Dysphania ambrosioides

Dysphania ambrosioides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Genus: Dysphania
Species: D. ambrosioides
Binomial name
Dysphania ambrosioides
(L.) Mosyakin & Clemants

Chenopodium ambrosioides

Epazote, wormseed, Jesuit's tea, Mexican tea, Paico or Herba Sancti Mariæ (Dysphania ambrosioides, formerly Chenopodium ambrosioides) is an herb native to Central America, South America, and southern Mexico.



It is an annual or short-lived perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m tall, irregularly branched, with oblong-lanceolate leaves up to 12 cm long. The flowers are small and green, produced in a branched panicle at the apex of the stem.

As well as in its native areas, it is grown in warm temperate to subtropical areas of Europe and the United States (Missouri, New England, Eastern United States),[1] sometimes becoming an invasive weed.


The common Spanish name, epazote (sometimes spelled and pronounced ipasote or ypasote), is derived from Nahuatl: epazōtl (pronounced [eˈpasoːtɬ]).


Culinary uses

Epazote is used as a leaf vegetable and herb for its pungent flavor. Raw, it has a resinous, medicinal pungency, similar to anise, fennel, or even tarragon, but stronger. Epazote's fragrance is strong but difficult to describe. It has been compared to citrus, petroleum, turpentine, savory, mint and camphor.

Although it is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its carminative properties, it is also sometimes used to flavor other traditional Mexican dishes as well: it can be used to season quesadillas and sopes (especially those containing huitlacoche), soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese and chile, chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes and enchiladas.

Medicinal uses

Epazote is commonly believed to prevent flatulence caused by eating beans and is therefore used to season them. It is also used in the treatment of amenorrhea,[2] dysmenorrhea, malaria, chorea, hysteria, catarrh, and asthma.[3]

Oil of chenopodium is derived from this plant. It is antihelminthic, that is, it kills intestinal worms, and was once listed for this use in the US Pharmacopeia. It is also cited as an antispasmodic and abortifacient.

Epazote essential oil contains ascaridole (up to 70%), limonene, p-cymene, and smaller amounts of numerous other monoterpenes and monoterpene derivatives (α-pinene, myrcene, terpinene, thymol, camphor and trans-isocarveol). Ascaridole (1,4-peroxido-p-menth-2-ene) is rather an uncommon constituent of spices; another plant owing much of its character to this monoterpene peroxide is boldo. Ascaridole is toxic and has a pungent, not very pleasant flavor; in pure form, it is an explosive sensitive to shock. Allegedly, ascaridole content is lower in epazote from Mexico than in epazote grown in Europe or Asia.

Agricultural use

An extract of epazote is the active ingredient of the pesticide Requiem. [4]


  1. ^ A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve, FRHS. pg. 854.
  2. ^ The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Ph.D. pgs. 51-53.
  3. ^ Ibid. M. Grieve. pgs. 855-856.
  4. ^ About REQUIEM Insecticide http://www.requieminsecticide.com/about.html

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dysphania ambrosioides — Wohlriechender Gänsefuß Epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides) Systematik Klasse: Dreifurchenpollen Zweikeimblättrige (Roso …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dysphania ambrosioides — Épazote Dysphania ambrosioides …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dysphania ambrosioides — Dysphania ambrosioides …   Википедия

  • Dysphania ambrosioides — vaistinė kirmžolė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Balandinių šeimos vaistinis augalas (Dysphania ambrosioides), paplitęs Šiaurės ir Pietų Amerikoje. Iš jo gaunamas eterinis aliejus, naudojamas maisto papildams. atitikmenys: lot. Dysphania… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Dysphania — Dysphania …   Википедия

  • Dysphania — Dysphania …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dysphania — Dysphania …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chenopodium ambrosioides — Wohlriechender Gänsefuß Epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides) Systematik Klasse: Dreifurchenpollen Zweikeimblättrige (Roso …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chenopodium ambrosioides — Épazote Dysphania ambrosioides …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chenopodium ambrosioides —   Epazote Chenopodium ambrosioides …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.