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Chenopodium ambrosioides Epazote is a wonderful plant that is used as a leaf vegetable and as an herb for its strong flavor. It is an annual herb that will very easily self seed itself, but be carefull this plant drops lots and lots of seeds! It is best to harvest the plant before the seeds drop. The plant gets very large and just a small 1-2 inch branch is all you need to flavor any large pot of beans or whatever dish you will be cooking. When I was in mexico a few years ago I ate lots of beans(of course!), and when I returned I wasn't able to reproduce the wonderful flavors just right. Then my friend brought over some plants for our garden, one was epazote. This wonderful smelling plant grew into a giant in our garden and we still didn't know what to use it for. Then one day a friend from mexico was visiting and he said to put a few sprigs into our pot of beans while cooking them. Finally, the missing ingrediant was found!!! I never want to cook beans without epazote again!! Now I'm learning it also has a ton of medicinal properties! Although it is traditionally used to flavor black beans it is also used to flavor many other traditional mexican dishes as well. It can be used to season quesadillas, soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese, chile, Chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes, encheladas and many other mexican dishes. Medicinal uses Epazote is used as a leaf vegetable and herb for its pungent flavor and its claimed ability to prevent flatulence caused by eating beans but also in the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, malaria, chorea, hysteria, catarrh, and asthma. 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 Pharmacopoeia. It is also cited as an antispasmodic and abortifacient - the first birth control pills were derived from research on epazote. 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 M�©xico than in epazote grown in Europe or Asia. (Medicinal Properties Section quoted from Wikipedia. This is for your information and not intended to diagnose or prevent disease. Consult your doctor for proper medicinal use.) The plant prefers sandy and rocky poor soil in full sun. The plants can be started indoors or sown direct in early summer. The tiny seeds need both heat and light to germinate well. Space plants 2 feet apart. Epazote has proven itself hardy in our Zone 8 winters. This plant is a must have for anyone who likes to cook or be healthy!

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