Health Guide


What is it?

Tansy is an herbal medicine used by mouth to treat worm infections and liver and gallbladder problems. It is used on the skin to treat scabies and rectal area itching.

Other names for Tansy include: Tanacetum vulgare, Yellow Buttons, Bitter Buttons, and Chrysanthemum vulgare.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Tansy you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Tansy. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Tansy, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Because Tansy oil contains a toxic chemical, Tansy oil is can be dangerous and should not be used on the skin or taken by mouth (2,4)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Call your doctor right away if you have seizures (uncontrolled shaking), yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, change in heart beats, or violent vomiting (throwing up) (3,5,7,8)
  • May cause nausea (upset stomach) (5,6,8,9)
  • May cause skin rashes after touching the plant or herb (5,6,8,9)


1. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

2. Gallino M: Essential oil from Tanacetum vulgare growing spontaneously in "Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). Planta Med 1988; 54: 182.

3. Newall CA, Anderson LA & Phillipson JD: Herbal Medicines. A Guide for Health-care Professionals. Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996.

4. Tisserand R & Balacs T: Essential Oil Safety. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, UK; 1995.

5. Opdyke DLJ: Tansy oil. Fd Cosmet Toxicol 1976; 14:869-871.

6. Mitchell J & Rook A: Botanical Dermatology. Greengrass, Vancouver, BC; 1979.

7. Duke JA: Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1985.

8. Hardin JW & Arena JM: Human Poisoning from Native and Cultivated Plants., 2nd ed. Duke University Press, Durham, NC; 1974.

9. Greenhouse CA & Sulzberger MB: The common weed tansy (Tenacetum vulgare) as a cause of eczematous dermatitis. J Allergy 1931, 3:523-526.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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