Parts used: leaf, whole plants, seeds

Main actions:

* Expels worms
* Kills parasites
* Kills the amoebas
* slightly laxative
* Kills bacteria
* Prevents ulcers
* Insect repellent

Other actions:
* Increases the transpiration
* Increases the dieresis
* Increases the flow of milk
* Promotes menstruation
* Stimulates digestion
* Calms nerves
* Slightly sedative
* Heals wounds
* Fights cancer cells

Epazote is a herb native annual of Mexico and tropical regions of Central and South America where it is commonly used as a spice and as a medicinal plant. The name of the plant is a remedy against worms.

Epazote is rich in elements called phyto monoterpene. The seeds and fruits contain a large number of essential oil which contains a main active phyto-chemical called ascaridolo. This element was isolated in 1895 by a German chemist who lived in Brazil and was identified as the major responsible for the vermifuge the plant. Were also documented sedative properties, anti-pain and anti-fungal of ascaridolo. Applications of the skin have proven effective to treat tapeworm within 7-12 days. In other clinical studies in vitro, has been documented of acsaridolo action against a tropical parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, as well as anti-malarial and insecticidal.

A decoction and an infusion of the plant were tested in vitro to determine any toxic effects. At various concentrations, the extracts caused cellular aberrations, indicating the possible toxic effects. However, in the’70s the World Health Organization has reported that 20g of leaves prepared in a decoction was able to quickly expel parasites without any apparent side effect in humans. In 1996, were given extracts of the leaves of epazote to 72 adults and children suffering from intestinal infection by parasites. On average there was an effective anti-parasitic activity in 56% of cases. Compared to the parasites, the leaf extract has proven 100% effective against most common intestinal parasites, Anchilostoma and Trichuris, and 50% against Ascaris.

In a 2001 study, 30 children (aged between 3 and 14 years) suffering from Ascaride were treated with epazote. The doses were administered 1 ml of extract per kg bodyweight for kids (who weighed less than 12 kg) and 2 ml of extract per kg bodyweight in older children. One dose was administered daily for three days on an empty stomach. Examination of feces was performed before and 15 days after treatment. In86, 7% of cases of Ascaris eggs have disappeared, while the total number of parasites decreased by 59.5%. In addition, the study reported that epazote is 100% effective in removing the common human tapeworm (Hymenolepsis nana).

In another research, epazote showed toxic effects against Schistosoma and against drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis Mycobacterim. In 2002, he was presented a U.S. patent for a combination of Chinese herbs containing epazote and used for peptic ulcers.

The latest research has documented the anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor of epazote.

Because of the toxicity of the essential oil (usually distilled from grain), oil of this plant is no longer recommended for internal use. In herbal medicine systems, it prefers the use of the leaves (which contain smaller quantities of essential oil) as a remedy for intestinal parasites.

In herbal medicine systems throughout Latin America, epazote is a common home remedy used for both children and adults suffering from intestinal parasites, worms and amoebae. The plant is also used in cooking: it is said that to prevent intestinal gas when the leaves are cooked and / or eaten together with beans and other foods that cause the formation of intestinal gas.

Here are a brief summary of the uses etnomedici of epazote:

for digestive problems, excessive alcohol, intestinal gas, intestinal parasites and as a sedative
Brazil: abortion, angina, bacterial infections, bronchitis, bruises, circulatory problems, colds, cough, bruises, sloth digestive, dyspepsia, flu, fractures, gastric disorders, hemorrhoids, bleeding, increased perspiration, insomnia, intestinal gas, intestinal parasites , laryngitis, menstrual disorders, palpitations, sinusitis, skin parasites, skin inflammation, skin ulcers, spasms, inflammation of the throat, tuberculosis, worms, wounds, such as insect repellent and sedative.

Ecuador: for indigestion, intestinal gas, intestinal worms, slow digestion
Haiti, for parasites, skin irritations, stomach pain, worms, and as an antiseptic

Mexico: for colic, increased perspiration, menstrual disorders, nerves, parasites, toothache, tumors, fluid retention, worms.

Panama: for asthma, dysentery, worms

Peru: for abscesses, arthritis, birth control, cleaning the blood, cholera, colic, contusion, cough, cramps, diabetes, diarrhea, digestive problems, dysentery, edema, excess mucus, fractures, gastritis, gout, hemorrhoids, hysteria, increased perspiration, intestinal gas, support the liver, lung problems, memory, menstrual disorders, nervousness, stunning, pain, paralysis, parasites, pleurisy, rheumatism, skin disorders, spasms, stomach pain, cancer, inflammation of the urinary tract, vaginal discharge, vomiting, fluid retention, worms, wounds, such as antacid, antiseptic, insect repellent and sedative
Trinidad: amoebae infections, asthma, childbirth, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fatigue, fungal infections, lung problems, irritations, worms

Turkey: for asthma, digestive problems, menstrual problems, nervous disorders, worms.

United States: by birth, increase the flow of milk, menstrual disorders, nerve pain, parasites, worms

Venezuela: to help digestion, worms

Elsewhere: abortion, amoebae infections, anemia, appendicitis, arthritis, asthma, respiratory problems, insect bites, childbirth, cholera, colds, colic, conjunctivitis, cough, cramps, dyspepsia, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, fungal infections, anchilostoma, increase the perspiration, intestinal parasites, intestinal gas, intestinal ulcers, lactation aid, malaria, measles, menstrual irregularities, nervousness, neurosis, pain, palpitations, paralysis, rheumatism, roundworms, snake bites, stomach problems, spasms, tonic, cancer , water retention, worms, as an antiseptic, insecticide and sedative

Primary method of preparation: infusion or capsules
Key actions (in order):antiparasitic, vermifuge (expels worms), insecticide, stimulant digestive epatoprotettivo (liver protector)

Main uses:
1. for intestinal worms and parasites
2nd for skin parasites, lice and ringworm
3rd to tone, balance and strengthen the liver (and liver and parasites distomi)
4th to tone, balance and strengthen the stomach and intestines (and for gastric reflux, intestinal gas, cramps, chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, etc.).
5th for cough, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems

Properties / actions documented by research:
amebicida, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-malarial, anti-parasitic, anti-tumor ascaricida (kills Ascaris), insecticide, molluscicide (kills molluscs), vermifuge (expels worms)

Other properties / actions documented by traditional
analgesic (anti-pain), anti-acid, anti-inflammatory, anti-hepatotoxic (liver detoxification), anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, anti-ulcer, carminative, contraceptive, diaforetico (promotes sweating), stimulating digestive, diuretic, gastrotonico (tones, balances, strengthens), epatoprotettivo (protects the liver), laxative, lactagogo (promotes the flow of milk), menstrual stimulant, nerve (balance / calms nerves), sedative, tonic (tones, balances, strengthens the bodily functions), healing

Traditional preparation:
For intestinal parasites: ½ cup of decoction of leaves once a day on an empty stomach for 3 days. The decoction is also used for menstrual disorders, respiratory and digestive problems as necessary.

* Do not use in pregnant or breastfeeding
* Do not use essential oil internally
* While epazote is used by indigenous tribes as a contraceptive, this use has not been verified by clinical research. However, the use of this plant is not recommended if you are pregnant

Interaction with drugs: none known

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