Cosmos sulphureus or Cosmos bipinnatus is what we know as Cosmos. They are from the Asteraceae or Compositae family (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family).
Cosmos have a long traditional use in Brazil and Mexico for treatment of Malaria.
I really like using this flower in an infused oil as a topical ointment. This plant contains butein which has reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It also contains dimethoxychalcone, the flavonoid. The plant contains quercetine, which is useful for many health issues, like fibromyalgia, eczema and antiviral properties.
I like using this on sore muscles and skin issues.
This plant is not used often in Western Herbal Medicine and their are not many resources or information readily available on the plant. Most resources you will find reference the dye capabilities, Cosmos have been a major sources of yellow to orange dyes among the precolumbian civilizations of Central and South America.
These are also really popular as cut flowers.
In the language of flowers it is the symbol of innocence.
The young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked.
Other species of the genus contain antioxidant properties and Cosmos contain triterpenes which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.