Botanical Name :Chenopodium ambrosioides Linn.
Family : Chenopodiaceae
Other scientific names :Ambrina ambrosioides Linn ,Ambrina parvula ,Ambrina spathulata ,Atriplex ambrosioides ,Blitum ambrosioides ,Chenopodium anthelminticum ,Chenopodium integrifolium ,Chenopodium spathulatum ,Chenopodium,suffruticosum
Common names :Adlabon (Ig.),Alpasote (Tag., Bis., Ilk.),Alpasotis (Tag., Bis., Ilk.),Apazot (Mexican),Aposotis (Tag., Bis., Ilk.),Bulbula (Bon.),Libug (Ig.),T’u Ching-chieh (Chin.) Epazote (Engl).
Habitat :In the settled areas throughout the Philippines, cultivated and spontaneous, at medium and higher altitudes.
Now pantropic.Chenopodium ambrosioides originated in Central American, long used as an anthelmintic in many parts of the world. Once referred to as Baltimore Oil for that Maryland city’s large oil extraction facility. Although Chenopodium has been replaced by more effective and less toxic anthelmintics, it is still used in many indigenous traditional systems for the treatment of worm infections in both humans and livestock.
An erect or ascending, branched, glandular herb, often nearly 1 m high. Stems angled, smooth or glandular-pubescent.
· Leaves: oblong to oblong-lanceolate 3 to 10 cm in length, with a rank aromatic odor when crushed and with lobed margins.
· Flowers: small and spicate, regular, perfect. Sepals 5, sometimes only 3 and enclosing the utricle, which is less than 1 mm long. Petals none, stamens as many as sepals, hypogynous or somewhat perigynous, filaments distinct, anthers interse. Ovary 1-celled, free, usually depressed, styles 2 or 3.
· Fruits: utricles, the seed horizontal, smooth and shining.
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• Tender leaves sometimes used as potherb.
• Contains oxalic acid which is reduced by cooking. Should be used with caution in patients with gout, kidney stones, rheumatism.
Constituents and properties:
*Plant yields anthraglycosides, cinnamic acid derivatives, mucins and pectins, saponins, amygdalin, volatile oils ascaridol and geraniol, cymene, terpenine.
*The essential oil in the seed and flowering plant is highly toxic.
*Analgesic, antiasthmatic, antifungal, carminative, stomachic, vermifuge.
*Bruised leaves emit a somewhat foetid odor.
*The characteristic smell of the plant is attributed to ascaridol.
· Entire plant.
· Collect during the months of May to October.
· Rinse, dry under the sun and compress.
You may click to see :Article on Medical Properities of Chenopodium ambrosioides Linn.
• Hookworm infections and hookworm inflammatory disease: dose for adults – 2.6 to 3 gms of dried powdered material every morning and every night daily for 3 to 6 consecutive days.
• Decoction may be used as wash for various skin diseases of the lower limbs, eczema, ulcers.
• Prepared drug is sharp and bitter tasting.
• Infusion taken as digestive remedy, for colic and stomach pains.
• Used as a wash for hemorrhoids.
• Poultice for snake bites and other poisons.
• Used for wound healing.
• Anectodal reports of cures in use for uterine fibroids and certain cancers.
• In Mexico, used as emmenagogue and vermifuge.
• Used as abortifacient.
• In the Antilles, used as antispasmodic; decoction as internal hemostatic; the bruised plant for ulcers.
• In Africa, infusion used for colds and stomach aches.
• In the Yucatan, indigenous tribes have used epazote for intestinal parasites, asthma, chorea and other nervous afflictions.
• In Peru, plant soaks used topically for arthritis.
• Used as fumigant against mosquitoes and added to fertilizers to inhibit insect larvae.
• In Latin America, plant is used to treat worms in livestock.
• Genotoxic: Study on human lymphocyte cell cultures showed a possible genotoxic effect.
• Antitumor: Study on Swiss mice concluded that Chenopoium ambrosioides has potent anti-tumoral effect attributed to its anti-oxidant properties.
• Anthelmintic: (1) Although the study did not reduce the number of nematode adults or eggs on short-term treatment, in in-vitro testing, the oil reduced the viability of eggs and suggested a long-term strategy for reduction of parasite loads at a whole farm level. (2) Study suggests the traditional use of CA infusions as vermifuge is safer than use of the herb’s essential oil.
• Antimycotic: The essential oil from the leaves exhibited antimycotic activity against dermatophytes Trychophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum audouinii. Petroleum jelly oil showed to control established ringworm infection in guinea-pigs in preliminary trials.
• Trypanocidal: Study yielded four monoterpene hydroperoxides and ascaridole and exhibited trypanocidal activity against T cruzi.
• Anti-Leishmaniasis: (1) Study showed the essential oil of CA had potent inhibitory effect against promastigote and amastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis and presents a potential source of a drug to combat leishmaniasis. (2) Study clearly demonstrated that the essential oil of CA could be an alternative for the development of a new drug against cutaneous leishmaniasis.
• Analgesic / Antipyretic: Moroccan study of fresh leaf aqueous extract exhibited marked analgesic effect. Also, the extract produced a significant inhibition of yeast-induced pyrexia in rats, confirming its traditional use as a remedy for fever.
Toxicity and concerns:
• Oil: Essential oil in the seed and flowering parts is highly toxic. It can cause dizziness, vomiting, salivation, increased heart rate and respirations, convulsions and death. Inhalation is dangerous.
• Allergic reactions / Dermatitis: Oil of chenopodium can cause skin reactions.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.