Just the name Marigold invokes images of happy warm colored flowers of reds, oranges & golds.
But did you know some of these flower garden favorite varieties are edible & have health benefits? And other varieties have great uses such as pest control?
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Marigolds are sunsets that are right in your garden. Marigolds are one of my favorite flowers to grow & are also a favorite when teaching children about growing plants & about watching them grow. So they are also a favorite of my kids to plant the seeds every year & watch them grow & to claim those plants as theirs, We also save the seeds to regrow them year after year. Marigolds & sunflowers might just be the only non vegetable flowers in our vegetable garden. And because I love everything to have multiple uses in my DIY life marigolds fit well into the foraging & DIY life for sure.
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Other names : Caltha, Ganda, Gols bloom, Garden Marigold, Gold bloom, Holligold, Marybud, Pot Marigold are the other names used for the Marigold.
Other Species : Calendula arvensis, Calendula bicolor, Calendula eckerleinii, Calendula lanzae, Calendula maderensis, Calendula maroccana, Calendula meuselii, Calendula stellata, Calendula suffruticosa, Calendula tripterocarpa, Calendula officinalis are some of the other species of Marigold.
Marigolds & you:
research shows that marigolds improve blood circulation & speed the body’s ability to heal itself. Marigold oil has anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory properties. When eaten fresh the petals offer a source of vitamin C & flavonoids.
Marigold is used for stomach upset, ulcers, menstrual period problems, eye infections, inflammations, & for wound healing. It is antiseptic. If the Marigold flower is rubbed on the affected skin area, it brings relief to pain & swelling caused by a wasp or bee. A lotion or water made from the flowers is most useful for sprains, wounds, fever & sore eyes.
Marigolds have long been known for their ability to deter bad bugs, attract beneficial insects and destroy soil nematodes. Certain types are more beneficial, and marigolds should not be planted near certain vegetables.
The best types of marigolds to use for pest control are French marigolds and Mexican marigolds. French marigolds are good for controlling whiteflies around tomato plants and Mexican marigolds are good for deterring Mexican bean beetles.
While marigolds can deter some harmful insects, they are more helpful in attracting beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps, ladybugs and lacewings.Marigolds should not be planted near beans or cabbage plants because they act as a herbicide toward these plants.
Check out the 7 Uses for Marigolds by Little House in the Suburbs article with unique uses for marigolds here
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses (from this article)
- One of the health benefits of marigolds is that it is used in the treatment of minor burns when used in the form of ointments or a tincture.
- On account of the anti-inflammatory properties of marigold it is also used in the treatment of allergic reactions, eczema and bruising.
- Health benefits of marigold oil also include it being used in the treatment for plantar lesions that tend to occur on the feet.
- Another one of the benefits of the marigold flowers is that it is very beneficial in getting rid of an oily complexion naturally. In this treatment, fresh flowers need to be soaked in warm water and then applied to the skin at least once a day and allowed to remain for 10 minutes before washing it off.
- Marigolds are also known to have plenty of health benefits on account of their high content of antioxidants. These antioxidants are known to be effective in combating the damage that may b caused by free radicals which are typically the by-products of environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke or even normal body functions. The lycopene present in marigold is also known to lower the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer. The antioxidants present in marigolds are also known to protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Health benefits and therapeutic uses of marigold flowers as well as the leaves of the marigold include it being beneficial in minimizing the number of tumors in the case of breast cancer as well as in the prevention of the development of new cancer cells. Besides breast cancer , Marigolds are also known to be effective against colon, leukemia and melanoma cancer cells.
- One of the medicinal uses of marigolds is that it promotes the growth of both new blood vessels as well as new skin tissue and hence it is used in the healing of wounds such as burns, scrapes as well as irritated skin.
- When consumed internally , marigolds are also known to help against digestive inflammation in the form of duodenal or gastric ulcers on account of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Marigold tea is also known to be effective against painful mouth and stomach ulcers as well as colitis. Marigolds are effective in this aspect because they tend to stimulate the lymphatic system and thereby minimize the swelling as well as cleanse the body of toxins which may be contributing to the ulcers.
- Marigold is also used in the form of an ointment for women who are suffering from breast cancer to minimize the dermatitis that is usually caused by chemotherapy.
- The petals of the marigold flower are also used in sitz baths as they are effective in healing vaginal infections, bladder infections, healing of stitches post child birth as well as haemorrhoids. To prepare a sitz bath the petals of the marigold flowers should be boiled for some time and then added to the warm bath water.
- One of the health benefits of marigold juice is that it is very effective in healing scabies and warts.
Since there is a lot of conflicting information on what Marigold varieties are or are not edible, I suggest you do a lot of your own research & have a firm understanding before starting any internal routine.
My main uses of marigolds in the past was because I love growing them & planting them around the edges of our garden not only repel certain bugs & larvae but also seem to deter rabbits, this is not fool proof because some places we have lived rabbits seemed to go to the marigold first & eat them & other places they stayed totally away from them.
So I mainly use marigold as pest control & externally.
Gather the marigold blooms, wash with cool water to remove any dirt or pests, try to at least start off with 1 cup of firmly packed blooms. You can use different colors of marigolds if desired.
The ratio is 1 part blooms to 2 parts boiling water, so if you gather one firmly packed cup of blooms you will need 2 cups of boiling water & so on. Use only distilled water, filtered water or pure spring water, add the washed rose petals to a heat-resistant bowl & pour the hot water over the blooms.
Then just cover the bowl with a lid or plate & let the blooms steep for 30 to 40 minutes. Then simply scoop out as many of the blooms as you can with clean hands, making sure to squeeze them to get as much moisture out as possible. then strain the eater through a coffee filter into a jar. (or if not drinking the water just leave the blooms in the water for added strength.
Marigold water will last about a week to 10 days if stored in the refrigerator when not in use. to help extend its shelf life either add 1 tbsp. of colloidal silver per 2 cups of marigold water, or add 1 tbsp. rubbing alcohol, grain alcohol or Vodka per 2 cups of water.
Interesting fact about Marigold water making:
When making marigold water with my Aunt in FL (because I got her hooked on floral waters during my FL vacation). She added the blooms to a jar & poured the boiling water right into the heat-resistant jar (pictured)& sealed the lid, after a couple of hours she would add colloidal silver to the jar. We noticed all the flowers hung at different levels in the jar & looked so fresh even though they had been boiled, they looked well-preserved & beautiful, I just figured that was because we were seeing them through a clear jar. Then she did a batch where all the blooms after a few hours looked lifeless & floated in a mass at the top, so we had a mystery, when she suddenly remembered she had forgotten to add the colloidal silver, the difference was amazing, the water even looked kinda cloudier not as sparkling. So I highly recommend adding the colloidal silver to preserve your water & to make a beautiful display until you remove the blooms.
Uses of Marigold water:
Once cooled Marigold water can be sprayed on pests, used in your no poo routine (in the shampoo or conditioner depending on your hair), sprayed on cuts, bruises, swelling, skin issues, eczema, psoriasis, acne, pimples, blackheads & so much more, used in a paste with baking soda to clean your face, in a soaking bath for relief of swelling or as a stress reliever. It can also be added to a spray bottle with Essential oils like Eucalyptus & Citronella (or other essential oils that repel insects, bugs & spiders) & used as a bug spray, or mix with Olbas oil for a skin moisturizing spray that doubles as bug spray. It can also be mixed with peppermint essential oil to repel & kill spiders. Mix with rubbing alcohol to repel & kill gnats & fruit flies. Mix into your favorite body butter recipe & use on bites, scrapes, bruises & wounds. Mix with clay & use as a face or hair detoxifying mask. Just get creative you will love all you can do.
How To Marigold Oil & Marigold Vinegar.
Go here for info on making floral infused oil including Marigold oil.
Go here to learn how to make infused vinegar.
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