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Estragol, basil and pesto

  1. March. Hidden in my small conservatory, a lot of summer scents are already released, especially an aniseed-thyme-tarragon scent is strikingly present. Aromas from a forgotten bag of dried oregano, but also from a bottle of estragol basil in my pocket and from the herbal waste from Herbier du Diois. Waste that we use in the garden as ground cover. With all those disinfecting and invigorating aromas around me, can I still get sick? Or does that just make me sick?


  1. Estragol or methylchavicol is a substance in the essential oil of some basil species, in tarragon, anise and is also present in my seeded dragontagetes (Tagetes lucida). Estragol has been in the news quite negatively in recent years because it is said to be carcinogenic. This even went so far that, for example, the nutrition center in the Netherlands seriously advised that "although not enough is known about the risks to humans, there are strong indications of a harmful effect. It is therefore wise as a precaution: preferably not to use herbal preparations with fennel and anise (such as fennel tea against colic in babies), to be moderate with products such as pesto, tarragon, aniseed drinks (such as anise tea, sambucca, pastis and ouzo), fennel and cinnamon tea ".


  1. To be honest, I find this quite laughable but also a bit sad. You have to consider that these common food products have been widely used for hundreds of years. That the cancer-causing tests were done with mice and not humans. That the tests were carried out with isolated estragole, a substance that occurs in small quantities in the essential oil of tarragon and basil, an essential oil that itself only makes up 1% of the entire plant. That estragole itself is not a carcinogen, but a conversion agent, which can be broken down very differently in the body under the influence of the enzyme CYP1A2. That estragole and its relatives only dissolve for a very small part in water "die sich nur kleinefügig (0.178 g / l) in Wasser löst". That there are hundreds of other substances in those herbs that have an anti-oxidant effect and protect cells against cancer. That, That, That ...


  1. 1 cloves of garlic 25 grams of pine nuts, lightly roasted if desired 10 grams of fresh basil leaves 15 grams of grated Parmesan cheese, grate yourself if necessary 7 grams of freshly grated pecorino, Italian sheep's cheese optional 100cc extra virgin olive oil salt Finely chop the peeled cloves of garlic in a garlic grater. Mix with the ground pine nuts. Finely chop the basil leaves. Mix the garlic and kernels mixture with the chopped basil and the two types of cheese. Stir in enough olive oil to create a creamy sauce. Season the pesto with some salt and eat it on ... a sandwich or in pasta.

Magic of pesto and other little things of life.

  1. It is not for nothing that a writer like Boccacio, a poet like Keats and a film director like Orson Welles were fond of basil. They probably had not only culinary taste but also a feeling for the small, creative things in life. And it is not precisely these things that make life meaningful. I am fond of facts, I like to analyze the pesto and pistou, but we have to interpret those facts sensibly and use our feelings. Otherwise, every life will be destroyed. So pesto citizens are protesting against this bullying administration.


  1. Meanwhile I am still sitting in the greenhouse close to the ground, almost invisible, putting unsightly seeds in pots. Tarragon, basil and tagetes lucida. Creating a future for all these estragol plants and myself. Tomorrow the sun will shine and we can grow again.

For the enthusiast, synonyms of estragol

  1. 1-Allyl-4-methoxybenzene, 1-Methoxy-4- (2-propen-1-yl) benzene, 3- (p-Methoxyphenyl) propene, 4-Allyl-1- methoxybenzene, 4-Allylanisole, 4-Allylmethoxybenzene, 4-Methoxyallylbenzene, Allylphenyl methyl ether, p-, Anisole, p-allyl-, Benzene, 1-methoxy-4- (2-propenyl) -, Benzene, 1-methoxy-4 - (2-propenyl) -, Chavicol methyl ether, Chavicol, O-methyl, Chavicyl methyl ether, Esdragol, Esdragole, Esdragon, Estragol, Estragole, Estragole (natural), Isoanethole, LS-821, Methyl chavicol, Methylchavicol, p -Allylanisole, p-Allylmethoxybenzene, p-Methoxyallylbenzene.


  1. Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on Estragole (1-Allyl-4-methoxybenzene)

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