Extracts, essences, and active ingredients from plants are commonly used in the chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It is no secret that the plant world has been used throughout history as a medicine.
In the case of the plant in question, it was mainly used for digestive problems and is nowadays used as a dye for fabrics, as an insecticide and still as a medicine. Even in poultry farming it is used to make the yolk of eggs more colorful. But the cempasúchil flower takes on a special prominence on the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
Its complicated name comes from the Nahuatl "cempohualxochitl", which means "twenty flowers" or "several flowers" or even "twenty petals" depending on the version. The secret of its success lies in the fact that the yellow colour of the flower, whose stem is up to one meter long, was originally identified with the sun. From then on, it was used in offerings to the dead.
What really marks the tradition is that the cempasúchil flower is used to make paths that will guide the souls from the main road to the altar of the house that is prepared for the occasion on the Day of the Dead in order to help the deceased to reach one of the four paradises.
The flower is not only spectacular in its coloring, but its essential oils give it a very intense and characteristic aroma. A scent that mingles with that of the various traditional Mexican dishes that are also prepared during this festivity. At this time of year, all Mexicans smell of cempasúchil.