Historical records also indicate that tansy has been used as a natural face wash to lighten the skin.
Historically, the most common medicinal use of tansy was as an abortifacient. It naturally stimulates blood flow to the pelvis and uterus (emmenagogue) and was used to bring on menstruation or abort an unwanted pregnancy.
Tanacetum vulgare is an herbal remedy for treating worms as it contains a volatile oil with the active ingredients thujone, camphor and myrtenol, which are toxic to internal parasites.
In the past, the herb was frequently used to treat worms in children and it was also added to coffins to slow the deterioration of the deceased by repelling worms.
Today, it is most commonly used as a natural insect repellent and companion plant in vegetable gardens. However, the herb’s repellent nature has long been recognized.
Tansy has been used externally as an herbal remedy for lice, fleas and scabies. In the Middle Ages, it was strewn across floors, hung from rafters and slipped under bed sheets to discourage pests.
When applied as a poultice, the herb is a natural treatment for skin infections and can be used to relieve sprains and reduce swelling.