The sharp smell of vibrant marigold may not be as alluring as the fragrance of other flowers. In fact, it is quite unpleasant. Commonly used in garlands and to adorn the house during religious festivals and rituals in India, marigold flower has spiritual significance. It also has several health benefits and medicinal values.

As vibrant as it is marigold flower symbolises deep emotions, passion and creativity. Garlands of marigold flowers and its petals are used in cooking, as prayer offering to deities, in rituals and to decorate the house. Apart from its many uses, this plant of the daisy family has several health benefits. The flowers, leaves and even the sap of the stem have medicinal purpose for several ailments.

While marigold comes in different colours and varieties, the dark red ones are said to be more effective medicinally.

Health benefits of marigold

The leaves of dark red royal marigold are effective for treatment of skin irritation and allergy. Warm the leaves, roll them between your palms and rub the moist roll on to the infected skin area.

The juice of the flowers also cure inflammation of the skin and other parts of the body.

The extract of the flower and leaves can be used as sunscreen. Oral application on affected skin It cures sunburn and clears the skin.

The leaves extract also treat boils, cuts and other damage on the skin.

Its strong pungent odour keeps insects and pest away, which is why they are commonly used in houses to ward off evil as believed.

Marigold grows in plenty in the country. Farmers harvest them for commercial purpose. If they are hard to find, you can plant your own. They are easy to grow and require little care.

How to grow marigold

Choose a sunny spot. If you have no ground space, you can use a pot. Marigold plant grow well in sunny places and is an all-weather flowering plant. It is also called the “herb of the sun”.

Till the soil well. It requires no manure. It grows well in any soil condition and climate.

Sprinkle the seeds from the dried flowers on to the soil. Water it occasionally and watch it grow.

Although it needs no pruning, you can prune the plant when the stems are soft and the plant small.

Once you have it growing, it will bloom well.