Parasites have infested humans along with many other animal species for a very long time. Fossilized shark feces that go back 270 million years reveal infestation by tapeworms. At present, there are over 1,000 tapeworm species, the longest measuring 100 feet and found in some whales. Many humans contract parasitic infections owing to the maladaptation to a flesh diet from our original plants-based way of eating. Poorly prepared pork, for instance, invites the trichina worm to take up residence in the muscles and other body areas. It has long been thought that the herbal cure for many conditions is found within close proximity of the source of the ailment. In this regard, plants like epazote are conveniently abundant where a spectrum of parasites degrades the human condition.
What does it do?
Epazote is one of the preeminent herbs for tackling infestation from a variety of parasites. Rich in the worm-purging chemical ascaridole, epazote oil—distilled from the seeds—is effective where roundworms, hookworms and amoebas gain a footing. Recently, a type of brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri) found in the New Orleans area captured media headlines, no doubt due to its 99 percent rate of fatality—thankfully, cases are very few and far between. Renowned for its consistent action against parasites, epazote has also been praised as an ulcer preventive, a wound healer and a digestive stimulant. This “jack-of-all-trades” green medicine also serves as a mild sedative, a diuretic and a mild laxative.
About the herb
This annual native of Mexico and the tropical regions of Central and South America reaches 3 feet in height. Its sharply toothed leaves provide the plant’s medicine, which is often brewed into herbal teas. Clusters of small yellow flowers appear along the stems, followed by thousands of tiny black seeds. In fact, one of epazote’s common names is wormseed.
One half cup of epazote tea rendered from the leaf is taken in the morning on an empty stomach for three consecutive days to help clear the intestines of parasites. That same half-cup of herb tea can be consumed for digestive, menstrual or respiratory problems. Do not use epazote during pregnancy or while nursing.