Saturday, October 15, 2011

"E" is for Epazote

Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides) is an annual or short-lived perennial for gardeners in the northern part of the United States.  For those of you in the south, it may be more of a perennial and may be a problem.  It reaches to a height of 5 feet and needs sun.  It doesn't need amended soil.  It grows easily in areas where it may not be wanted.  Its flowers are more seed like than flower. 

Chenopodium means goose foot and that is one of its common names.  It has a camphor smell to it.  We don't use it often, but the bottom photo shows it cut up in a pot of beans.  It is said to help lessen the musical noises after you eat the beans.  I think to a certain extent, it works!  The camphor smell is cooked away and does not affect the taste of the beans.

It is also used as a tea and is known as Mexican tea.  I have not tried it and I'm not sure I'm going to because of the camphor taste.  It is not one of my favorites.  Although in reading The Herb Companion article, it says that the Native Americans and Mexicans drink the tea to facilitate childbirth and ease painful periods among other uses.  Another common name is American wormseed because it is used as a remedy for intestinal parasites.  Yikes!  So if you making plans for your herb garden next year, maybe epazote is an herb to consider.  Hope you have had a great day.  Talk to you later.


taylorsoutback said...

A bunch of typos - had cataract surgery this week & the eye is still settling down :o)

Congrats on winning Sharon's book!!

Have never tried this herb but wonder how it would be added to closet fresheners - since it has a camphor fragrance? I am like you, the taste would not appeal.

Have a good Sunday!

lemonverbenalady said...

I'm not sure whether it would hold up, TO! Will have to put that on the list of things to try! Can't believe I won it! Hope your eye gets better soon!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Love epazote! This was great.

Jeff mailed your new Planting the Dry Shade Garden you'll get it soon.

Now we're off to a garden that needs lots of TLC.



lemonverbenalady said...

Thanks, Sharon. I'll be looking for it! We spent the day negotiating what plants are coming in. The list is very long!