Before the arrival of Colombus, ancient Mexican people used the wormseed plant thanks to its many medicinal properties. Its leaves and flowers have a strong scent due to the essential oil they contain.
Wormseed Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Chenopodium anthelminticum L (scientific), chenopodium, feather geranium, goosefoot, Jerusalem oak, Mexican tea, Indian wormweed, Jesuit tea.
- French: Chenopode anserine.
- Spanish: Pazote.
- Environment: Native to Mexico and Central America. Its cultivation has spread to the United States, South America, and some Mediterranean countries, especially France.
- Description: Herbaceous, vivacious, or evergreen plant of the Chenopodiaceae family, which grows from 40 to 100 cm high, with a branched stem and yellowish or greenish small flowers growing in terminal spikes.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: Leaves and flowers.
Healing Properties and Warning
The essence of wormseed consists of terpene hydrocarbons (cymene, limonene, terpinene, etc.) and ascaridol. It has the following properties:
- Stomachic invigorator and carminative (expels intestinal gas). Its use renders food results for indigestion, stomach ache, flatulence, and lack of appetite.
- Anthelmintic and vermifuge (kills intestinal parasites). This is its most important application. It is very effective against ascaris and anchilostomae, but not so against tapeworms and oxyuridae.
WARNING! Never exceed the dose recommended here since an overdose can provoke digestive intolerance.
How to use wormseed
- Infusion with 15-20g of leaves and flowers per liter of water. As a stomachic invigorator, drink a cup after each meal. As a vermifuge, drink a cup in the morning on an empty stomach for three days. Administer a laxative after every wormseed intake to expel parasites (castor bean, aloe, or cascara sagrada, respectively).
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 439. Print. [wormseed plant]