EPAZOTE, MEXICAN TEA Scientific Name:
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- Native to Mexico - was common in the pre-Hispanic cooking of the Aztecs and Mayas.
- Upright annual with oval shaped, slightly toothed leaves that can grow up to 50cm.
- Bears tiny clusters of green balls (flowers) followed by green-brown fruits, each containing a single black seed.
- Needs full sun and will tolerate a variety of soils.
- Considered a perennial only in warmer climates – is best to grow in pots as it can be invasive.
- Epazote's fragrance is difficult to describe.
- Pungent flavor - raw, it has a resinous, medicinal pungency, a bit like the liquorice taste of anise, fennel or tarragon, but stronger.
- People would sometimes compare it with (in no particular order) citrus, petroleum, savory, mint or putty - is often compared to Cilantro.
- Use sparingly.
- Essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
- Combines well with other Mexican seasonings like oregano, cumin and chillies.
- Flavors a variety of dishes including soups, fish, eggs, salads and especially corn and all kinds of bean dishes.
- Add 2tbsp of chopped fresh leaves to 5 cups of cooked beans.
- It is important to add in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Medicinal Uses. It is said that:
- Harvest young leaves and store them in a paper or plastic bag.
- The leaves can be dried, but fresh are better.
- The older leaves have a stronger flavor.
- Anti-flatulent - help avoid the abdominal discomfort (gassiness) that sometimes occurs after eating beans.
- Cures an upset stomach.
- Claimed to have the ability to help in the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, malaria, hysteria, catarrh and asthma.
- The oil of chenopodium is derived from Epazote - it is antihelminthic and kills intestinal worms - was once listed for this use in the US Pharmacopoeia.
- The crushed leaves are said to send ants scattering if placed in their path.
New! We also have several herbal products available including tinctures and dried herbs!
|The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.|
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