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Traditionally used to flavour bean dishes, epazote has the added medicinal benefit of acting as a carminative, or anti-flatulent agent. Epazote is an unfussy plant that will grow in even poor soils. Grow in full sun for best results, in a warm spot in the garden. Follow the How to Grow Epazote from seeds and feel free to eat beans.
Dysphania ambrosioides (syn. Chenopodium ambrosioides)
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Sow indoors in April/May and transplant or sow direct outdoors once soil warms up in early June. Optimal temperature for germination: 21°C (70°F). Bottom heat speeds germination. Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days.
Press seeds into the soil and barely cover. Keep moist until germination and transplant or thin plants to stand 15cm (6″) apart in the row.
Gather the leaves so that you have 2tbsp of chopped fresh leaves available to add to 5 cups of cooked beans. It is important to add in the last 15 minutes of cooking. The leaves can be dried, but fresh are better.
Note: In significant quantities, Epazote is poisonous. While it is safe to use as a culinary herb in small quantities, overuse can cause deafness, vertigo, paralysis, incontinence, sweating, jaundice, and even death. It is to be avoided by pregnant women and small children.