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May 2017--Epazote

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Chenopodium ambrosioides

[ken-oh-POH-dee-um  am-bro-zhee-OY-deez]
Teloxys ambrosioides)

Family: Chenopodiaceae 

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Chenopodii ambrosioidis

 Names: ambrosia, ambroisa-like chenopodium, American wormseed, bitter weed, Californian spearmint, demi-god’s food, feather geranium, goosefoot, herb sancti Mariae, Jerusalem oak, Jerusalem oak seed, Jerusalem tea, Jesuit tea, Mexican tea, mouse food, pazote, Spanish tea, stickweed, stinking weed, wild wormseed, wormseed, wormseed goosefoot,  worm bush, worm grass, wormweed; Jerusalem parsley, hedge mustard, sweet pigweed, erva-de-santa maria, apasote, chenopode, feuilles a vers, herbe a vers, meksika cayi (Turkish); paico, semen contra, semin contra, simon contegras, payco, paiku, amush, camatai, cashua, amasamas, anserina, mastruco, mastruz, sie-sie, jerusalem tea, ambroisie du mexique, wurmsamen, hierba hormiguera; Urt-hanemalts (Estonian); Saitruunasavikka (Finnish) , Mexikanishes Traubenkraut, Mexicanischer Traubentee, Mexiconisches Teekraut, Jesuitentee, Amerikanishes Wurmsamenkraut, Wolriechender Gänsefuss (German); Kadavoma (Ckannada); Katuayamodakam (Malaya); Sitronmelde (Norwegian); Komosa pizmowa (Polish); Mastruz (portuguese); paico macho, caá ná, té de los Jesuitas, té de España, hierba hormiguera, Yerba de Santa Maria, (Spanish); Citronmalla (Swedish); ambroisie de Mexico, anserine ambroisie, ambroisine, thé des Jesuits, anserine américain, anserine vermifuge (French);  chenopodio, ambrosia (Italian); erra formigueira (Portuguese); t’u-ching-chieh (Chinese); A-mhu-hum (chinanteco), Ambrosia of Mexico, Bar of estiercol, Basote (tarahumara), Crest, Cuatsitasut´as (purépecha), Cuitlazotl, Dali (cuicateco), Ep'azot, Epazote, white Epazote, Epazote to eat, Epazote of zorrillo, dwelled Epazote, green Epazote, Epazotl (Nahuatl), olorosa Grass, Ipazote, Kuatsitasi, Lukim-xiu (Mayan), miíno (mixteco), minu (mixteco), N'ai, Nodi (otomi '), O-gi-mo (chinanteco), Paasui´ch (tepehuán), Pasoit (tepehuán), Podeey, Post, Pu-undetil (mixe), Shtakala-kajui, Shuppujuic (popoloca), Stani (totonaco), Tij-tzan (huasteco), dung Twig, Vi-tia or Bitia (zapoteco), Yepazotli. 

Description: 3-5 feet tall and 2 feet wide or more.  Uniquely serrated leaves with strong camphor-like odor; deep red blotches sometimes found on leaves and veins; drooping spikes loaded with tiny round green seed in fall; branching stems form at base, and a thick, trunk-like stem may develop when plant pushes through a barrier;  annual.   

Cultivation: Thrives along stream beds with some afternoon shade, but can adapt to poor, disturbed soil and full sun (which may promote smaller leaves and premature bolting).  Seen along country highways and growing out of cracks in city sidewalks.  Sow seed in fall (germination takes 3-4 weeks); thin to about 12 inches apart.  Readily reseeds self when established; stems root slowly in water.  Fertilizer not necessary, but light applications of compost aid protection against drought.  Hang upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room until the leaves are thoroughly dried.  Grown commercially in Russia. 

Constituents: Volatile oil (up to 90% ascaridol, plus geraniol, cymene, limonene, terpinene, myrcene and methyl salicylate) alpha-pinene, aritasone, butyric-acid, chenopodium, d-camphor,  ferulic-acid, geraniol, l-pinocarvone, limonene, malic-acid, menthadiene, menthadiene hydroperoxides, p-cymene, p-cymol, safrole, saponins, spinasterol, tartaric-acid, terpinyl-acetate, terpinyl-salicylate, triacontyl-alcohol, trimethylamine, urease, vanillic-acid. 

History:  The English genus name, goose-foot, is a translation of the scientific genus name Chenopodium: Greek goose and foot; it is motivated by the the threelobed leaf shape characteristic of several plants belonging to this group. The species name ambrosioides ambrosia-like probably refers to the strong odor. Ambrosia is, according to Greek mythology, a nourishment reserved for the Olympic gods, as is implied by its name. The word epazote comes from the Nahuatl words epatl and izotl meaning an animal with a rank odor (for some it smells like turpentine or kerosene).  The name Baltimore wormseed arose from the fact that the Baltimore, Maryland, area was the center of production of wormseed in North America for over a century.  Brazilians feed Mexican tea to pigs to rid them of parasites.  In New Mexico, suppositories of dried pulverized leaves of Mexican tea, ground spearmint and salt have been inserted into the rectum as a remedy for appendicitis.  One of the many health problems treated with a Mexican tea folk remedy is athlete’s foot.  It has been found that Mexican tea indeed inhibits fungi such as cause this disease, confirming the wisdom of this herbal remedy.    The popular use of Mexican tea in New York City by Latinos has led to it becoming somewhat weedy there, growing in cracks of sidewalks and in Central Park.   

Medicinal Use:  Epazote has been used for centuries beginning with the Mayans.  By the middle of the 18th century, medicinal use of the plant was firmly established in the US.  Mexican mothers steep epazote in milk and sugar to rid their children of intestinal parasites, especially roundworms and hookworms.  In the Yucatan, indigenous Indian groups use epazote for asthma, excessive mucus, chorea (a type of rheumatic fever that affects the brain) and other nervous afflictions. The Tikuna Indians in the Amazon use it to expel worms and as a mild laxative. The Siona-Secoya and Kofán Indian tribes also use the plant to expel intestinal worms (usually by taking one cup of a leaf decoction each morning before eating for three consecutive days). The Kofán Indians also use the plant as a perfume—tying it to their arm for an ‘aromatic’ bracelet (although most Americans consider the smell of the plant quite strong and objectionable - calling it skunk-weed!). Creoles use it as a worm remedy for children and a cold medicine for adults while the Wayãpi use the plant decoction for stomach upsets and internal hemorrhages caused by falls. In Piura the leaf decoction is used to expel intestinal gas, as a mild laxative, as an insecticide, and as a natural remedy for cramps, gout, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms and parasites and hysteria. Some indigenous tribes bathe in a decoction of epazote to reduce fever. Several Indian tribes will also throw a couple of freshly uprooted green plants onto their fires and the resulting smoke is believed to drive mosquitos and flies away.  The Catawba made a poultice from the plant, which they used to detoxify snake bite and other poisonings. 
            Epazote is rich in chemicals called monoterpenes. The seed and fruit contain a large amount of essential oil which has a main active chemical in it called
ascaridole. This chemical was first isolated in 1895 by a German pharmacist living in Brazil and it has been attributed with most of the vermifuge (worm-expelling) actions of the plant. Ascaridole has also been documented with sedative and analgesic properties as well as antifungal effects. Application of the oil topically was documented to effectively treat ringworm within 7-12 days in a clinical study with guinea pigs. In other in vitro clinical studies, ascaridole was documented with activity against a tropical parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi as well as strong anti-malarial and insecticidal actions.
Wormseed leaves have antispasmodic properties.  A decoction of the leaves or of the whole plant brings relief to a variety of gastrointestinal problems.  Its muscle-relaxing action has led to its use in the treatment of spasmodic coughs and asthma.  The plant also has external uses. Juice expressed from the whole herb is applied as a wash for hemorrhoids.  In addition, the whole plant is thought to have wound-healing properties. 
A decoction and infusion of the plant was analyzed
in vitro to determine if they had toxic effects. At various concentrations the extracts caused cellular aberrations in the test tube, indicating they had possible toxic effects. However, in the 1970's the World Health Organization reported that a decoction of 20 g of the leaves of epazote rapidly expelled parasites without any apparent side effects in humans. In 1996 extracts from the leaves of epazote were given to 72 children and adults with intestinal parasitic infections. A stool analysis was performed before and eight days after treatment. On average, an antiparasitic efficacy was seen in 56% of cases. With respect to the tested parasites, epazote leaf extract was 100% effective against the common intestinal parasites, Ancilostoma and Trichuris, and, 50% effective against Ascaris. In a more recent study in 2001, thirty children (ages 3-14 years) with ascariasis (intestinal roundworms) were treated with epazote. Doses given were 1 ml of extract per kg of body weight for younger children (weighing less than 25 pounds), and 2 ml of extract per kg of body weight in older children. One dose was given daily on an empty stomach for three days. Stool examinations were conducted before and 15 days after treatment. Disappearance of the ascaris eggs occurred in 86.7%, while the parasitic burden decreased in 59.5%. In addition, this study also reported that epazote was 100% effective in eliminating the common human tapeworm (Hymenolepsis nana).
                       In other research epazote has been documented with toxic effects against snails. and an
in vitro action against drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In 2002, a U.S. patent was filed on a Chinese herbal combination containing epazote for the treatment of peptic ulcers. This combination (containing Chenopodium essential oil) was reported to inhibit stress-induced, as well as various chemical and bacteria-induced ulcer formation. The most recent research has documented the anticancerous and antitumorous properties of epazote. In one study an extract of the entire plant of epazote showed the ability to kill human liver cancer cells in the test tube. Another study reported that the essential oil of epazote (as well as its main chemical, ascaridole) showed strong antitumorous actions against numerous different cancerous tumor cells (including several multi-drug resistant tumor cell lines) in the test tube.

Dosage: of the oil, 4-20 drops with honey, or molasses, for children according to age.  The infusion of the tops and pulverized seeds, 1 teaspoonful to 1 cupful of boiling water; steep 15 min. administer in wineglassful amounts.  To expel worms: omit the evening meal, give the prescribed dose and again in the morning before breakfast, followed by a herbal cathartic; repeat for three days to make sure the larva is expelled.  Was official in the US Pharmacopeia for more than a century, from 1820-1947. 

Homeopathy: Tincture of fresh plant; solution of oil seed—aphasia, apoplexy, ashthma, cerebral deafness, convulsions, dropsy, epilepsy, headache, hemicrania, hemiplegia, leucorrhoea, menses (suppressed), paralysis, scapula (pain in), tinnitus, tonsilitis 

Toxicity:  Wormseed can be toxic in overdose causing headache, vomiting, stomach pain and dizziness.  Do not take during pregnancy. 

Aromatherapy Uses:
EXTRACTION: essential oil by steam distillation from the whole herb, especially the fruit or seeds

CHARACTERISTICS: a colorless or pale yellow oil with a woody, camphoraceous, heavy and nauseating odor

ACTIONS: anthelmintic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, expectorant, hypotensive

USES: Used as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes.  Its use is not permitted in foods. 

Culinary Use: The leaves make attractive garnishes and unique flavorings for hearty corn, squash, or bean soups.  Add the dried leaves the last 15 minutes of cooking so that the food will not become bitter and use the fresh herb sparingly, as its flavor must be acquired by most.  Used throughout Southern and Central Mexico. 


Crab Cushions with Epazote
¼  cup very finely diced white onion
1-2 Tbsp sweet butter
½  lb fresh crab meat
2 Tbsp chopped fresh epazote
2 Tbsp heavy sweet cream or crème fraiche
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh, thin, high-quality flour tortillas
1 quart peanut oil
deep-fry thermometer
Sauté the onion in the butter over low heat, making sure not to color the onions.  Cook them until soft and sweet; let cool. Add the cooled onions to the crab meat and mix together in a bowl over ice.
Add the epazote, cream, 1 egg yolk, salt, and pepper; mix well
Cut the flour tortillas into strips, 2½  by 5 inches, discarding leftover pieces.  Add about 1 tablespoon of the crab mixture to each tortilla strip at the end, and roll them up so that they are 2 1/2 inches long.  On the last inch of the strip on the inside, brush the tortillas with remaining egg yolk to make them stick. Place on a pan, seam-side down.  Refrigerate if not used at once.

Heat the peanut oil to 350-375 degrees and fry the crab cushions until they are lightly browned and puffed slightly.  Serve with Tomatillo Salsa.  Makes about 16 cushions. 

Tomatillo Salsa
1 lb fresh green tomatillos
3 Tbsp finely chopped sweet red onions
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
sugar to taste
1-2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
Husk the tomatillos and wash them under very hot water.  Cool under cold running water, and puree in food processor or blender.  Add the onions, serrano chile, coriander, and lime juice.  Add a touch of sugar if the tomatillos are too sour and a little olive oil if you wish.  (The Herb Garden Cookbook)  

Squash cooked in Michoacan Style

A heavy frying pan
4 Tbsp safflower oil
2 lb zucchini squash, trimmed and diced
4 heaped Tbsp finely chopped white onion
4 Tbsp roughly chopped epazote leaves
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 blender
12 oz tomatoes, broiled
2 chiles serranos, charred
2 cloves garlic, peeled
salt to taste
Heat the oil and add the squash, onion, epazote and salt.  Stir well, cover the pan, and cook over a medium flame, stirring occasionally until just tender—about 10 minutes. 
Blend together the tomatoes, chilies and garlic and stir the puree into the squash mixture.  Cook over a medium flame, uncovered, until the squash is soft and the tomato puree has been absorbed.  The vegetables should be moist but not too juicy.  Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.
This can be topped with 4 tablespoons of finely grated cheese –queso anejo, Romano, or Argentinian Sardo—just before serving.  (The Cuisines of Mexico)

Taos Lightning Chili Powder 

16 dried chile pequines, whole (substitute dried cayennes if necessary)
3 Tbsp chili powder
4 tsp cayenne powder
4 tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp garlic granules
1 ½ tsp onion granules
1 tsp dried Greek oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves, whole
1 tsp black peppercorns, whole
1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
½ tsp juniper berries, whole
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp coriander seeds, whole
¼ tsp dried epazote leaf.
Mix all ingredients together and grind to a powder, or leave unground and powder it as you need it, using a small spice grinder.  (Herb Mixtures & Spicy Blends) 

Spicy Brown Rice with Chipotle and Epazote 

3 Tbsp corn oil
1 cup diced mixed red and yellow bell peppers or 1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1 large chipotle en adobo, minced
2 ½
  tsp minced epazote leaves
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup peeled and diced ripe tomato
¼  tsp toasted and ground cumin seed

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauté the peppers and scallions over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the chipotle, epazote, and rice.  Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the tomato and cumin and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot.  (New Southwestern Cooking)

Pipian Verde

4 oz green unroasted pumpkin seeds (about 1 heaping cup)
½  cup finely chopped white onion
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 cup rich chicken stock
  cups cilantro
2 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled
8 large leaves Romaine lettuce, chopped with no stems
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch radish tops
  cup loosely packed chopped epazote
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp peanut oil
Dry roast pumpkin seeds in a sauté pan for about 5 minutes until they have finished popping.  Set aside a few seeds for garnish.  Sauté onion in the oil over low heat until slightly browned.  Process the pumpkin seeds and stock in a blender to form a paste.  Add ½  cup cilantro and the remaining ingredients, except for the oil, and puree.  Add oil to a high-sided pan, and heat until almost smoking.  Refry sauce at a sizzle for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously; do not overcook or the sauce will lose its greenness.  Return to blender, add the remaining cup of cilantro, and puree together.  Garnish with the reserved pumpkin seeds. Serve at room temperature as an accompaniment for sautéed pork or scallops or tossed with pasta.  (Coyote Café) 

Chick-pea and Hominy Stew
1 30-oz can hominy, drained and rinsed
3 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
5 dried red serrano or 2 dried cayenne peppers, stemmed and seeded
2 large cloves garlic, shopped
3 cups cooked chick-peas
2 cups chick-pea stock
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
¼  cup packed chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh epazote leaves or 1 tsp dried epazote leaves, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges
Combine the hominy and the water in a pot.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.  While the hominy is cooking, heat the oil in a small skillet and sauté the onion, serranos, and garlic lightly for about 5 minutes.  Add the sautéed vegetables, chick-peas, stock, and tomatoes to the hominy.  Stir the stew and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.  Add the parsley, epazote, and salt and pepper.  Stir, cover and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes or so.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot with a lime wedge to garnish each bowl.  (New Southwestern Cooking) 

Frijoles Negros in Olla 
1 lb dried black beans
water or broth to cover beans by about 1 1 /2 inches
3 Tbsp olive oil or bacon fat
1 whole onion, quartered and studded with 2 cloves
4-6 whole garlic cloves
½  tsp cumin seeds
½  hoja santa leaf, torn into several pieces
1-2 whole dried red chile (ancho or pasilla)
salt to taste
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
3 sprigs fresh epazote
Wash beans well.  Cover with water or broth.  Add oil, onion, garlic and cumin.  Bring to boil; reduce heat, adding the hoja santa and the dried chiles, and simmer for approximately 2½  hours.  Should too much water evaporate, add hot water to prevent beans from bursting.  When almost tender, add the salt, oregano, and epazote, and cook for another 15 minutes.  When beans are tender, the liquid should just cover them; too much liquid will give a watery broth.  (The Herb Companion Cooks)

Mole soup with Epazote
(from Hot & Spicy Mexican, by DeWitt, Wilan and Stock (Prima, 1996))
5 Tomatoes
8-10 Chipotle Chiles (smoked Jalapenos-can be found in Mexican markets), seeds and stems removed
Hot water as needed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 TB vegetable oil
1 3-pound chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces
½  cup water
½  cup chicken broth
1 t salt
¼  cup epazote, chopped (a very fragrant fresh herb; substitute 1/8 cup fresh mint plus 1/4 cup basil)
Roast the tomatoes until the skins blister; allow them to cool slightly and then peel and cut the tomatoes in half.  Tear the chiles into strips, cover with hot water, and re-hydrate them for 20 minutes. Place the chiles and their soaking water into a blender, add the tomatoes and garlic, and puree until the mixture is smooth.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet, pour in the pureed mixture, and sauté for 5 minutes.  Heat the remaining oil in a medium-sized skillet, lightly brown the chicken, add the water, chicken stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.  Pour the sautéed chile mixture over the chicken, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the epazote and simmer for 10 minutes more. Serve hot with cooked rice.  Serves 6.

Bass in Epazote  (Róbalo en Epazote)
6 fish filets (preferably bass)
6 epazote leaves
1 sliced onion
  cups of sour cream
½  cup of a farmer's cheese (queso fresco)
salt and pepper
Wash the fish. Put them in salt and pepper and fold them in half with a sprig of epazote in the middle; fasten them with a toothpick. Put them in a frying pan with a half cup of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover.  Cover the fish with onion, cheese and sour cream. Recover the pan and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve when the cheese is soft. (The fish may also be cooked in an oven).

Oaxacan Green Mole

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2/3 cup small white beans
2 pounds lean, boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1½ -inch pieces
1 pound pork bones, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, washed
2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 serrano chilies, or 1 jalapeno, or to taste
½  teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
  tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
½  cup plus 1 tablespoon masa harina mixed
      with 6 tablespoons hot  water
Salt, about 1 teaspoon
Herb puree:
4 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 small sprigs epazote or additional parsley
2 leaves hoja santa, or substitute
  cups chopped green tops from fresh fennel
       mixed with ½ teaspoon
ground black pepper
Parsley sprigs for garnish
                 Soak beans in 2 cups water 4 to 8 hours or heat them to a boil 1 minute and then let stand 1 hour.  Drain beans; place in a large saucepan with 3 quarts water, pork and bones. Heat to a boil, skim off foam, then add onion and garlic. Cook, partly covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until beans and meat are tender, 1½  to 2 hours. (If the liquid level drops below the level of the beans and meat, add hot water.)  Meanwhile, heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Put a piece of foil on the hot surface, set the tomatillos on top and roast, turning regularly, until blistered, blackened and soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a food processor or blender.  Roast garlic and chilies directly on the hot surface, turning frequently, until chilies are blackened and blistered, about 5 minutes, and  garlic is blackened and soft, about 10 minutes. Scrape  black skin off chilies and remove seeds; peel garlic. Add both to the tomatillos; add cumin. Puree.

           When beans and meat are tender, pour them into a colander set over a large bowl. Pick meat off bones; discard bones, return meat to the colander with the beans; set aside. Skim fat off broth. (There should be at least 5 cups broth; if not, add water.)  Set the clean pan over medium-high heat; add lard or oil. When hot enough to make a drop of tomatillo puree sizzle, add it all at once. Stir constantly 4 to 5 minutes as the mixture sears and thickens, then add 4 cups of the broth. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat 20 minutes.  Gradually mix 2/3 cup of the remaining broth into masa harina mixture in a small bowl. Push the mixture through a wire mesh strainer into the simmering tomatillo mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add the beans and meat, season with salt and let simmer, stirring occasionally, while you prepare herb puree.  For herb puree, put parsley, epazote if using, hoja santa or fennel mixture and 1/3 cup broth into a food processor or blender. Puree, adding a little more liquid if necessary. Stir the herb puree into the bean mixture. Add a little more broth or water if necessary to thin to a medium consistency. Serve in warm, deep plates; garnish with parsley.  

Mexican Chicken Rice Soup

1 chicken, 2½  pounds, washed and dried
2 quarts chicken stock
2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 chayote, skin on, pitted and chopped
2/3 cup shortgrain rice
Juice of 1 lime
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh epazote or mint
         Combine the chicken with the stock in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes. Add the vegetables and rice and cook 20 minutes longer.  Cool the chicken in the stock. Lift out the chicken and remove and discard the skin and bones. Shred the chicken and return to the pot. Stir in the lime juice and epazote or mint and reheat the soup. Serve hot.   Yield: 6 servings  

Grilled Salmon in Corn Husks

2 large ears corn -- unshucked
  teaspoons chipotle rub
½   cup unsalted butter -- softened
¾  pound salmon filet -- center-cut portioned -- each about -- 4x1- ½ x1"
4 fresh epazote leaves
chopped 1 tablespoon scallion
thinly sliced tomatillo salsa
                  Shuck corn, reserving largest outer husks (about 20 to 24) for wrapping salmon and tearing some remaining husks lengthwise into narrow strips for tying packages. Grill corn on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, turning it frequently, until browned (not blackened) all over, about 12 minutes, and cool to room temperature. Cut kernels from cobs (there will be about 1 3/4 cups) and in a bowl stir together with chipotle rub and butter until combined well. On a work surface arrange 5 to 6 large husks side by side, overlapping long sides. Arrange a salmon piece in the center with length parallel to long sides of husks and top with on fourth corn mixture, one fourth epazote, and one fourth scallion. Fold long sides and ends of husks overfilling and tie with strips of husks. (Don't be a perfectionist about this. If it's not possible to fold in ends of husks, tie off each end and middle with husk strips.) Make 3 more packages in same manner with remaining husks, corn mixture, epazote, and scallion. Grill packages around edges (to avoid hottest part of coals) of a rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, covered, turning them once, until husks are charred and salmon is just cooked through, about 6 minutes on each side. (Packages may open while cooking, and butter might drip, causing flare-ups.) Serve salmon packages with salsa.

Coyote Café
, Mark Miller, 10 Speed Press, 1989; ISBN: 0-89815-245-
Culinary Herbs, Ernest Small, NRC Research Press, 1997, ISBN: 0-660-16668-2
The Cuisines of Mexico
, Diana Kennedy, Harper & Row, 1986; ISBN: 0-06-181481-4
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
, Andrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1997, ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2
The Herb Companion Cooks
, Interweave Press, 1994; ISBN: 0-934026-95-5

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