Tagetes Essential Oil (Tagetes minuta)


Tagetes may also be referred to as Angola, Huacatay, Wacatay, chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, anisillo, muster John Henry, southern marigold, khakibos, stinking roger, wild marigold, and black mint. It is typically processed using steam or hydro distillation as a method for extracting oil from the flowering plant/herb.


Tagetes oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the Tagetes minuta (Mexican marigold) plant. It has antiseptic and anti-infectious effects.

Aromatically, Tagetes Essential Oil possesses a fresh, sweet, floral, slightly fruity aroma. I find that it blends well with essential oils in the citrus, floral and wood families.

Tagetes Essential Oil is extremely phototoxic. As Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young indicate (see the Safety section below), it must be used at under 0.01% in topical formulations to eliminate the risk of phototoxicity.

Tagetes is a variety of marigold. It should not be confused with the marigold that gives us Calendula and healing Calendula infused carrier oils. Both have very different properties and very different applications.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Bittersweet Fresh Fruity Green Herbaceous Slightly citrus Slightly floral Soft Sweet

  • Common Name(s): Angola, Huacatay, Wacatay, chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, anisillo, muster John Henry, southern marigold, khakibos, stinking roger, wild marigold, and black mint
  • Synonyms(s) for Tagetes minuta: Marigold, Tagetes bonariensis, Tagetes glandulifera, Tagetes glandulosa, Tagetes montana, Tagetes porophyllum, Tagetes tinctoria

  • Botanical Family: Asteraceae
  • Botanical Genus: Tagetes
  • Chemical Family: Ketones, Monoterpenes
  • Major Compounds: (Z)-B-Ocimene, Dihydrotagetone, (Z)-Tagetone, (Z)-Tagetenone, (E)-Tagetenone
  • Perfumery Note: Top
  • Consistency: Thin - Medium
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
  • Color: Gold
  • Indigenous Country: South Africa
  • Cultivation: Unsprayed
  • Processing Methods: Steam or Hydro Distillation
  • Part Typically Used: Flowering plant/herb
  • Shelf Life: 4-5 years
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Benefits & Uses

May be benefitial for addressing the following ailments:

Athlete's Foot Parasitic Skin Infections

Therapeutic Benefits of Tagetes:

Anti-anxiety Anti-fungal Anti-parasitic

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Tagetes:

Tagetes oil may irritate sensitive skin.

Tagetes Oil isphototoxic. Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 0.01% to avoid risk of phototoxic reaction. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 435-436.]

Safety Precautions for Tagetes:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Traditional Folklore

Traditional Folklore of Tagetes:

Botany Tagetes is an annual herb that grows to about 30 cm in height. It has bright orange daisylike flowers and soft green oval pinnate leaves. Often referred to as (Mexican) Marigold, and wrongly referred to as Calendula.  This species is considered a noxious, invasive plant in some areas. It is known by other names: Khaki Bush & Mexican Marie Gold.  Traditional Folklore & Uses  The flowers have traditionally been decocted and used for whooping cough, colic, mumps, sore eyes, colds, and mastitis. Often used for flavoring tobacco. It is also used in chicken feed, to to give the egg yolks a brighter yellow hue and enhance the color of the chicken skin.

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities of Tagetes:

Its sedative qualities soothe the neurotic & nervous systems, beneficial for anxiety, stress, depression, anger, panic and other psychological imbalances.


Tagetes Articles or Publications: