Marigolds have an extensive history. They were revered by the Aztecs and used medicinally, ornamentally and in religious rites. The Spanish and Portuguese explorers brought them back to Europe. There they were referred to as “Mary’s Gold” in reference to the Virgin Mary. Flower petals can be tossed into a salad or used to make tea, colouring foods, and they can be used as a substitute for tarragon. Marigolds contain what industry believes to be the best source of lutein and zeaxanthin and are cultivated to produce vision health supplements.
Seed life cycle: Annual.
Colours: Orange, yellow, as well as a combination of oranges and yellows.
Height: Depending on species, up to 30 cm (1').
Medicinal qualities: The marigold plant is an anthelmintic, aromatic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative and a stomachic. They have been used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs and dysentery. Externally, they have been used to treat sores, ulcers, and eczema. A poultice of marigold leaves can be applied to treat boils and carbuncles. The flowers are also a carminitive, diuretic and vermifuge. A decoction is used to treat colds. Marigold flowers are excellent for eye health. The medicinal potential will vary depending on the species. This information is specific to the Tagetes erecta.
Dye: These flowers are commonly used in Pakistan and India to dye cloth.
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