Our Friends at Windfall Farms use Marigolds and other plants to help mitigate pests. This practice, known as companion planting, is common for generations of farmers. Marigolds are easy to grow and require frequent dead-heading to encourage continuing blooms between early summer and late fall. Windfall farmer Lisa has been drying their bounty of flowers, as well as giving me fresh blooms to distill.
Lisa often incorporates Marigolds (genus Tagetes) in her edible flower mix, and we discussed what they might be like in the fabulous confections she and husband Mike create: farm-to-gummies.
Plenty of scientists have tested various distillates to find the volatile components of Marigolds, and the predominate chemical component is consistently beta-caryophyllene (aka β-caryophyllene, and even less formally caryophyllene), which can help boost the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation—both inside and outside our bodies.
The aroma is a little citrus, a little spice, a little green. And the taste? Well, black pepper, cloves and oregano are all rich in caryophyllene…so similar to the aroma. Caryophyllene is the only terpene that also acts as a dietary cannabinoid, meaning, it activates our endocannabinoid system and binds to those receptors. Marigold power!