Epazote Tea: What It is for and How It is Prepared
The American Aboriginal heritage is rich in knowledge of the nature of the continent. The skunk epazote plant is one of those wonders that we inherited from these indigenous peoples thanks to its various uses in the kitchen and in traditional medicine.
Although epazote is known throughout America, it became popular with its Nahuatl name meaning “stinking animal” due to its characteristic bad smell reminiscent of skunks or skunks. However, it is also called paico, fetid or sacred herb and ambrosia, among others. In this interesting article, we will teach you how to prepare epazote tea and explain what it is for and how it is prepared.
What is epazote tea for?
Thanks to its particular flavor, epazote is highly appreciated in the kitchen and forms part of various preparations, especially in the indigenous gastronomy of southern Mexico. As a flavoring herb, skunk epazote gives dishes a rustic and unique taste. In addition, it is added to heavy meals for its digestive properties.
But what this herb really shines is in indigenous medicine. Epazote tea is rich in antioxidants like vitamins A, B and C that contribute to:
- Delay aging
- Decrease inflammation
- Increase antibacterial response
- Facilitate the production of digestive enzymes.
Epazote tea also contains folic acid and minerals that maintain the health of the digestive, glandular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and integumentary systems (skin, hair, and nails).
Due to its nutritional content, indigenous peoples made epazote infusion from pre-Hispanic times to prevent or treat various ailments and to maintain the health of certain organs. Next, we explain the main ailments that are alleviated with the tea of this wonderful plant.
For respiratory diseases
Ancient Aztecs discovered that epazote tea calms respiratory conditions and helps you breathe easier. For example, those who suffer from asthma can consume this infusion to help, together with medical treatment, to reduce the common crises of this disease. It is also useful for those who have bronchitis, pneumonia or colds, since it allows the expulsion of phlegm and calms the inflammation.
According to traditional herbalists, the ascaridol present in this plant eliminates worms and protozoa and several laboratory studies confirm this. Parasites responsible for schistosomiasis, toxocariasis in dogs and cats, leishmaniasis, amebiasis, Chagas disease and malaria were used for these investigations.
For bacterial and fungal infections
Although the herb does not directly kill bacteria, epazote prevents these microorganisms from being resistant to antibiotics. This was demonstrated by a study with staphylococci, one of the main causes of infections throughout the body. Also, the herb is useful against the presence of fungi such as Candida albicans, which causes vaginal infections.
For menstruation and after delivery
Indigenous peoples also administered this infusion to women late in their period. Apparently, epazote tea is able to stimulate the ovaries and uterus for expulsion of flow, both menstrual and postpartum. However, it is contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women.
Like all green herbs, epazote contains fibers that, when consumed moderately, improve digestive and intestinal function. For this reason, it is common for them to add leaves of this plant to hard-to-digest dishes such as beans or beans. In the same way, you can also take an infusion in case of indigestion or flatulence.
For bone health
Bones are formed by the synthesis of a large amount of minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, among others, so the consumption of these minerals must be present in our daily diet. In this sense, the epazote contains these nutrients us to Yudan to preserve bone health, especially in old age.
For the heart
The infusion of this herb contains moderate levels of potassium, which gives it properties as a vasodilator, ideal for reducing blood pressure. In this way, one of the benefits of epazote tea is the decrease in the risk of suffering from arteriosclerosis or cardiovascular accidents.
For skin and hair
The integumentary system is said to be the body’s first protective barrier, as it covers it completely. As you may have guessed, this device is made up of the skin, hair, nails and certain glands. To fully fulfill its defensive function, all its components must receive the necessary nutrients.
The high vitamin A, B and C content of epazote tea helps to strengthen the integumentary system and regenerate the skin. In addition, epazote is an antioxidant, so it reduces the action of free radicals and helps fight oxidative stress .
It is also possible to use the tea topically, as it can be prepared and applied directly to the skin and hair. This helps to deflate, soften and condition the dermis to exalt its beauty.
As an insecticide
Epazote contains toxic active ingredients, such as ascaridol, that promote its deworming action. These substances can also be useful as natural insecticides if you are dealing with an insect infestation. You only have to spread the epazote water around the house and the family garden to disinfect.
How epazote tea is prepared
Now that you know what epazote tea is for, it only remains to take advantage of all its properties and benefits! Learning how to repair epazote is very simple. You will need to:
- 8 fresh epazote leaves.
- 500 ml of drinking water.
To prepare it, follow these steps:
- Boil the water and add the leaves when it breaks the boiling point.
- Lower the heat and cook for about three minutes.
- Remove from the stove and let the tea sit for about three more minutes.
- Strain the drink and serve.
To use the tea for medicinal purposes it is necessary to keep in mind the contraindications of epazote tea, as well as the following warnings:
- The herb is toxic, so it should not be used for a long period of time.
- Only the leaves are used, since the flowers and the stem have a much higher concentration of active ingredients.
- It should not be administered to children under three years of age, pregnant or lactating women under any circumstances.
- Nor should people with heart, kidney, liver or stomach conditions consume it.
- If children younger than 12 are dewormed, attention should be paid to any negative reaction such as dizziness, vomiting, or headache.
- To make tea, you can use fresh or dried leaves. If you want to add it to your meals, it is better to use them fresh so that they retain all their flavor.
If you want to prepare epazote for parasites, drink half a cup of epazote tea on an empty stomach for three days. After consuming it, wait an hour before eating breakfast. In the case of occasional discomforts such as flatulence, indigestion or menstrual problems, it is only necessary to drink half a cup once. If you want to consume it to take care of your health and nutrition, you can take the infusion of this herb sporadically.
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