Crackerjack Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles

DyeMortartea kettleEdible


Also known as:  Aztec Marigold, African Gold Marigold

  • Symbolizes:  Herb of the Sun
  • Language of Flowers meaning:  Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy
  • Associated with:  Sun & Leo
  • Element:  Fire
  • Chakra:  Sacral Chakra
  • Uses:  Culinary, Food Dye, Herbal Tea, Medicinal, Poultice, Topical Skin & Eyes, Laxative, Insecticide effect in soil
  • Parts used:  Leaves, Flowers, Roots
  • Preparation: Fresh, Dried, Flower Essence, Infusion, Decoction, Poultice

A discovery has been made since this original post in 2018 that this marigold is an excellent source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin.  Two ingredients for eye health that are known to improve or even prevent age-related macular disease.  Lutein is a vitamin called a carotenoid related to beta-carotene and vitamin A.

Luckily this #yyj garden has a few types of marigold from Aztec Marigolds to Calendula planted.  This gardens Marigold flowers have been used for pest control, tea and water infusions, in topicals and as edibles.  Recognizing it is a good source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin now the flowers will be dried to create and explore it as a powder.


  • Flowers

The Crackerjack Marigold flower can be used fresh in salads, casseroles, omelettes or stir fried alone or with vegetables.  These flowers are pleasantly bitter to them that adds flavour and colour and made into a  dressing, be infused in water or for making tea.  The flower is used as a substitute for Saffron to colour dishes.  The flowers can be used fresh or picked to dry for later use in the kitchen.

Health and Wellness

  • Flowers, Leaves & Roots

The Cracker Jack Marigold is capable of destroying parasitic worms, in particular human intestinal helminthiasis (worms).   It is also used as a digestive (for gas), diuretic, sedative and to stimulate menstrual flow.  It is rich in the antioxidant lutenist which is a compound that studies suggest may improve visual acuity in patients with retinal degeneration.

  • Fresh or dried Crackerjack Marigold flowers can be used internally for indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs and dysentery, and topically for sores, ulcers, eczema. sore eyes and rheumatism.  They can be made into a strong infusion to treat colds, mumps and as protection for the eyes from the ravages of sun and aging.
  • Fresh Crackerjack Marigold leaves are used  topically as a paste to treat boils, carbuncles and earaches.
  • Crackerjack Marigold roots are used as a laxative.

As a Flower Essence:

Crackerjack Marigold Flower Essence enhances right brain function and strengthens one’s intuition.  It improves communication in relationships by lessening the need for concrete proof in what one is hearing thereby improving listening abilities.  Marigold supports growth, change and protects from viruses in our energy field.  Marigold can increase the understanding of academic material.

  • Natural Insecticide

Crackerjack Marigolds make a wonderful garden companion flower with it’s insecticidal properties to reduce bugs that are not beneficial to garden plants.  A combination of scent and secretion that stays in the soil for a few months after they are no longer in the bed.


Marigolds shown:

  • Calendula
  • Crackerjack Marigold
  • French Marigold

Buy Canadian Calendula Seeds

Buy Canadian Crackerjack Marigold Seeds

Buy Canadian French Marigold

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Copyright 2014 – 2021  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000