Mexican Mint Marigold – A Golden Garden Gem

As I was pulling onions today with my good friend Bonnie, a native of Mexico, she noticed a sweet yellow flower hidden in my squash beds.  I had grown this little gem from seed with no real knowledge of its benefits or use, but for Bonnie this plant quickly sent her back 20 years as she went to reminiscing and telling stories of when her family would walk miles in search of this herb along the river banks to carefully harvest its tender leaves and bright golden flowers. In her home this plant was used make a medicinal tea that would help with her father’s high blood pressure and ease the pain in her mother’s joints from arthritis. IMG_4999

After a long day in the garden harvesting onions and canning green beans, we sat down to a cup of this delectable tea in hopes it would relieve our tired knees and strained backs. I must say I was skeptical, but it did the trick! 

A Little Historydownload (2)

The Aztecs allegedly used Tagetes lucida as one of the ingredients in a medicinal powder which was blown into the faces of those about to become the victims of human sacrifice and which may have have had  anxiolytic properties.The plant was linked to the rain god Tlaloc. The plant is also used by the Huichol, mixed with Nicotiana rustica (a potent wild tobacco), for its claimed psychotropic and entheogenic effects. Aztecs often used this herb for gout, swellings, digestive problems and many other ailments.

Plant Description

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Tagetes lucida grows 18-30 inches (46–76 cm) tall. Depending on land race, the plant may be fairly upright, while other forms appear bushy with many unbranching stems. The leaves are linear to oblong, about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, and shiny medium green, not blue-green as in French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa). In late summer it bears clusters of small golden yellow flower heads on the ends of the stems. The flower heads are about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) across and have 3-5 golden-yellow ray florets. The flowers are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects.

Known by Many Names

Sweet Scented marigold,  Santa Maria, Mexican marigold, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Spanish tarragon, sweet mace, Texas tarragon, pericón,yerbaniz, and hierbanís.

A Versatile Plant IMG_4998

Agetes Lucida, otherwise known as Mexican Mint Marigold,  is native to Mexico and Guatemala. It is a very fragrant plant that is known for its healing powers and is primarily used for its medicinal properties such as  overcoming nausea, diarrhea, colic, malaria, indigestion and fever related illnesses. It may also be used as a diuretic. It depresses the central nervous system and can a common sedative.   Extracts from the plant have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties as well as antioxidant ones. Used  warm as a tea and applied to skin it can cleanse and cure acne and relieve a scorpion bites when applied  topically.

Mexican Marigold enjoys bright, well drained areas and has a sweet anise taste.  

This versatile plant  has many uses such as flavoring green and fruit salads, fish, sauces, poultry, vegetables, peppers, squash, stuffing and can also be used to make delicious vinaigrette or desserts.  It closely resembles French Tarragon and makes a  flavorful and healing tea.   In addition, once dried, it can be used as an insect repellent when burned or incense for the home.

For Tea

Known to aide with illnesses such as diarrhea, colic, indigestion, and pain in joints as well as help with high blood pressure

Pluck tender leaves with or without stems .

Bring purified water to a boil, turn off heat and place in pot

Cover and steep 15 minutes, add honey if desired to sweeten

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Honey is always a great sweetener, however, this tea is great as is.

 

 

 

For Acne

Make above tea (minus honey)

Let it cool a bit until warm enough to withstand

Place  clean cloth in tea brew and let warm tea soak cloth

Place cloth on face and let sit 10-15 minutes

Do not rinse

 Mexican Mint Marigold Pesto Recipe2476411

Blend in a food processor:

2/3 to 1 cup olive oil, any type

2 c. Mexican Mint Marigold leaves

1 c. Sweet Oregano or Chervil leaves

1/2 c. walnuts or blanched almonds

4 oz. Feta cheese

4 oz. sour cream

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Process on high for a few minutes, scrape down

the sides and then process a few minutes more.

Can be frozen for use later, just thaw in fridge.

 

Keep it real and keep it local y’all!

The Texas Chick

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