ingredient information
Epazote Leaf
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Epazote is an annual herb that grows to about 1 m in height. It has multi-branched, reddish stems covered with small, sharply toothed leaves. Epazote bears numerous small yellow flowers in clusters along its stems. Following the flowers, it produces thousands of tiny black seeds in small fruit clusters. It is easily spread and re-grown from the numerous seeds it produces which is why some consider it an invasive weed. The whole plant gives off a strong and distinctive odor. Epazote is native to Mexico and the tropical regions of Central and South America where it is commonly used as a culinary herb as well as a medicinal plant. It has been widely naturalized throughout the world and can be found growing in parts of the southern United States. In Brazil the plant's name is erva-de-santa-maria or mastruço; in Peru its called paico. It is known throughout Mexico and Latin America as epazote. The Siona name of this plant means worm remedy and here in America it is referred to as wormseed - both referring to it long history of use against intestinal worms.