Epazote, an organic superfood that has been used since antiquity in Central America for its medicinal and culinary properties. It’s a powerhouse of intrinsic plant nutrients that can provide overall wellness and health.
This annual herb is a member of a large family of herbs known as amaranthaceae and its relatives includes spinach, amaranth, bets and quinoa. The scientific name of epazote is chenopodium ambrosioides and is known under many names like skunkweed, wormseed, pigweed and Mexican tea. It’s an invasive weed that grows in the field as well as in roadside. It has a small, pointed and serrated leaves and bears tiny green flowers in clusters and develops tiny black seeds.
This organic superfood is said to have originated in Southern Mexico and has been a central part of their cuisine. The mature leaves has strong minty flavor and are oftentimes used in making herbal infusion and later on used in recipes. This makes them ideal for seasoning. The young tender leaves are milder in flavor and commonly used in soups.
So what health benefits can you get from this Mexican weed?
Numerous. To start off, it is jam packed with important nutrients needed by your body. This includes a healthy amount of vitamin A, C and B complex, minerals like copper, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium and Zinc. An organic superfood loaded with proteins and dietary fibers and low in calories.
The leave of epazote stores a rich amount of ascaridole, a monoterpene compound that can kill intestinal worms like pineworms, roundworm and hookworm. Native Mayans are known to drink epazote infusion in treating worm infestation. It also houses flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidant like beta-carotene, that works well together with vitamin A that effectively scavenge oxygen derived free radicals which are the primary cause of various diseases and premature aging.
Other medicinal uses of this rich tasting organic superfood is to prevent anemia, treat respiratory problem like asthma, control flatulence, and treating amenorrhea. It can also treat indigestion, stomach ulcers and cramps.
Side effects and special warnings:
Pregnant and nursing mothers are to avoid using this herb either as a medication or as food to be safe. Symptoms of over eating are mouth, throat and skin irritation, vomiting, headache and kidney damage.
Extracted oil from epazote contains a very toxic chemical called ascaridole that when used without proper supervision can lead to paralysis and death.
The best way in getting the full benefit of this amazing organic superfood is by taking it in moderation. Because it’s so flavorful, just a sprig or two is more than enough to release its wonderful taste in your recipe.
Eat more organic superfood for a healthy lifestyle.
The article written here is for educational purpose only and is not meant to provide any medical advice. If you have an illness or medical condition, it would be best to consult first with your health care provider or family physician before undertaking any course of treatment.
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