SACoronavirus Resource and News Portal

Plant Information

Common Name: COSTMARY
Scientific Name: Tanacetum balsamita/ Chrysanthemum balsamita
Alternative Names: Alecost

Package FormatN/A

Tanacetum balsamita/ Chrysanthemum balsamita
Tanacetum balsamita/ Chrysanthemum balsamita


  • Perennial
  • Rhizomatous with oblong, silver-green, mint-scented leaves.
  • Small heads of insignificant yellow blooms are borne in late summer - if grown in full sun, the flowers may also have an outer row of white petals.
  • Prefers full sun and rich, dryish well drained soil.
  • Fully hardy.
  • Ground cover.
  • Divide roots in spring or autumn.

Culinary Uses

  • Use sparingly as the spearmint flavor can overpower.
  • For a subtle flavor, slightly spicy, add a few young leaves finely chopped, to salads, vegetables, young potatoes, carrot and pumpkin soup, fruit cake, game, poultry and cold meats.
  • Add 2 leaves to a pot of stewing apples, pears and quinces.
  • Add 1 tsp. of finely chopped Costmary to whipped cream and custard served with desserts.
  • Brew as a tea or add it to sage tea.

Parts Used

  • Pick leaves any time.
  • Preserve by drying leaves.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Traditionally Costmary tea was taken with honey and cloves to ease pain and cramps.
  • Today:
  • Infuse leaves as a tonic tea for coughs, colds, catarrh and stomach cramps.
  • Pour a cup of boiling water over ΒΌ cup fresh leaves and 6 cloves. Stand for 5 minutes, strain and sweeten with honey. Drink warm.
  • Wrap a poultice of warmed leaves around a a cramping leg and keep it warm with a hot water bottle.
  • Rub a fresh leaf on a bee sting or horse fly bite to relieve the pain.
  • Add to an ointment for burns and stings.

Other Uses

  • Cosmetic: An infusion makes a fragrant hair rinse or lotion for your skin.
  • Laundry:
  • Costmary and lavender (optional), boiled in water, can be added to laundry rinsing water for a sweet fragrance.
  • Insect repellent:
  • The fresh, minty fragrance intensifies the fragrance of other herbs - combine with tansy, southernwood and basil - effective against aphids and white fly.
  • Moth repellent:
  • Put 1 handful of dried Costmary leaves in a herbal sachet for the clothes drawer.
  • Potpourri.
  • Used as a bookmark in the Bible to keep pages free from moths and fish moths and to scent it with its minty, camphor refreshing fragrance.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

Back to Plant List