In May, I planted marigolds, the European Tagetes patula variety, commonly called Tiger Eyes, with a fluffy orange head and red skirt, to ward off pests in each row of my garden. This variety shares many of the same terpenes as cannabis. Now, I am reaping the benefits for pests are not eating my upcoming harvest and I am drying the sunny blooms to make skin cream and using a few whole plants to make an organic insect repellant. You see, there are many benefits from this common little flower.
The marigold has two genera, the Calendula and the Tagetes and share many properties.
“Calendula is a well-studied natural remedy and has been used for centuries to treat skin and recently clinical data has been generated to show its efficacy in radiation dermatitis. A summary of clinical and non-clinical studies on calendula, studied in laboratories around the world, is helpful for supporting patients during treatment,” noted Kevin Leach, Ph.D., DABT. Tagetes patula shares properties of Calendula and also lends itself medicinally.
The essential oil of cultivated Tagetes patula L. flowers (the Tiger Eyes variety) has a typically pungent odor and is amber red in color. Among identified compounds, eight are found to be major constituents of the volatile oil. Like hemp, it is the terpenes, see list below, that are medicinally imperative because, for one thing, terpenes pass the blood-brain barrier. The predominant components in the T. patula flowers’ oil are:
- β-ocimene: attracts pollinators, in humans is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral
- α-terpinolene: repels pests like mosquitos and weevils, in humans is antibacterial, anftifungal
- trans-caryophyllene: may reduce inflammation in the brain caused by hypoxia and is an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, major anti-inflammatory (rare in cannabis)
- Z-ocimenone: insecticidal and in humans is antifungal
- dl-limonene: pesticide, gallstone solubilizer in animals and humans,
- piperitenone: expectorant for sinus and respiratory
- β-pinene: antifungal
- car-3-en-2-one: anti-inflammatory
In scientific studies, essential oil of T. patula exhibited significant antioxidant activity. As a topical, it is effective in treating corns, warts, athlete’s foot, calluses, parasitic infestations and resistant fungal infections, insect bites and radiation damaged skin. I used Tagetes Anesthetic Salve on my fire ant bites and had immediate relief.
It worked so fast! The intensity of the pain and itch were gone for hours and the inflammation subsided. It works fast on burns too.
This plant’s essential oil is phytotoxic (increases the sun’s harmful rays to increase sunburn), so it is imperative that it is diluted to 0.01% in creams.
Patuletin is the medicinal flavonol in Tagetes patula.
Patuletin is found in German chamomile, other herbs, and spinach.
Excellent as a tea: “Tagetes patula is a good source of antimicrobial agents, particularly its flower, which is enriched with flavonoids. One of the easily extractable and nontoxic flavonoids, patuletin (3), exhibited good antibacterial activity, works as an analgesic, antioxidant, antifungal, anti-spasmodic, and more. Patuletin inhibits Leukotriene, which is one of a group of chemicals produced by the body that accompanies inflammation. Leukotrienes are believed to play a major role in causing the symptoms of hay fever and asthma. Tagetes patula and its different parts are known to possess biological activities – antiseptic, blood purifying, and works as hepatoprotective to prevent liver damage.”
This plant does everything but cook a chicken dinner, huh?
Insecticidal properties include nematicidal, (works against nematodes) and antidermatologic (works on rashes and insect bites) activities.
The flower head is said to possess anthelmintic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, carminative (stops gas), diuretic, sedative, and stomachic properties and is also used in the preparation of a refreshing drink – due to the flavonoids in Tagetes patula.
The leaves are employed in kidney troubles and muscular pain.
The roots and seeds are used as purgative (a laxative).
After learning that the simple marigold is not so simple, I wonder, “Why hasn’t someone named a variety Everything but Cook a Chicken Dinner?”
Have a great day!
“The Benefits of Calendula Officianalis for Protection Against the Harmful Side Effects of Radiation.” Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, 7 Oct. 2017, p. 5151. General OneFile, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A507521141/ITOF?u=nclivececc&sid=ITOF&xid=1e10ac59. Accessed 24 July 2019.
“Oncology Clinician Embraces Skin Care Benefits of Calendula.” Clinical Oncology Week, 3 Aug. 2015, p. 26. Health Reference Center Academic, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A423914196/HRCA?u=nclivececc&sid=HRCA&xid=805b3688. Accessed 24 July 2019.
Essential Oil Contents and Antioxidant Activity of Tagetes patula L.
Pages 364-367 | Received 01 Oct 2011, 15 Mar 2012, Published 17 Sep 2013
Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Different Parts ofTagetes patula.: Preparation of Patuletin Derivatives
Pages 309-320 | 08 Oct 2007
photo and my seed supplier https://www.edenbrothers.com/store/french-marigold-seeds-tiger-eyes.html