Tagetes spp (T. erecta & T. patula)


Tagetes spp (T. erecta & T. patula)


Marigolds play an important role in traditional culture and medicine of Mexico and North and South America. The flower is known as “flower of the dead” in Mexico, and was cultivated by ancient Aztecs and modern Mexicans for the annual Day of the Dead ceremony. It is also used in festivals in Nepal, India, Thailand, and Ukraine. The flower petals were used in food, as a skin wash, and for yellow dye. Marigold was used traditionally for supporting healthy digestion and gastrointestinal function, and for supporting immune function. The dried, ground flowers are used as chicken feed as a source of carotenoids to enhance the color and nutrition of egg yolks, and as a yellow food dye in Europe. Marigolds are commonly known today as a gardening tool to protect plants against nematodes when planted in fields.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Marigold

Vision Support

What is Marigold Used for?

Marigold is most commonly used today as a source of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, for supporting healthy vision Topical applications of marigold have been used to support healthy foot tissue in healthy volunteers with bunions.

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Active Constituents of Marigold

carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin; essential oil: beta-caryophyllene, terpinolene, limonene

Parts Used


Additional Resources

1.) Arvigo R & Balick M. 1993. Rainforest Remedies: One hundred healing herbs of Belize. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press. Duke J & Vasquez R. 1994. Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 2.) Obana et al. Changes in Macular Pigment Optical Density and Serum Lutein Concentration in Japanese Subjects Taking Two Different Lutein Supplements. PLoS One. 2015 Oct 9;10(10) 3.) Richer S, Stiles W, Statkute L, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degermation: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplement Trial). Optometry 2004;75:216-30.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use. Use with caution in those with an allergy or sensitivity to the Asteraceae plant family.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

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