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Marigold


Botanical Name Tagetes sp.
Common NameMarigold, Gendha (Hindi), Sendigai Poo / Tuluka Samandhi (Tamil), Sthula Pushpam (Sanskrit)

Distribution

Throughout India

Marigold garlands as offerings to Lord Shiva


Religious association

Marigold is one of the flowers commonly used in garlands and offerings to Hindu deities especially in the northern parts of India.

Among the Gonds - aboriginal tribes of Central India – a legend connects the origin of the Gendha with Gondmuli, their folk deity. It is believed that Gondmuli abducted the wife of another God and in a fierce battle, the other God emerged victorious after cutting off Gondmuli’s head. Gondmuli’s wife wept as she dragged back her husband’s body. She dropped her hairpin and a marigold sprouted, water by her tears, from the place the hairpin landed. The flower was known as ‘Gonda’ and eventually the name ‘Gendha’ evolved.

(Legend source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=32077)

Uses

The juice of the flower is used in traditional medicine to purify the blood and as a remedy in bleeding piles. The essential oil from the leaves has been reported to have anti-fungal / insecticidal properties. The flower extracts are sometimes added as a food colouring agent. The flowers are used to prepare fabric dyes and are also used during the festival of Holi.

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