Blue Tansy Essential Oil
Blue tansy (Tanacetum annuum) is a perennial herb native to Morocco, Portugal and Spain. Sometimes called ‘Moroccan blue chamomile’, it is part of the daisy family and yields a deep blue essential oil when the flowers are distilled with steam.1
In ancient India, blue tansy essential oil was sometimes blended with frankincense and rose essential oil for use in spiritual practices. The sweet, fruity aroma of blue tansy essential oil also has a complex, woody undertone.
Today, most blue tansy is grown in the northern regions of Morocco. Low worldwide demand and small crops can make blue tansy essential oil expensive and difficult to find. It is important to not confuse blue tansy with its cousin, tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). Despite being related, the two plants and their essential oils differ in color and have different benefits and uses.
Blue Tansy Essential Oil Uses
Blue tansy essential oil can be used for a diverse range of applications. From soothing irritated skin to a natural decongestant, this exceptional essential oil can easily be integrated into your everyday routine. Here are a few of the most popular uses for blue tansy essential oil.
Inhaling diffused blue tansy essential oil has been reported to help calm the mind and ease tension. For aromatherapy, add 8-10 drops of blue tansy essential oil in to a diffuser filled with water. Take five slow deep breaths before breathing normally as the blue tansy essential oil continues to diffuse into the room.
Whether you have a stuffy nose from allergies or a mild cold, blue tansy essential oil may help relieve uncomfortable nasal congestion. Add 3 drops of blue tansy essential to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil such as coconut, almond or hemp seed. Apply a pea sized amount of the combined oil to either side of the nose, just above the nostril.
Massage the lotion on both outer sides of the nose. If necessary, repeat with another pea sized amount of combined oil 30 minutes later. Do not apply blue tansy essential oil inside nostrils, on your upper lip or inside your mouth. Avoid using blue tansy essential oil near your eyes as it may cause adverse reactions.
Note: The blueness of blue tansy essential oil may transfer to skin. It can be washed off using warm water and mild soap.
Natural Headache Remedy
It has been reported that blue tansy essential oil may help ease the pain of tension headaches. For natural headache relief, add 5 drops of blue tansy essential oil to 1-2 Tbsp. of carrier oil. Apply a pea sized amount of the combined oil on each temple and massage the spot for 1 minute, followed by at least 5 minutes of rest.
For irritated or itchy skin, add to 3-5 drops of blue tansy essential oil to an unscented natural lotion and apply twice daily.
For an all-natural moisturizer, add 1-2 drops of blue tansy essential oil into 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil and massage the combined oil into the skin. Use blue tansy essential oil sparingly, as in higher concentration its blue pigment can transfer to skin.
To keep insects away from patios and other small outdoor areas, put ½ cup of room temperature water in a spray bottle. Add 4-5 drops of blue tansy essential oil and 4-5 drops of lemon essential oil then shake the bottle for 30 seconds. Spritz the surrounding area 5-6 times every 15-20 minutes to prevent biting insects such as mosquitos from coming near.
For an insect repellent that goes directly on skin, add 4 drops of blue tansy essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of olive carrier oil. Apply the combined oil on exposed skin and spread carefully. The skin will not readily absorb the oil so using it under clothing isn’t recommended.
To relieve inflamed, aching muscles and help heal minor bruises, add 10 drops of blue tansy essential oil to 1 cup water warm. Dampen a clean cloth with the water, then press the cloth on the affected area for 5 minutes. This can be repeated up to 3 times on each sore spot.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies related to pollen, inhaling distilled blue tansy essential oil might help relieve itching. Hold an open bottle of blue tansy essential oil a few inches under your nose and move it left to right 3-4 times. Breathe normally to inhale the aroma.
For a less intense, but still effective experience, add 4-5 drops of blue tansy essential oil to 2 Tbsp. of almond or jojoba carrier oil. Place 3-4 drops of the combined oil under the jawline and on the inner wrists. Massage the oil into the skin for 20 seconds while deeply breathing in the aroma.
Benefits of Blue Tansy Essential Oil
Research on blue tansy essential is still in its infancy. However, the major components of blue tansy essential oil have been well-studied, providing scientific support for many of the essential oil’s uses. Chief among blue tansy essential oil’s components are: chamazulene (38–17%), myrcene (14–1%), sabinene (8.6–4%), β-eudesmol (7–3%) and camphor (18–4%).1 Chamazulene is the compound that gives blue tansy essential oil its distinct color.
High levels of myrcene (as high as 14%) in blue tansy essential oil are thought to be responsible for its antifungal properties. In clinical studies, myrcene (which is also found in tea tree oil) has been shown to kill some strains of skin fungus, such as athlete’s foot.2
Two of blue tansy essential oil’s other major components, sabinene and camphor have been scientifically observed to inhibit the growth of several fungi (B. cinerea, H. oryzae, A. solani, P. and V. dahlia) that threaten common crops such as tomatoes, potatoes and grapes.3 These fungi are not common or serious threats to human health. However, using blue tansy essential oil as an agricultural antifungal instead of synthetic chemicals aids in maintaining the nutritional benefits of crops.
Nasal Congestion Relief
Blue tansy essential oil contains significant levels of camphor, a compound used in many commercial chest rubs designed to relieve congestion.4
Studies conducted on camphor identify its ability to desensitize specific nerve receptors found in nasal and sinus passages. With congestion, the nerve receptors become inflamed and send pain signals to the brain.4
By inhaling the aroma of blue tansy essential oil, the nerve receptors no longer “sense” the congestion and lose their inflamed state. In turn, they stop sending pain signals and the sufferer gains relief.4
In a 2008 study, 31 compounds found in blue tansy essential oil were tested for cytotoxic properties, also known as the ability to kill cells. The study targeted blue tansy essential oil’s cytotoxicity in relation to isolated rhabdomyosarcoma (RDS), a cancer that affects muscle tissue and often manifests during childhood.5
Several of the compounds found in blue tansy essential oil – most notably sabinene and camphor – were identified as having high cytotoxicity against the RDS cells.5
Note: While these findings are promising, more research is necessary before blue tansy (and other) essential oils can be used as a complementary cancer therapy. Essential oils should not be substituted for proven cancer treatments.
Blue Tansy Essential Oil Safety & Side Effects
Blue tansy essential oil is generally considered safe for inhalation and diluted, topical use. Blue tansy essential oil should always be diluted in carrier oil before topical application. Always read and follow the label on any blue tansy essential oil product.
Blue tansy essential oil is highly concentrated and can be toxic if ingested. Consult a health care professional prior to using blue tansy essential oil on children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Where to Buy Blue Tansy Essential Oil
Previously, high quality essential oils could only be bought at specialty health stores, or through expensive multi-level marketing companies. Now, due to advancements in technology, extremely high grade essential oils can be purchased over the internet at very reasonable prices.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Greche H, Ismaili-Alaoui M, Zrira S, Benjilali B, Belanger A, Hajjaji N. (1999) Composition of Tanacetum annuum L. Oil from Morocco. (Abstract) Journal of Essential Oil Research. 11(3). 343-348. DOI 10.1080/10412905.1999.9701150.
- Hammer KA1, Carson CF, Riley TV. (2003). Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 95(4):853-60. DOI: 1046/j.1365-2672.2003.02059.x
- Greche H, Hajjaji N, Ismaïli-Alaoui M, Mrabet N, Benjilali B. (2000) Chemical Composition and Antifungal Properties of the Essential Oil of Tanacetum annuum. (Abstract) Journal of Essential Oil Research. 12(1). 122-124. DOI 10.1080/10412905.2000.9712058.
- Xu H, Blair NT, Clapham DE. (2005). Camphor Activates and Strongly Desensitizes the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Subtype 1 Channel in a Vanilloid-Independent Mechanism. The Journal of Neuroscience. 25(39). 8924-8937. DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2574-05.2005.
- El Haddar S, Greche H, Bakri Y, Benjouad A. (2008). Chemical composition and anti-prolifertaive properties of the essential oil of Tanacetum annuum L. Moroccan Journal of Biology. 7(4). 17-23. Retrieved March 10, 2017 from http://www.fst.ac.ma/mjb/vol1/Iss4-5/ARTs/Chemical%20composition%20and%20anti-prolifertaive%20properties%20of%20the%20essential.pdf – View reference