The Epazote plant was used by the ancient Mayan civilisation and the Aztecs to cure a host of bodily ailments. It is found in Mexico, South America and Central America and grows mostly in tropical and sub tropical zones. The herb epazote is also known as wormseed, pigweed, Mexican Tea, or Jesuit’s tea. The scientific name for this herb is Dysphania Ambrosioides. It was previously named Chenopodium Ambrosioides. This herb grows to a height of 3.9 ft or 1.2 mts. It has rectangular shaped leaves, which are 12 cm long and asymmetrical in shape. The flowers of these plants grow in clusters and are green in colour. The stems and leaves of epazote contain healing properties. The leaves have a strong flavour and are edible. This herb can be used for culinary, medicinal, and agricultural needs.
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The epazote has a typical flavour, which is almost synonymous with Mexican cuisine as it is used to flavour a wide range of dishes, from soups and salads to enchiladas and quesadillas. The leaves that are more mature will have a stronger flavour and needs to be used in moderation. The young leaves have a less pungent aroma and tend to have a richer smell.
Epazote is readily available in most Latin markets and Hispanic grocery stores. There are even some online stores that stock up on dried epazote leaves. This is a useful option for those living in an area where the fresh leaves are not easily available.
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The Epazote herb has a gasoline like smell and a pungent flavour. Mexican cuisine has been using this plant for some time now. The Aztecs have been using this for centuries too, especially to treat eating disorders and other illnesses. But this herb can be toxic if taken in large quantities.
- When consumed in moderation though, this plant can provide a number of benefits. It helps to relieve abdominal discomfort, abdominal distension, pain, flatulence and cramps. It also enhances the digestive processes of the body.
- The Epazote herb has been used for the treatment of various disorders. It helps prevent respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, catarrh, etc.
- It helps to clear the chest and improves breathing. It relieves chest congestion and gets rid of the mucus from the chest.
- For menstrual cramps, this herb helps relieve blood clots and ensure a normal period flow.
- This exotic herb also helps to cure malaria and supports the person to recover faster. It is also a cure for chorea.
- The oil derived from the plant is known as Chenopodium. This oil has been widely used to cure gastric problems and other abdominal discomfort.
- This herb also helps to combat osteoporosis and anaemia.
- The epazote leaf contains Vitamin B9, which helps with healthy nerve function, reduces insomnia, helps cure gingivitis, improves memory, prevents Alzheimer’s, reduces birth defects and helps cure depression.
- The manganese content of this plant helps regulate blood sugar levels, helps alleviate nausea, dizziness, hearing loss, and skin rashes. It promotes strong and healthy bones, and healthy hormonal circulation.
The herb is also known as wormseed. This is because it prevents the growth of worms in animals and is therefore put in animal feed.
Epazote: Nutritional Value:
|Source:USDA National Nutrient data base|
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.52 g||2%|
|Ditary fiber||3.8 g||10%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.179 mg||3.5%|
|Vitamin A||57 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||3.6 mg||6%|
One ounce of epazote, or 28 grams of epazote contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Thiamin, Vitamin B2, Riboflavin, Vitamin B3, Niacin, Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid,Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine, Vitamin B9, Folate, Folic Acid ,Vitamin C, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese (Good Amount), Selenium, Natural Fats, Carbohydrates, Calories and Dietary Fiber.
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