Epazote: what is it for, how to prepare it and contraindications
The epazote, also known as paico or acahualillo, is a very used medicinal plant, because its essential oils contain vermifuge, antibiotic, digestive properties and to strengthen the immune system.
This plant, whose scientific name is Chenopodium Ambrosioides, It grows spontaneously in lands that surround the houses, it has extended rooms of different sizes and dark green color, its flowers are small and white in color.
The epazote can be purchased in certain markets or in stores of natural products, in its natural form, in dehydrated hojas or in essential oil. Because it is considered to be a plant with a degree of toxicity, it should preferably be used under the guidance of a health professional, in addition to the fact that it is advisable to use tea today instead of essential oil, as it contains a higher concentration. of potentially toxic substances.
what is it for
Aunque el epazote is a plant that is widely used in traditional medicine, there are few studies that confirm its properties in the organism. Despite this, several investigations have been carried out with this plant in animals, concluding that it has effects such as:
1. Eliminates intestinal parasites
This is one of the most popular uses of epazote and, according to some studies in humans, the use of this hecho plant presents strong action against different intestinal parasites, such as worms and tapeworm.
This action seems to be related to the main active substance in epazote, ascaridol, which has been shown to have similar efficacy to some antiparasitic drugs, such as Albendazole.
2. Strengthens the immune system
According to research carried out in animals, the use of epazote extract seems to be able to regulate the production of some cells important for the defense of the organism, such as macrophages and lymphocytes, strengthening the immune system.
The mixture of hojas de epazote con leche is popularly used to help in the treatment of respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and tuberculosis, due to the union of the strengthening effects of the immune system and expectorants that these substances have.
3. Reduce inflammation
Another common use of the spazote is to relieve inflammation, especially joint problems, such as osteoarthritis. In addition, the plant also helps to relieve the pain of inflammation. This analgesic action was observed in the use of an alcoholic plant extract, which seems to act on NMDA receptors.
4. Improve digestion
Although there are no studies that investigate the action of this plant on the digestive tract, this is one of the popular uses in which it is most commonly used. According to its use, it can be taken after large meals, to improve digestion, which could be able to increase the production of gastric yoke.
5. Reduce blood pressure
In Morocco, the device is frequently used to assist in the treatment of high blood pressure and, according to studies carried out in rats, this property is due to the stimulation of type 2 muscarinic receptors in the heart, which slightly lowers the heart rate , in addition to relaxing the heart muscle.
6. Fights bacterial, viral and fungal infections
Both the use of epazote extract and essential oil have demonstrated a potent antimicrobial action that is capable of eliminating various types of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
7. Prevent osteoporosis
In some investigations carried out in laboratory mice, the use of the hydroalcoholic extract of epazote was able to prevent the loss of bone density, being able to be applied to prevent the emergence of osteoporosis, especially in women who are close to entering menopause.
Does epazote serve to treat coronavirus?
A study carried out in 2020 by the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz confirmed the hypothesis that the flavonoids present in the epazote may be able to prevent the replication of the new coronavirus, accelerating the recovery and the cure of COVID-19.
However, the study was carried out in a computer model and has not been tested in a laboratory, nor in living organisms. For this reason, the dose necessary for the treatment is not known, nor the possible collateral effects. For this reason, no health agency recommends the use of epazote as a treatment for COVID-19 until new studies are carried out.
How to use epazote
The most common way to take advantage of the properties of this plant is through the infusion of your children, preparing a tea:
- Epazote infusion: Place a bowl of fresh plant with the seeds in water and let it rest for 10 minutes. After, paste and drink a cup up to 3 times a day.
In addition to the infusion, another popular way of using the epazote is in essential oil, however, it is important that its use is guided by a naturopath, phytotherapist or a health professional with experience in the use of medicinal plants.
Side effects of epazote
The secondary effects of the illness include skin and mucous membrane irritation, headache, vomiting, nausea, palpitations, damage to the liver or kidneys, visual disturbances and convulsions, in case two larger doses are used than recommended or for a time greater than 3 days in a row.
Is epazote abortifacient?
In high doses, the properties of the space can act by altering the contraction of the muscles of the body; therefore, it may have an abortifacient effect in certain people, and its use in embarazadas women is not advised.
Know other dangerous plants that must be avoided in embarazo.
The epazote is contraindicated in embarazadas women and in children under 2 years old. This medicinal plant can be toxic, therefore, the medical indication would be necessary to establish the recommended dose.
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