
  • 3 drops Basil (sweet) Ocimum basilicum ct linalool
  • 2 drops distilled Lime Citrus aurantifolia
  • 2 drops Vanilla oleoresin

21. Intestinal Parasites

To determine whether you have intestinal parasites would take a visit to your physician. If you have consulted your physician and are presently taking medication, avoid using herbal or oil remedies internally. If you can use internal treatments, try fresh garlic or carrots. Another option is organic anise seeds. Simply boil ¼ cup seeds in 2 quarts of water for 5 minutes. Turn off your heat and let your tea sit until it has cooled. Store in a jar and drink 1 cup three times a day. This treatment is gentle enough for a baby and often used for the treatment of colic.

Topically, you can ease the discomfort by applying the following to the abdominal area. The massage and correct oils can help ease symptoms.

Belly Ease Blend:
  • One-Ounce carrier oil or unscented lotion
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 drops Ginger Zingiber officinale
  • 5 drops Spearmint Mentha spicata
  • 5 Juniper berry Juniperus communis

22. Ease Itching and Dermatitis

Blue tansy eases both itching and dermatitis and therefore works as a great additive to already established blends for this symptom. When added to anti-fungal oils, it provides quick relief from these symptoms. Try the following blend to ease dry itchy skin.

Itchy Irritated Skin Relief:
  • One-Ounce carrier oil
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Helichrysum Helichrysum italicum
  • 5 drops Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
  • 6 Patchouli Pogostemom cablin

*Use a Q-tip when treating isolated fungal infections. Avoid outside skin when treating a fungal area with undiluted essential oil*

23. Ease Inflammation and Sore, Achy Muscles

While many of the previously mentioned recipes will help with inflammation and soreness, here is one that specifically targets this condition:

Inflammation Ease:
  • One-Ounce carrier oil of choice
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Plai Zingiber cassumunar
  • 5 drops Hemp Cannabis Sativa
  • 2 drops Juniper Berry Juniperus communis

24. Prevent or Treat Insect Bites

There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy spring and summer outdoor fun with mosquitoes and other flying insects buzzing and biting. The following is a sure-win at keeping all bugs at bay. Leave out blue tansy and it’s perfect for all ages, and pregnant mommas to be. This blend will also help to ease the most annoying side-effect of bug bites, the itching!

Bug Out:
  • One-Ounce unscented lotion or carrier oil
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 10 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin
  • 5 drops Vanilla Vanilla planifolia oleoresin
  • 5 drops Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana
  • 2 Drops Lemon Eucalyptus Eucalyptus citriodora

*Blue tansy EO may leave blue stains on fabric*

25. Treat Eczema and Psoriasis

Eczema and psoriasis are two different skin conditions and may take separate treatment. We’ve had success with the following blend, treating various clients with either eczema or psoriasis.

Eczema & Psoriasis Relief:
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 2 drops Oregano Origanum compactum
  • 6 drops Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
  • 4 drops Neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara
  • 8 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia

26. Ease Appearance of Varicose Veins

Often oils that are stimulating to the circulatory system, including blue tansy, can ease the appearance of varicose veins and, in some cases, eliminate them. As a carrier, I love calendula (Calendula officinalis - Co2 extract, infused) oil. Calendula contains salicylic acid, carotenoids, and phytosterols. It’s a skin regenerator, anti-microbial, antiseptic, great for wound healing (cicatrisant), varicose veins, chapped skin and lips, skin infections, and cuts.

Varicose Veins:
  • One-Ounce Calendula oil (or carrier of choice)
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia
  • 5 drops Rosemary Ct. Camphor or Verbenone
  • 5 drops Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

27. Relieve Skin Irritations from Burns

The healing period of burns can be highly annoying. As if the pain of getting burned was not enough, skin can become itchy, irritated, and dry during the recovery period. Fortunately, we have a recipe with blue tansy that can provide some relief. Combined with the well-known burn reliever aloe vera, this formula should aid with the irritation.

While you can also receive relief from radiation burns, you should avoid essential oils during treatments for cancer in case of interactions. From Robert Tisserand, EO Safety, pg. 656: "Because of the possible and unpredictable effects on the immune mechanisms, we recommend that you avoid essential oils from one week before, to one month following, a course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy." After this period, try the following to help enhance healing of burns. Do not use oils on open sores.

Healing Burns:
  • Two-Ounces Aloe Vera plant or gel
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Helichrysum italicum
  • 5 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia
  • 5 drops St. John’s Wort lipid extract

28. Alleviate Insomnia

Getting a good night sleep is a must. Although there are many over the counter sleep aids, using a more holistic approach sometimes achieves greater success. Insomnia can stem from many different reasons including health issues, hormones, and side effects of medications. The following blends have been successful for many users.

Deep Sleep Chest and Neck Rub:
  • One-Ounce unscented lotion
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana
  • 5 drops Frankincense Boswellia carterii
  • 5 drops Lavender Lavendula angustifolia
  • 6 drops Vetiver Chrysopogon zizanioides or Ruh Khus Vetiveria zizanioides
Deep Slumber:
  • One-Ounce Unscented lotion (or carrier)
  • 2 drops Blue Tansy Tanacetum annuum
  • 5 drops Spikenard Nardostachys jatamansi
  • 5 drops Vetiver Chrysopogon zizanioides or Ruh Khus Vetiveria zizanioides
  • 5 drops Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana
  • 5 drop Sweet Marjoram Origanum majorana

Thank you for following me. Remember that you can use these blends without blue tansy to be more suitable for those that are pregnant and small children. Always review the safety on each oil prior to use. Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped and share your own experiences with Blue tansy essential oil if you have already used it. We can all learn from each other’s experience and keep adding to the on-going list of its great uses. 

I encourage you to take time and follow the resources. I provide as much information as possible. However, the resources will give you more detailed material.

Blue tansy essential oil is used to treat allergies, arthritis, anxiety, dermatitis, neuropathy, anxiety and depression.
About the author

    Rehne Burge, C.A., NAHA Louisiana Director

    Rehne is a Certified Aromatherapist, medical auditor, and former instructor and educator on anatomy and physiology. Rehne is a professional member and the Central Director for Louisiana for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and a professional member of Alliance of International Aromatherapists. Rehne was trained at the Aromahead Institute with additional courses including: Ayurvedic Application of Essential Oils, Fundamental Chemistry with Dr. Joy Bowles, and Essential Oil Masterclass with Robert and Hana Tisserand. Rehne is passionate about the importance of aromatherapy in a healthy lifestyle. Rehne has written for the (now retired) inline book The Biblical Herbal and continues to enjoy writing for Healthy Living magazine, a publication of Nature’s Warehouse. She is the owner and operator of Soul Essentials Duo in Ponchatoula, La.

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