Tagetes essential oil is extracted from Tagetes minuta (also known as Tagetes glandulifera) of the Compositae family and is also known as marigold, Mexican marigold and tagetette. It is often confused with calendula oil, which is Calendula officinalis, also known as “true marigold”.
Although very few people buy Tagetes Essential oil for the fragrance, it is a very effective oil when used in cases of infection and especially weeping wounds and chest infections.
Tagetes essential oil has a wild, sweet, fruity almost citrus-like smell and is yellow to reddish-amber in color. It is of medium viscosity that can turn thick and even gel-like if exposed to the air for a long time.
Known in Africa as ‘Khaki bush’, it is now also grown in France and North America and is a weed with deeply divided deep-green feathery leaves and numerous yellowish-orange carnation-like flowers. The leaves and flowers are a good insect repellent and are often seen hanging from native huts to deter swarms of flies and mosquitoes. In a 5% dilution, tagetes oil has been used to kill maggots in open wounds, while the roots and seeds have been found to help rid the body of poisons. After the Boer war in South Africa, Australian troops brought plants to their native land where it grew profusely. It is an ingredient of many foot treatment preparations and is also used in some perfumes.
Tagetes essential oil is extracted from the leaves, stalks and flowers, picked when the seeds are just starting to form.
The therapeutic properties of Tagetes essential oil are anti-infectious, anti-microbial, antibiotic, anti-spasmodic, anti-parasitic, antiseptic, insecticide and sedative.
Tagetes essential oil can be useful for treating the respiratory system, infections of the skin and as an insect repellent
Precautions and Uses
Tagetes essential oil is a very powerful oil and should be used sparingly and should be avoided during pregnancy. Not to be used on a sensitive skin and may cause photosensitivity. Cases of dermatitis have been reported.
Tagetes essential oil is valuable in keeping insects at bay, and can help with parasitic and fungal infestation. It is used for chest infections, coughs and catarrh, dilating the bronchi, facilitating the flow of mucus and dislodging congestion and can be used in cases of skin infections. It has a healing effect on wounds, cuts, calluses and bunions.
In vapor therapy, tagetes essential oil can help with coughs, bronchitis, chest infections and as an insect repellant.
As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, tagetes essential oil can assist with wounds, cuts, coughs, chest infections, parasitic and fungal infestations.
When used in a cream or lotion, it can have a most beneficial effect on fungal and microbial infections and especially helpful when treating weeping wounds.