An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.
Wormseed - Chenopodium ambrosioides (Chenopodium anthelminticum) (Chenopodium ambrosioides var. anthelminticum) - family: Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family).
This annual-to-perennial plant grows to about four feet high. It has
reddish stems and toothed strongly-scented lance-to-oblong-shaped leaves.
In the summer and fall it produces spikes of small greenish-yellow flowers.
The flowers are followed by capsules containing black seeds.Its leaves have
been used as a spice and as a digestive aid in traditional Mexican chili
sauces. Traditional Mexican folk use of leaves and seeds as a remedy for
intestinal parasites. Under the name Chandanbatva, Wormseed has been used
as an Ayurvedic medicinal herb. Note: handling leaves may cause dermatitis
in some individuals. Note: do not use if pregnant or nursing. Note: all
parts of plant are at least slightly toxic, ingestion of large quantities
may cause nausea, vomiting or paralysis. Note: ingesting essential oil may
be fatal. Note: infants have died from the use of the toxic seed oil as
a remedy for intestinal parasites [Tull]. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias
from 1820 to 1940. Native to Mexico, tropical America and South America.
Naturalized in eastern and central North America. Naturalized in California.
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Web page last updated on 25 May 2003.