The petals of this flower are the tapestry of many offerings in Mexico, so popular during those dates, that we do not conceive those celebrations without cempasuchil. We see them every year, but have you ever wondered what is the origin of these flowers? Or why does it have such an intimate relationship with the Day of the Dead?
This flower has different names for each indigenous people in Mexico; as for example in Purépecha it is known as apátsicua, in Huasteca language it is called caxiyhuitz, in otomí jondri or cempoalxóchitl in Nahuatl. We can infer that the name that adapted to Spanish was Nahua and this means "twenty-petal flower."
A Multifaceted flower
According to Mexico's "National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, in Spanish)" ensures that cempasúchils (Mary Golds) is a flower native to Mexico and Central America. It blooms in the Mexican Bajío-region from September to December; and it is grown mainly for ornamental, medicinal or dyeing purposes, for dyeing.
The Mexica during the pre-Hispanic era, chose it to tupir altars and offerings dedicated to their dead. Tradition that is preserved to this day, but with current religious customs; It is also important as a ritual plant in Buddhist countries.
In the offerings, paths of petals are made, because it is said that together with the incense and copal, they serve to guide the dead back to the world of the living, to go to those who were their homes. This is what Mexicans know, and even if you saw it, in the animated Disney movie COCO, there is also a strong reference that the bridge between the world of the dead and the living is made of cempasuchil.
In the United States, this flower species are known as Mary Gold; and their main use are to make insecticides and certain medicines, which remind us of the use that the ancient Mexicans gave them as an integral part of their traditional medicine.
Since it is known that if an infusion is prepared with the buttons and stems, it is an infallible remedy against diarrhea, vomiting and indigestion.