Tagetes lucida

scientific name: 
Tagetes lucida Cav.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Annualherb, highly scented, glabrous, erect, 30-95 cm; very resinous when dried.  Leaves opposite, sessile, linear or oblong-lanceolate, 5-10 mm long, obtuse or acute at the apex, finely dentate.  Flowers yellow, in small terminal heads, 9-10 mm in diameter, involucre cylindrical, bracts usually 3 in number.  Achenes 6-7 mm long, striate.



stomach pain:

  leaf and flower, infusion, orally1

For stomach pain:

Add 1/2 liter (2 cups) of boiling water to 6 grams of leaves and flowers.  Cover pot, leave to settle for 5-10 minutes and filter.  Drink 1 cup 3 times a day after meals19.

Any medicinal preparation must be preserved cold and used within the 24 hours.

According to published and other information:

Use for stomach pain is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, scientific validation and available published scientific information.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should symptoms persist for more than 3 days, seek medical attention.

Not for use during pregnancy, lactation, or by children under 3 years old.

TRAMIL Research16

The infusion prepared with the leaf (1-5 g/kg) administered orally to rats caused neither evident signs of gastric toxicity nor digestive bleeding.

El extracto acuoso de hoja seca, administrado por vía oral (1-5 g/kg), a ratones (el original no dice cuantos), no mostró efecto tóxicos en la prueba de toxicidad aguda20. (will be translated in 3rd Ed.)

The LD50 of the extracts from the dried leaf and flower, prepared with solvents of different polarity and administered orally, was higher than 100 mg/kg of weight9.

The Tagetes genus may cause atopic contact dermatitis17.

It is popularly considered to be an abortifacient18.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in pregnant or lactating women.

The leaf and the flower contain essential oil : limonene (16.5%), ß-ocimene (14%), ß-caryophyllene (28%), myrcene (4-5%), tagetone, dihydrotagetone, tetrahydrotagetone, estragole, methyleugenol, linalool, allyl-anisole and anethole2-3.

The aerial parts contain flavonoids: patuletin 3-O-arabinosylgalactosyglucosides, quercetagenin and rhamnetin3.

The plant contains saponins; tannins; gallic acid; cyanogenic glycosides; coumarins : 7-coumarinyl dimethylallyl ether, 7-methoxycoumarin and 6,7,8-trimethoxycoumarin4; thiophene derivatives : 5-(3-buten-1-ynyl)-2,2-bithienyl5.

The fresh leaf (100 g) contains 73 mg of ascorbic acid.  The aerial parts of the dried plant contain cerylic alcohol, α-lactucerol (taraxasterin), ß-lactucerol, taraxol, fatty acids, phlobaphenes, 2.81% of tannins and saponins6.

The tea prepared with the plant is rich in iron, copper, zinc, calcium and magnesium6.

According to the proximate analysis, 100 g of seed contains protein: 18.8 g and fat: 9.4 g7.

TRAMIL Research8

The infusion prepared with the leaf and flower (1 g/kg) was inactive as an anti-inflammatory in the carrageenan-induced pedal edema test.

The dried extracts from the leaf and flower prepared with solvents of different polarity showed spasmolytic activity in vitro against acethylcholine-induced spasm9.

The hydroalcoholic extracts from the leaf and flower on rabbit jejunum in vitro (3.2 and 6.4 mg/mL) reduced the amplitude and frequency of serotonin-induced intestinal contractions10.

The infusion prepared with the leaf (500 mg/mL) was antispasmodic in vitro on rat ileum and in vivo at 20 g/kg9.

The ethanolic maceration of the leaf and dried flower (1:1) at 50 µL was active in vitro against Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneri, Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyogenes11.

The aqueous extract from the dried flower was active against enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteriditis, S. typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneri, S. pneumoniae and S. pyogenes11.

The hydroalcoholic maceration from the leaf and flower (1-2 mg/disk) inhibited the growth of Candida albicans, C. krusei, C. parapsilosis and C. stellatoidea12.

The aqueous extract from the leaf and flower showed nematicidal activity (proven against vegetal pathogens) which was dose- and time-dependent13-14.

Patuletin is claimed to have antispasmodic effects15.




1 GIRON L, 1988 Encuesta TRAMIL (Costa atlántica). Centro Mesoamericano de Tecnología CEMAT, Guatemala, Guatemala.

2 HETHELYI E, DINOS B, TETENYI P, 1986 Analysis of essential oils of someTagetes species. In progress in essential oil research. Berlin, RFA: GC/MS Walter de Gruyter, p131-137.

3 ABDALA LR, 1999 Flavonoids of the aerial parts from Tagetes lucida (Asteraceae). Biochem Syst Ecol 27(7):753-754.

4 GLASBY JS, 1991 Dictionary of plants containing secondary metabolites. London, England: Taylor & Francis.

5 RODRIGUEZ E, MABRY TJ, 1977 Tagetae chemical review. In Heywood VH, Harborne JB, Turner BL, Eds. The biology and chemistry of the Compositae, Vol. II, 785-797. New York: Academic Press.

6 LAFERRIERE JE, WEBER CW, KOHLHEPP EA, 1991 Mineral composition of some traditional Mexican teas. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 41(3):277-282.

7 DUKE JA, ATCHLEY AA, 1986 Handbook of proximate analysis tables of higher plants. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press, p156.

8 CACERES A, SARAVIA A, JAUREGUI E, AGUIRRE I, 1992 Actividad antiinflamatoria de plantas medicinales de uso popular en Guatemala (I). Informe TRAMIL. Cuadernos de la Dirección General de Investigación, Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala, Guatemala.

9 SALGUERO IE, 1989 Estudio farmacológico de Tagetes lucida (pericón) (Tesis Mag. Sc). Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad San Carlos, Guatemala, Guatemala.

10 CAMBAR P, COUSIN L, SANTOS A, ALGER J, MENDOZA M, 1984 Efectos de los extractos de algunas plantas medicinales de Honduras sobre la motilidad intestinalin vitro. Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Dirección de Investigación Científica. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras.

11 CACERES A, FLETES L, AGUILAR L, RAMIREZ O, FIGUEROA L, TARACENA AM, SAMAYOA B, 1993 Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. 3. Confirmation of activity against enterobacteria of 16 plants. J Ethnopharmacol 38(1):31-38.

12 MENDEZ A, 1991 Evaluación de la actividad anti-Candida albicans in vitro de diez plantas de uso medicinal en Guatemala (Tesis Mag. Sc). Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad San Carlos, Guatemala, Guatemala.

13 SIDDIQUI MA, ALAM MM, 1987 Control of phytonematodes by mix-culture of Tagetes lucida. Indian J Plant Pathol 5(1):73-78.

14 SIDDIQUI MA, ALAM MM, 1989 Toxicity of different plant parts of Tagetes lucida to plant parasitic nematodes. Indian J Nematol 18(2):181-185.

15 DUKE JA, 1992 Handbook of biologically active phytochemicals and their bioactivities. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press.

16 SARAVIA A, 1992 Estudios sobre plantas TRAMIL. Departamento de farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad San Carlos, Guatemala, Guatemala. TRAMIL VI, Basse Terre, Guadeloupe, UAG/enda-caribe.

17 CHAN GFQ, Lee MM, Glushka J, Towers GHN, 1979 Photosensitizing thiophenes in Porophyllum, Tessaria and Tagetes. Phytochemistry 18(9):1566.

18 MORTON J, 1981 Atlas of medicinal plants of Middle America: Bahamas to Yucatan. Springfield, USA: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

19 GIRON L, CACERES A, FREIRE V, ALONZO A, SALVADOR L, 1995 Folleto informativo sobre algunas plantas comúnmente utilizadas por la población Garífuna de Livingston, Guatemala, Guatemala, p41.

20 CACERES A, LOPEZ B, GONZALEZ S, BERGER I, TADA I, MAKI J, 1998 Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of protozoal infections. I. Screening of activity to bacteria, fungi and American trypanosomes of 13 native plants. J of Ethnopharmacology 62(3):195-202.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.