Epazote is a piece of living history. Native to Central and South America, this herb was prized by the Aztec culture for culinary and medicinal uses. Today epazote has naturalized in the United States along roadsides (frequently called a weed) and is known to grow in New York’s Central Park. Some call epazote a weed, while others enjoy it as a culinary companion to cooked beans. If you’re the latter, try growing epazote plants in your garden.
Epazote adds a distinct flavor to Mexican dishes and is a staple ingredient in bean dishes, both for its taste and its anti-flatulent properties. Like cilantro, epazote has a fragrance and flavor that folks either love or hate. Leaves have an aroma that seems to smell differently to different people. It’s been described as having tones of lemon, petroleum, savory, gasoline, mint, turpentine, and even putty. Despite the sometimes odd fragrance, the unique flavor makes epazote an ingredient that can’t be duplicated or replaced in recipes.
Pregnant or nursing women should not consume epazote in any form. No one should ingest the seeds or oil, which are poisonous. It’s also wise to avoid consuming the flowering tips of stems.
Note: While we do not currently carry this variety, we offer this information for gardeners who wish to grow it.
Extract originally published on bonnieplants.com. Please click the link for more specific information about soil, planting, care and harvesting.