Mexican Tea

Mexican_Tea_jpgCultivated plants in this family (Chenopodiaceae) include beets and spinach. Native Americans used a seed decoction (medicine prepared by boiling thick parts of plant; ingested hot or cold) for intestinal worms.  A poultice (a soft, moist mass of plant parts wrapped and applied warm or hot to skin) of crushed leaves was applied for headache and the root was used to treat delayed menses. In Chinese medicine, the whole plant is crushed and mixed with boiling water for tea.  The tea is bitter, fragrant and is used to treat intestinal worms, relieve flatulence, ant to relieve pain.  A decoction, applied externally, is used as a soak to treat insect bites. Today, dried leaves are occationaly used to make tea.  The fresh leaves are covered with oil glands that make them inedible.

OtherCommonName:

Wormseed

ScientificName:

Chenopodium ambrosioides

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized native of tropical America

LifeSpan:

Annual or short-lived perennial

PlantHeight:

2 to 5 feet

FruitingTime:

Mid-July to late October

Distribution:

Maine to Florida ~ West to Wisconsin ~ Statewide in NJ

FloweringTime:

Mid-July to late October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Leaves alternate, arrow-shaped, irregularly toothed ~ Flowers small , clustered, greenish and found on leafy spikes ~ aromatic