Popularly known as Jesuit's tea, the herb epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides) has a long history of use as a spice in Latin American cuisine. This green leafy vegetable is native to South America, Central America, and southern Mexico.
Jesuit's tea packs an amazing nutritional punch. It is rich in vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamin C. It also contains calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium phosphorus, zinc and small amounts of dietary fiber and protein.
Jesuit's tea effectively paralyzes intestinal parasites and has a strong laxative effect that helps expel them. For this purpose, it was recognized and included in the US pharmacopeia from 1820 to 1947. Besides being used as a vermifuge (an agent that destroys or expels parasitic worms), the Aztecs used Jesuit's tea leaves with food to treat respiratory disorders.
Jesuit's Tea For Improving Digestion
Research shows that this vegetable has strong antioxidant properties. Jesuit's tea can support a healthy intestinal environment by creating conditions that aren't favorable for harmful microorganisms. Several other studies show that it is helpful in improving gastrointestinal health.[3,4,5]
The oil extracted from Jesuit's tea (also known commonly as chenopodium oil) has antifungal activities.
How To Take It
Contrary to its name, Jesuit's tea is not used to make tea, but is an herbal infusion which is later used in the recipes.
Wash the leaves in cold water. Take a few leaves (one to two sprigs) and add it to flavor your meals and improve digestion, just like the way you would add cilantro.