Epazote Plant: Discover Epazote In English (Plus Benefits)

The word “Epazote” is originally from the Nahuatl language, which is a Uto-Aztecan language mainly spoken in central Mexico. 

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word Epazote name means “wormseed” in English.

Other English names for the Epazote plant are: Mexican tea, Wormseed, Semi contra, Jerusalem Oak, Goosefoot, or Jesuit’s tea. Epazote is also commonly referred to as Mexico’s mystery herb.

Epazote plant
Epazote Plant

But that’s not all. Epazote plant is popular in both traditional medicine and cooking. Traditional healers have used it as treatment for several ailments for many years.

Today a number of experts confirm many potential Epazote plant benefits.

Epazote Benefits

The Epazote plant is a nutrient rich herb. As a result, it offers several health benefits. Let’s explore seven Epazote benefits.

  • Digestive Aid: Epazote has been shown to help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating and gas.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: Epazote contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Antimicrobial Effects: Epazote has been found to possess antimicrobial properties, which may help fight against certain bacteria and fungi.
  • Detoxification Support: Epazote is believed to aid in detoxification by promoting the elimination of toxins from the body.
  • Respiratory Health: Epazote has traditionally been used to relieve respiratory conditions like asthma and cough.
  • Nutritional Value: Epazote is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
  • Culinary Uses: Epazote is commonly used as a culinary herb in Mexican cuisine, adding a unique flavor to dishes like beans and soups.

Epazote Leaves Nutrition

There are a number of nututional benefits to gain from consuming Epazote leaves. Here are some nutitional value you get from one hundred grams of Raw Epazote leaves.

Fiber3.8 grams
Magnesium121 mg
Calcium276 mg
Potassium633 mg
Vitamin C3.6 mg

What Is Epazote Plant?

Epazote plant is native to Mexican. However, the plant has been naturalized in South and Central America, the southern regions of the United States, and the Caribbean. 

Epazote was originally classified as a member of the Chenopodium ambrosioides species. However, it was later reclassified as its own species Dysphania anthelmintica.  

Epazote can be found growing in waste lands, sand dunes, river banks, and along roadways in its native environments.

The Epazote plant can grow to an average of three feet. The plant thrives in sunny spots and in warmer temperatures.

The stalks are hollow and the leaves are long, slender and dark green. Epazote plant blooms small green flowers and produces thousands of tiny seeds.

tumbler with Jamaican flag

Epazote Uses

So how do you use Epazote? Both fresh and dried Epazote leaves are used in Mexican cuisine.

It has a unique flavor that reminiscent of citrus and mint. This adds a delightful twist to Mexican and Latin American dishes.

Epazote is commonly used in bean dishes like refried beans and black bean soup, epazote helps reduce gas and aids in digestion.

Fresh leaves are used to flaver dishes such as soups and stews, quesadillas and other recipes made with beans.

Simply add a few sprigs of epazote during cooking to enhance your dishes with the herbs’ distinct flavor. But don’t forget to remove the stems before serving!

Epazote Tea

Epazote leaves are also used to make an herbal tea.

Epazote tea is mainly or treating colic, diarrhea, stomach pains, decrease gas and coughs.

In Jamaica the tea is used a for expelling worms. It used to be that children were routinely given Epazote tea.

However, this practice is not as popular as it once was.

Epazote Side Effects

Wormseed contains 60 to 80 percent of the chemical compound Ascaridole. This chemical is toxic. That’s what gives the plant the ability to expel intestinal parasites.

However, that toxicity can severely affect humans. Therefore, it is advisable to only use a small amount of this herb. And a good practice is to use it for cookingin order to reduce some of the toxicity.

You should seek medical attetion immediately if you experience nausea, headaches, hallucinations or convulsion after ingesting products containing Epazote.

As a precaution, persons who suffer from gout, kidney stones. and arthritis should avoid excess use of Epazote. The reason is there have been reports of harmful effects from people in these groups who consumed the herb. 

Epazote Tea and Pregnancy

This tea has been known to cause uterine contractions which can result in premature delivery or abortions.

Therefore women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant are advised not to use the Epazote herb.

Where to Buy Epazote

If you live in an area where there are speciality markets, you may be able to purchase bunches of fresh Epazote leaves. You may also be able to find Epazote seeds or live Epazote plants for sale.

Otherwise you can buy dried Epazote leaves, seeds. or powder from several online marketplaces. These include Esty.Com and Amazon.

Epazote tea may be marketed as Semi contra tea online.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated on the site should be viewed as medical advice. Please consult with a professional healthcare provider for about matter relating to your medical care.

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