Discover the 7 shocking health benefits of Epazote.
Epazote, also known as paico or acahualillo, is a widely used medicinal plant, as its essential oils contain vermifuge, antibiotic, digestive properties, and strengthen the immune system.
This plant, whose scientific name is Chenopodium Ambrosioides, grows spontaneously in lands that surround the houses, it has elongated leaves of different sizes and dark green, its flowers are small and whitish.
Epazote can be bought in certain markets or health food stores, in its natural form, in dehydrated leaves, or essential oil.
Because it is considered a plant with a degree of toxicity, it should preferably be used under the guidance of a health professional, in addition to the use of tea from its leaves instead of essential oil, since it contains a higher concentration of potentially toxic substances.
Although epazote is a plant that is widely used in traditional medicine, it has few studies that confirm its properties in the body.
Despite this, several investigations have been carried out with this plant in animals, concluding that it has effects such as:
This is one of the most popular uses of epazote and, according to some human studies, the use of this plant has a strong action against different intestinal parasites, such as worms and tapeworms.
This action seems to be related to the main active substance in epazote, ascaridol, which is similar in efficacy to some antiparasitic drugs, such as Albendazole.
According to research carried out in animals, the use of epazote extract seems to be able to regulate the production of some cells important for the body’s defense, such as macrophages and lymphocytes, strengthening the immune system.
The mixture of epazote leaves with milk is popularly used to help in the treatment of respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and tuberculosis, due to the union of the strengthening effects of the immune system and expectorants that these substances possess.
Another common use of epazote is in the relief of inflammation, mainly joint problems, such as osteoarthritis. Additionally, the plant also helps relieve pain from inflammation.
This analgesic action was observed in the use of the alcoholic extract of the plant, which seems to act on the NMDA receptors.
Although there are no studies that prove the action of this plant on poor digestion, this is one of the popular uses in which it is used the most.
According to its use, epazote tea can be taken after large meals, to improve digestion, as it could be able to increase gastric juice production.
In Morocco, epazote is frequently used to help treat high blood pressure and, according to studies in mice, this property is due to the stimulation of type 2 muscarinic receptors in the heart that slightly decrease the heart rate. , in addition to relaxing the heart muscle.
Both the use of epazote extract and essential oil has shown a powerful antimicrobial action that is capable of eliminating various types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
In some investigations carried out in laboratory mice, the use of the hydroalcoholic extract of epazote was able to prevent the loss of bone density and can be applied to prevent the onset of osteoporosis, especially in women who are close to entering menopause.
A study carried out in 2020 by the Oswaldo Cruz Institute, confirmed the hypothesis that the flavonoids present in epazote may be able to prevent the replication of the new coronavirus, accelerating the recovery and cure of COVID-19.
However, the study was conducted on a computer model and has not been tested in a laboratory, nor living organisms.
For this reason, the dose necessary for treatment is not known, nor are the possible side effects.
For this reason, no health organ recommends the use of epazote as a treatment for COVID-19 until new studies are carried out.
The most common way to take advantage of the properties of this plant is by infusing its leaves, preparing a tea:
Infusion of epazote: place a cup of the fresh plant with the seeds in boiling water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Afterward, strain and drink a cup up to 3 times a day.
In addition to infusion, another popular way to use epazote is an essential oil, however, its use must be guided by a naturopath, psychotherapist, or a health professional with experience in the use of medicinal plants.
Side effects of epazote include irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, headache, vomiting, nausea, palpitations, damage to the liver or kidneys, visual disturbances, and seizures, in case of doses higher than recommended or for a time. longer than 3 days in a row.
In high doses, the properties of epazote can act by altering the contractility of the body’s muscles; For this reason, it can have an abortive effect in certain people, not advising its use in pregnant women.
Epazote is contraindicated in pregnant women and children under 2 years of age. This medicinal herb can be toxic, requiring a medical indication to establish the recommended dose