Tagetes Essential Oil

Type of plant: Fast-growing annual plant growing up to 2 feet high, depending on the species, with smallish yellow to orange flowers

Part used: Flowers

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: There are over 50 varieties of the genus Tagates. Native to South America, tagetes is now grown all over the world as a decorative flower, sometimes called African or Mexican marigold. Shamans in Mexico used the plant to induce visions. Extract of tagetes is added to chicken feed to make the egg yolks yellow, and it is used in fish farming to improve the color of trout, salmon, and shrimp. The essential oil distilled from various tagetes species has long been used in perfumery and in the food and beverage industries.

Principal places of production: Egypt, France, Brazil, Argentina

When buying look for: A yellow to orange liquid with a fruity green, slightly floral aroma. Not to be confused with calendula oil, Calendula officinalis, which is sometimes called true marigold.

Therapeutic properties: Antifungal, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antiseptic, insect deterrent

Therapeutic uses: Athlete’s foot, corns, calluses, bunions, parasitic infestations, resistant fungal infections

Blends well with: Benzoin, bergamot, chamomile german, chamomile roman, citronella, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, lavandin, lavender, lemon, may chang, tangerine

Precautionary advice: Photosensitizer; do not apply to the skin prior to sun exposure. May cause irritation on sensitive skin; a skin patch test is advisable. Avoid during pregnancy.