Marigold – proven health beauty benefits uses


The scientific name of the marigold is Tagetes erecta L. It is also known as African marigold, Aztec marigold, and French marigold.

Other names include Amarillo in Spanish.

HINDI: Genda
MARATHI: Jhenduphool
KONKANI: Gondiphool.
KANNADA: Chenna mallige

Marigold is an ornamental plant, a rather coarse, erect, glabrous branched, rank-smelling annual herb, 0.4 to 1 meter high. Leaves are 4 to 11 centimeters long, very deeply pinnatifid, with lanceolate lobes, coarsely and sharply toothed, 1 to 2.5 centimeters long. Heads are solitary, 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters long, 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter, long-peduncled, with the peduncle thickened upward. Involucre is green. Flowers are pale to deep yellow. Ray flowers are 1-seriate, female, the ligule entire or 2-toothed, short or long. Disk flowers are perfect, regular, tubular limb usually somewhat enlarged, 5-fid. Fruits are achenes, linear, narrowed below, compressed or angled, 6 to 7 millimeters long.

Parts utilized

Flower and leaves.


• Marigold is the richest and purest source of lutein.

• Phytochemical studies isolated flavonoids, carotenoids, xanthophylls and polyketides. with antimutagenic, phytotoric, nutritional, anticarcinogenic and ophthalmologic agents.

• Study of stems and flowers characterized: ß-caryophyllene, terpinolene, (E)-ocimenone, ß-ocimene, piperitenone and Z-ocimene, and limonene.

• Flowers contain a volatile oil and a yellow coloring-matter, quercetagetin.

Medicinal properties of marigold

– Considered anthelmintic, aromatic, digestive, ophthalmic, sedative, stomachic, tonic, carminative, emmenagogue.

– Roots considered laxative.

Edibility / Culinary

• Petals of some varieties are edible; used in salads and for flavor and color.

• Yellow dye from the flower used as saffron substitute for food coloring and flavor.

• Condiment.

Folkloric traditional medicine remedies and uses

• A plant of medicinal use since prehistoric times.

• Used for anemia. irregular menstruation, abdominal pain during menstrual period, rheumatic muscular and bone pain.

• Leaves applied to boils and carbuncles; juice used for earaches.

• Internally, used for indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs and dysentery.

• Externally, used for sores, ulcers, eczema, sore eyes and rheumatism.

• Decoction of flowers used for colds, conjunctivitis, mumps, sore eyes.

• Decoction preparation for coughs: Boil a handful of the herb in a liter of water and drink a glass 3x daily.

• In India, juice of the flowers occasionally used as blood purifier and as remedy for piles.

• Infusion or decoction of plant used for colds, rheumatic pains, bronchitis.

• In Brazil, infusion of leaves and flowers used as vermifuge.

• In Mexico, decoction of flowers and leaves used as diuretic and carminative.

• In Aztecs used for carbuncles and eye infections.

• In Brazil and Mexico, used for joint pains and muscle spasms. Also, used for allergic contact dermatitis.

• Elsewhere, used in folk medicine for eye diseases, colds, coughs, conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids and ulcers.

Other uses

• Repellent: Insecticide, repellent.

• Rituals: The Aztecs used it for ceremonial purposes.

• Dye: Flowers yield a natural dye.

Scientific proven health and beauty benefits of using marigold

Antioxidant / Analgesic effect / Flowers:

A study showed pronounced antioxidant potential in Aztec marigold flowers and dose-dependent analgesic effect in keeping with its folkloric medicinal use as antiinflammatory and analgesic.

Wound Healing Activity / Leaves:

Ethanolic extract of Tagetes erecta leaves was evaluated on adult albino rats. Results showed significant wound healing activity, comparable to the nitrofurazone control. The study supports the wound healing properties of the leaves as claimed in folkloric literature.

Carotenoid / Nutritional Supplement:

Flower extract was found to contain biologically useful lutein compounds and studied for use as nutritional supplement and as poultry food colorant.

Keratolytic / Anti-verrucae / Podiatric Use:

Its use for plantar hyperkeratosis was first described in the early 80s. Marigold paste has been used for painful hyperkeratotic lesions in the UK. Studies yielded tagetone, d-limonene, acimene, linalyl-acetate, linalol, and other terpenes. Tagetone acts as catalyst in inhibiting the production and transmission of keratinocytes. Marigold also showed benefit in the treatment of topical verrucae. Study shows promised for continued investigation for use of marigold therapy for various podiatric conditions.

Toxicological Study:

Study showed the chloroform extract of T erecta had no toxic effects and validates its traditional use in indigenous systems of medicine.

Essential Oil:

Study of essential oils of T erecta yielded piperitone (50.7%), piperitenone, (E)-ß-ocimene from the leaf oil and 1,8-cineole (23.1%), a-pinene, a-terpineol, piperitone and sabinene from the flower oil.

Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory:

Study of T. erecta alcoholic extracts showed significant antinociceptive activity and significant anti-inflammatory activity comparable to the Diclofenac sodium.


Study of crude extracts and fractions of flower of T erecta was tested for insecticidal activity against stored product insect pest, Trilobium castaneum. The chloroform extract showed highest toxicity against both larvae and adults of T castaneum.

Essential Oil / Antioxidant / Camphor and Methyleugenol:

Study of essential oil for antioxidant activity using a DPPD assay, free radical scavenging activity and oxidation of deoxyribose assay. Analysis yielded 18 components; b-caryophyllene, limonene, methyleugenol, (E)-ocimene, piperetone, piperitenone and ?-terpinolene were the main components. Results demonstrated significant antioxidant activity, less than a-tocopherol. The activity was attributed to the presence of camphor and methyleugenol, both naturally occurring in a variety of herbs and spices.

Antioxidant / Flowers:

An ethanolic extract of flowers was studied for antioxidant activity. Phytochemical yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, proteins, steroids, and tannins. Results showed antioxidant activity in all in vitro assays — DPPH, reducing power, and superoxide radical scavenging activity , with better reducing power than standard ascorbic acid.


Study of hydroalcoholic extract in peritoneally streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed increased glucose levels after 30 minutes, and hypoglycemia only after 120 minutes.

Antihyperlipidemic Effect:

Study of hydroalcoholic extract in induced hyperlipidemic showed a significant decrease in all hyperlipidemic parameters. Lovastatin was sued as standard.


Study of various extracts evaluated the antimicrobial activity of T. erecta and T. pistula flowers. Methanol extract of T. erecta was found to have better inhibitory activity than cold and hot aqueous extracts. Results showed the extracts of both species possess potential broad spectrum antibacterial activity.

Leaf extracts of Tagetes erectus showed very satisfactory inhibitory activity when tested against various gram negative and gram positive bacteria and fungi.


Study showed the leaf and flower of T. erecta to show a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity. The flower extract showed significant activity against S. lutea, E. coli, B. circulence.

Mosquitocidal / Flowers / Cx quinquefasciatus:

Study evaluated the mosquitocidal effects of ethanolic extract of flowers of Tagetes erecta and its fractions against the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus. Results showed the flowers of T. erecta to be a very effective natural larvicide.

Dyes from Waste Flowers:

A huge amount of marigold are collected as waste flowers from temple offerings in India. The petals yield a natural dye, the colorants consisting mainly of carotenoid-lutein and flavonoid-patuletin, with crude extracts used for dyeing textiles. The study describes an innovative dyeing process with net enhancement of dye uptake due to metal mordanting. Thesuperiority of solvent extraction over conventional extraction was established in the study. Results suggest a potential for industrial application.


Ornamental cultivation.
Extracts and other products in the market.

Read about other interesting fruits

Acai berry        Ambarella         Avocado           Bael       Banana      Bilberry      Cocunut   

 Cantaloupe        Cashew apple      Dragon Fruit        Fig      Jack fruit   Jamun        Kiwi      

 Mango        Mangosteen       Miracle fruit         Pomelo      Papaya            Passion fruit

Phalsa      Pineapple           Plum       Pomegranate        Prickly pear           Quince       

Rambutan           Roselle          Santol          Sapota       Sea buckthorn       Sour Orange     

Soursop           Sweet Lime         Star gooseberry         Star Apple          Strawberry     

Surinam Cherry          Sweet lime              Tamarind               Tomato           Tree tomato     

 Wampi       Watermelon         Wood apple

Read about herbs and spices

Allspice          Alfalfa       Ashwagandha        Bay leaf              Black cohosh           

Black onion seeds       Black pepper        Celery          Chives         Chamomile        Clove

Coriander       Curry leaf         Cumin        Eucalyptus        Fennel            Fenugreek

Garlic      Ginger         Gotu Kola    Hibiscus         Holy basil      Kava Kava        Licorice 

Lotus      Majoram      Mustard seeds        Neem       Nutmeg       Oregano            Peppermint

Red  clover          Rose         Rosemary           Sage          Sensitive plant           St.John’s wort  

Tarragon       Thyme      Triphala powder     Turmeric     Wheat grass      Wild amarnath