Epazote facts

Epazote is a leaf vegetable as well as herb which is cultivated for the pungent flavor. It performs well in the tropical and subtropical climates. It grows wild in America and Mexico. It is also known as pigweed or Mexican tea which helps to prevent the abdominal discomfort.

Name Epazote
Scientific Name Chenopodium ambrosioides
Native Native to South America, Central America and Southern Mexico. Today it has been cultivated and naturalized worldwide.
Common/English Name Mexican tea, Wormseed, Erva-de-santa maria, Chenopode, Apasote, Meksika cayi, Feuilles a vers, Semen contra, American wormseed, Pazote, Simon contegras, Paico, Herbe a vers, Mexican tea, Jesuit’s tea, Amush, Semin contra, Paico, Mastruco, Paiku, Amasamas, Cashua, Payco, Anserina, Jerusalem tea, Sie-sie, Wurmsamen, Mastruz, Camatai, Hierba hormiguera wormseed, Ambroisie du mexique, Mexican-tea, Spanish tea
Name in Other Languages French: The du Mexique
Dutch: Amerikaans wormsaad,
Spanish: Epazote, paico,
Chinese: Chou ching,
German: Mexikanisches Teekraut,
Croatian: Cjelolista loboda,
Czech: Merlík,
Danish: Vellugtende Gåsefod,
Dutch: Welriekende Ganzenvoet,
Estonian: Ürt-Hanemalts,
Finnish: Sitruunasavikka,
French: Ambroisie Du Mexique,
German: Jesuitentee,
Greek: Chenopodion to ambrosioides,
Herbrew: kaf-Avaz Reichanit
Hungarian: Mirhafű
Italian: Farinello aromatico,
Japanese: Amerika-Ritaso,
Korean: Epajote,
Malayalam: Katuayamodakam,
Norwegian: Sitronmelde,
Polish: Komosa Piżmowa,
Portuguese: Ereva-Mata-Pulga,
Russian: Mar Ambrozievidnaya,
Spanish: Alapasotes,
Vietnamese: Ca Dau Giun,
Hindi: Sugandha Vastuka
Plant Growth Habit Annual or perennial
Growing Climate Tropical, subtropical
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size Height: 1 m
Root Taproot
Stem Branched, terete-angular, hairless, reddish
Leaf Simple, alternate, oblong-lanceolate; Length: 2 – 12 cm; Width: 2.5-9 cm
Flowering Season July-August
Flower Small, green, elongated
Fruit color Green or brown
Flavor/aroma Strong
Fruit Taste Pungent, bitter
Seed Horizontal or vertical, lenticular-subglobose, black, brown or reddish brown, shiny
Fruit Season September
Major Nutritions (Raw) Manganese, Mn 0.025 mg (1.09%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 2 µg (0.50%)
Iron, Fe 0.02 mg (0.25%)
Magnesium, Mg 1 mg (0.24%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.003 mg (0.23%)
Copper, Cu 0.002 mg (0.22%)
Calcium, Ca 2 mg (0.20%)
Phosphorus, P 1 mg (0.14%)
Potassium, K 5 mg (0.11%)
Zinc, Zn 0.01 mg (0.09%)
Health Benefits
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Lose weight
  • Treatment of worms
  • Effective metabolism
  • Enhance immune system
  • Healthy bones
  • Heart ailments
Calories in 1 tbsp (0.8 g) 0 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • It is considered as a vermifuge in the Caribbean, Mexico and Guatemala.
  • Tea is used as an aid for stomach pains, haemorrhoids, detoxify the snakebites, poisons and clean the wounds.
  • Oil extracted from Epazote is useful for insect bites and athletes foot.
  • In Brazilian folk medicine, Epazote is used to cure digestive problems as well as respiratory disease.
  • It is considered as analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antipyretic and fungicide.
  • It is helpful for asthma, menstruation problems and nervous problems.
  • The first birth control pills was made with Epazote.
Precautions
  • Epazote is harmful in the case of heart disease, neurathenia, pregnancy and peptic ulcer.
  • The oil which is extracted from Epazote results in spasma, nervous system disorders, paralysis and even causes death.
  • The excessive use of Epazote could be toxic which may cause the symptoms such as headache, dizziness, skin irritation, vertigo problem and mouth or throat irritation.
  • The overuse can result in temporary hearing loss and renal damage.
How to Eat
  • Leaves are added as a condiment in tea or soups.
  • The leaves of Epazote is used as an herb, vegetable or herbal tea.
  • Traditionally it is used with black beans and Mexican dishes.
  • It could be used as a flavoring agent for soups, quesadillas, sopes, mole de olla, eggs, chilaquiles, enchiladas and potatoes.
  • It is used as an herb in fried rice and an ingredient for the green salsa for chilaquiles.
  • It is used in bean dishes and chili sauces.
  • The leaves are consumed raw.
  • The dried leaves are added as a seasoning stews and soups.
  • Young leaf and shoot are added as a vegetable in soups.
  • The herbal mixture prepared from Epazote is added to recipes such as chicken soup and traditional Yucatan lime.
Other Facts
  • It was used by the Aztecs thousands years back as medicines.
  • Mayans used to drank tea made from Epazote to inhibit intestinal worms’ growth.
  • The researchers have recently stated that Epazote possess an anti-cancerous and anti-tumor properties.
  • The study shows that it has the ability to kill of killing liver cancer cells.
  • In early 1900s, it was used to destroy worms before its toxic effect was detected.
  • Due to the toxic properties found in Epazote, the internal use of seeds and oil can cause death.