Tagete erecta, also called Mexican marigold or Aztec marigold, is an annual plant native to Mexico. Marigold is characterized by a very special edible orange flower, used in salads but also as a food coloring. However, the marigold flower also becomes a precious remedy for health, because it contains within itself a treasure chest of sight-saving and skin-saving properties. But let's understand better based on scientific research.
Mexican marigold for the health of eyesight
The marigold flower protects the eye and the retina from age-related macular degeneration and the onset of cataracts (Moliner et al, Nutrients, 2018). In fact, this flower is particularly rich in lutein, a carotenoid with an antioxidant action. Once lutein is assimilated by the body through the diet, this substance enters the blood flow and reaches the target organs, such as the retina. In the central part of the retina, called the macula, in fact, lutein represents the main pigment, together with another antioxidant, zeaxanthin, which acts as a light filter thus reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts and supporting visual function (Koushan et al, Nutrients, 2013). Lutein, in fact, absorbs blue light, which is the most harmful to the retina. It is estimated that blue light requires an intensity of 100 times lower than orange light to induce the same damage to the eye. Not only that, lutein also has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, and this seems to indicate its protective role against uveitis, which is inflammation of the uvea, an area between the cornea and the sclera, and which, if not treated, can cause even permanent changes in vision (Koushan et al, Nutrients, 2013).
Marigold for the skin
Given the presence of powerful antioxidant substances, the flower of the marigold also protects the skin from aging processes and damage from UV rays. In fact, marigold extracts have been shown to counteract the action of free radicals and stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, making the skin elastic and regenerated (Kang et al, Toxicol Res, 2018). Extracts of marigold are able to brighten the complexion and reduce wrinkles (Vallisuta et al, Exp Ther Med, 2014).
Marigold, inflammation and cellular degeneration
Thanks to its exceptional richness in lutein, the marigold flower protects against arteriosclerosis and reduces the risk of cellular degeneration (Zhang et al, Sci Rep, 2020). But the marigold, carrying out a profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, has also been shown to reduce the severity of ulcerative colitis, attenuating the release of pro-inflammatory substances (Meurer et al, Nutr Res, 2019).
Marigold, how to take it
Marigold is taken in the form of an extract and is included in the formulation of various supplements designed for the well-being of eyesight and skin. Often, marigold is associated with other ingredients such as blueberry in these supplements. As for the dosage, follow the directions on the package.