Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta) is an annual flowering plant that is native to Mexico and Central America. It produces showy, large flower heads in various shades of yellow, orange, and white. The foliage and flowers are aromatic when brushed or crushed.
T. erecta has been used in a number of traditional medicinal applications and cultures. The whole plant has been used to treat bronchitis, rheumatic pain, cold and respiratory diseases, and as a stimulant and muscle relaxer. The flowers have been used to treat fevers, epileptic fits, scabies, liver complaints and eye diseases, and have been demonstrated their astringent, carminative and stomachic effects.
Nutrition: T. erecta is rich in yellow xanthophylls, mainly lutein and zeaxanthin. It contains a total carotenoid count of 4200 mg/kg.
Egg Quality: Feeding up to 3 g of dried T. erecta flower petals to the diet of laying hens provides an enriched source of carotenoid pigments; resulting in improved egg yolk color, nutrients, and feed variety in their diet. In a separate study, the addition of 10 to 20 g/kg of T. erecta added to the diet of laying hens helped to increase total saturated fatty acids (SFA) and decreased monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in the egg yolks.
Insect-repellent: T. erecta put off a distinctive smell which mosquitoes don't like. Positioning a potted T. erecta near coop entrances or surrounding the outdoor enclosure is helpful in keeping away mosquitoes.