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Marigolds Can Brighten Up Your Life With Their Various Health Benefits

Story at-a-glance

  • Marigolds are famously used as ornamental plants because of the vibrant golden yellow flowers. But aside from its attractive appearance, it also offers various health benefits
  • In addition to its vibrant color that adds to its attractiveness, marigolds can be used to help treat and alleviate various ailments

Marigolds (Calendula officinalis) are mainstays in gardens all over the world because of their sunny appearance. But aside from this flowering plant’s bright color and magnetic charm, numerous studies have focused on the health benefits that people can get from it.

Throughout history, the marigold plant has been well-utilized by various populations in the world. Documentations reach as far back as the Greek and Roman civilizations where it was part of their mythologies. It was widely distributed throughout the trade routes, which led to its vast distribution in the modern world.

The name it goes by these days, marigold, was introduced in the early days of Christianity. People named it Mary’s Gold in honor of the Virgin Mary, which was then shortened through time into “marigold.”1 But while it’s called marigold – also “pot marigold” or “English marigold” – in Europe, in the U.S. it’s more popularly known as calendula. To make it more confusing, the “marigold” flower that is popular in the U.S. is actually the Tagetes plant. 2

The Tagetes marigold is also well-known in Mexico as the “flower of the dead.” It’s widely distributed and used by citizens during the “Dia de los Muertos,” or the “Day of the Dead,” mostly because marigolds are said to provide a guiding light for the departed to find their way back home. These flowers are commonly used to adorn home altars or the “ofrendas,” which are built by families for their deceased loved ones.3

Take note that these two plants belong to different plant varieties. It is a common mistake that these two are interchanged because of their similar names. But it’s important to differentiate one from the other because they each have separate benefits. To make sure that you’re looking at Calendula officinalis, it’s best that you look for its scientific name in labels.4 (To avoid further confusion, please note that the “marigold” discussed in this article refers to calendula, and not the Tagetes marigold.)

Marigolds also have the ability to help people return to optimal health. With its numerous nutritional components and health benefits, it’s obvious that this plant offers so much more than beauty alone. Continue reading to learn more about this common plant and how you can use it for your everyday woes.

Get These Priceless Health Benefits From Marigolds

Aside from its vibrant color that adds to its attractiveness, marigolds can be used to help treat and alleviate various ailments. It is traditionally ingested as part of dishes and teas, sometimes to boost the health benefits of these recipes, or just to add a touch of color. These health benefits include the following:

Helps in alleviating skin conditions. Marigold has been used in treating various skin conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to help in treating dermatitis, acne and diaper rash.5

Aids in wound healing. This herb is also used to promote wound healing through its direct effect on slow-healing wounds. It also has antibacterial properties that can help prevent infections.6

Relieves pain caused by bunions. Bunions, which are caused by bursitis, often cause extreme pain due to the inflammation of the bursa sac. This is often treated with injections, surgery or paddings. As an alternative treatment for people who are not open to getting surgery for this, marigolds can be used topically to decrease pain and inflammation.7

Promotes detoxification. Studies suggest that marigolds can assist in the body’s detoxification process, eliminating toxic materials that have accumulated over time in the body. This detoxification does not only benefit the digestive system, but also the lymphatic system by decongesting and cleansing body tissues.8

Aids in painful menstruation. Marigold offer benefits for the proper regulation of the processes that take place in the female reproductive system. It helps ease menstrual pains and difficulties. It has also been observed to aid in regulating the production of estrogen.9

How Can You Use Marigolds?

Marigolds are often used by many people for decorative purposes. But apart from its bright and attractive flowers, this plant can be utilized in other ways. Here are some techniques on how to put marigolds to good use:10

As a decoction. Decoctions of this herb are commonly used to ease dizziness and headaches. For people who are affected by these conditions, the common dosage for this decoction is 3 teaspoons, taken thrice a day. However, to make sure that you’re getting just the right amount, it’s best that you consult a health practitioner for the right dosage.

As an herbal infusion. Marigold herbal infusions are usually ingested to help deal with gastritis, ulcers and internal conditions caused by inflammation. Tinctures are also used to help stabilize the menstrual cycle.

As a topical solution. Extracts from this herb are used to treat wounds, burns and insect bites. It aids in the healing and protection through its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

As eye wash. Marigold cold infusions have been used as a wash for people with irritated eyes. It helps soothe and cool strained eyes. It is also commonly used to help with conjunctivitis.11

Marigolds Add Color Not Just to Your Garden but Your Health, Too

Marigolds are commonly found in gardens and plant boxes to exude an inviting appearance in homes. While it’s often ignored by seasoned green thumbs because of its ubiquitous nature, it’s still a good idea to grow these flowering plants in your garden or yard. Not only will marigolds add to the vibrancy of your garden, but it will also allow you to utilize this herb when needed. Follow this guide on how to grow and care for your marigold plants:12

Find a portion of your garden with abundant sunlight. Marigolds need lots of sunshine to thrive. It also grows best in moderately fertile and well-drained soil.

Sow the marigold seeds into the garden when the soil is warm, during spring or summer. You also have the choice of germinating them indoors for four to six weeks before spring-frost.

When watering the soil, it is best that you water the plants well and let the soil dry thoroughly before watering again. Avoid watering the plants from the top. Instead, water them at the base of the plant.

Marigold seeds germinate easily. Wait for the seedlings to grow to about 2 inches tall, and then transplant them in flat, loose soil 2 to 3 feet apart. Wait for the plants to produce flowers and harvest accordingly.

You can also plant marigolds as a ground cover. Gardeners have noted that it has the ability to repel nematodes, or the microscopic worms found underground. The pungent and musky smell of the flowers has also been noted to repel insects and other pests.13

Try These Delicious and Healthy Marigold Recipes

Apart from the various medicinal uses of marigolds, it can also be added to various dishes to add flavor. Marigold works great in salads, soups and smoothies. Some people even add this herb to cakes and other pastries to add spice. Here’s one marigold recipe you can try out for yourself. 14,15

Cauliflower With Marigold Sauce


  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup organic raw butter
  • 1/2 coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup grated grass fed, organic and raw milk cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups raw coconut milk
  • 6 marigold flower heads
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Break up the cauliflower into large florets. Steam them for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and mix a soft paste is formed.
  3. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously to keep the mixture smooth.
  4. Decrease heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Stir in cheese. Do not allow to boil.
  6. Remove from heat and add the marigold petals. Stir the mixture slowly.
  7. Place the cauliflower in a serving dish and pour the sauce. Serve.

(Adapted from

Making marigold tea is also one of the most well-known uses for this herb. Some of the health benefits of this herbal tea include easing sore throats, alleviating inflammation in the body, aiding in detoxification and relieving dizziness. To make your own marigold tea, follow this recipe:

Marigold Herbal Tea


  • 2 tablespoons of dried marigold petals (cut into small pieces)
  • 200 ml of water


  1. Put the water in a pot and let it boil. When boiling, remove from heat and gently pour over the marigold petals.
  2. Cover with a lid and leave for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture and let cool until warm enough to drink.

Make Your Own Infused Calendula Oil With These Easy Steps

Marigold essential oil, or calendula oil, is often used as an active component in lotions, salves and creams because of its positive effect on the skin. Studies that focused on calendula oil have noted the high amounts of flavonoids, saponins, carotenoids and plant sterols that this oil contains. These components contribute to the improvement of skin health, promotion of wound healing and the reduction of inflammation.

However, you can also opt to use a homemade marigold oil infusion. There are two ways that you can make your own infused marigold oil: cold infusion and hot infusion. However, cold infusion is more recommended so as to avoid damaging the calendula through heat. Follow this guide on how to make infused calendula oil:


  • Dried calendula petals
  • Carrier oil (coconut oil, sunflower oil or almond oil)
  • Clean lidded glass jar


Cold infusion method:

  1. Put your desired amount of dried calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
  2. Fill the jar with your carrier oil of choice to cover the petals by an inch.
  3. Put in a sunny place to infuse for four weeks.
  4. Drain the petals from the oil and store the oil in a container with a lid for up to one year.

Hot infusion method:

  1. Put your desired amount of dried calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
  2. Fill the jar with your carrier oil of choice to cover the petals by an inch.
  3. Dump the entire contents of the jar (the petals and the oil) in a small saucepan or slow cooker. Put on low heat for four hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Let cool. Drain the petals from the oil and store the oil in a container with a lid for up to one year.

Contraindications for the Use of Marigolds 

Before you start using marigolds or calendula, it is best that you consult a health practitioner to get the right dosage for the different marigold products available in the market. However, this herb should be avoided if you’re either pregnant or breastfeeding because of the lack of studies in this area.

Marigolds should also be avoided by people who are allergic to plants that belong to the Compositae family, such as daisies, chrysanthemums and ragweed, because marigolds belong to the same family and may cause severe allergic effects.16

Sources and References

  • 1, 9 Victoria Zak, 20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature’s Healing Herbs, Random House Publishing Group
  • 2, 4 Snaplant, Interesting Facts and Uses of Marigolds or Calendula
  • 3 Kathy Huber, Houston Chronicle, October 21, 2011, Cheerful Marigold is Flower of the Dead
  • 5 Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Marigolds to Soothe Skin
  • 6 Advanced Tissue, 2 Flowers For Enhanced Wound Healing
  • 7 The Pennsylvania State University, July 2008, The Use of Marigold Therapy for Podiatric Skin Conditions
  • 8 Herbalism Roots, Herbs that Promote Lymphatic Drainage
  • 10 Healing Herb Info, Marigold
  • 11 Leah Hechtman, 2017, Clinical Naturopathic Medicine – eBook
  • 12 The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Marigolds: How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Marigolds
  • 13 The Seattle Times, July 2, 2010, Do Marigolds keep pests away or are they just pretty?
  • 14 Food, Cauliflower With Marigold Sauce
  • 15 Healtholino, Marigold Tea: Amazing Benefits and Uses + Recipes
  • 16 Botanical-Online, Contraindications of Calendula
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