The plant and seed have a long history of use among all indigenous people in every region where the plant grows. The seed oil, first isolated for commercial use in 1895, was subsequently officially listed in the US Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for ascarids and hookworms in humans, cats, dogs, horses, and pigs.
A 1970s WHO study reported a 20 gm dose of leaf decoction rapidly expelled parasites - no side effects were reported. In 1996 a clinical trial showed anti-parasitic efficacy in over half of Ascaris parasite cases treated with extract of leaf, and complete effectiveness in treating the more common intestinal parasites, Ancilostoma and Trichuris. Complete effectiveness has also been reported in eliminating human tapeworm.
Epazote has been shown to have toxic action against drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Properties: Antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-tumorous, insecticidal, antacid, digestive stimulant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-ulcer, carminative, digestive stimulant, diuretic, laxative, menstrual stimulant, nervine, sedative, and tonic. It is used in treating coughs, asthma, bronchitis, other upper respiratory conditions, and tuberculosis.
Externally the decoction is used for treating hemorrhoids, bruises, wounds, contusions and fractures.