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Plant Information

Common Name: EPAZOTE
Scientific Name: Chenopodium ambrosioides
Alternative Names: Mexican Tea

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Chenopodium ambrosioides
Chenopodium ambrosioides


  • Annual
  • 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.

Culinary Uses

  • 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, savory or mint - 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 2 tbsp of chopped fresh leaves to 5 cups of cooked beans.
  • It is important to add in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Parts Used

  • 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.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • 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.

Other Uses

  • The crushed leaves are said to send ants scattering if placed in their path.
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.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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