Tagetes patula, “French marigold” in English and “Oeillet d’Inde” in French, belongs to the Asteraceae botanical family.
It is a herb, growing to 0.5m, native to pine-oak forest zones of southern North America and Mexico, now widely cultivated as an ornemental.
Its essential oil is used in perfumery and its golden yellow flower petals are a colorant.
The whole herb is aromatic, digestive, diuretic and sedative. It is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation, cough and dysentery
Its flower-heads’ essential oil main components are β-caryophyllene. Leaves contain terpinolene in high concentration. Roots contain 5-(3-buten-1-ynyl)-2,2'-bithienyl (BBT). Other constituents are thiophene fractions containing BBT, 5-(4-acetoxy-1-butynyl)-2,2'-bithienyl (BBTOAc) and 5-(4-hydroxy-1-butynyl)-2,2'-bithienyl (BBTOH). Flowers are rich in carotenoids (lutein) and 6-hydroxylated flavonoids like patuletin derivatives.