Wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides, Dysphania ambrosioides) is native to Central and South America and the Caribbean. Its name comes from the centuries-old use of the plant by the Mayan people of Central America to treat intestinal worms. Wormseed has also been used traditionally to treat asthma and dysentery and, in Europe and Northern Africa, to relieve menstrual cramps. Wormseed was used by the Aztecs to flavor food and is an important ingredient in Mexican cooking today.
The most common use of wormseed is the treatment of infection with parasites, such as worms. For this use, wormseed is taken by mouth. The active ingredient in wormseed is ascaridole. However, wormseed is toxic, and its use may result in poisoning and death.
Further high-quality human study is needed before conclusions may be made on the use of American wormseed for any condition.
Ambrosia, apasote, apazote, aritasou (Japanese), Artemisia cina, ascaridol, Asteraceae/Compositae, Brazilian Chenopodium ambrosioides, Chenopodiaceae, Dysphania ambrosioides, epazote, forb, goosefoot, Herba Sancti Mariae, Jeruzalem oak, Jesuit's tea, l'anserine vermifuge (French), levant, mastruz (Portuguese), Mexican tea, paico, QRD 400, santonica, saponins, sea wormwood, semen China, semen cinae, semenzina, Seriphidium cinum, sweet pigweed, UDA-245, West Indian goosefoot, worm grass, wormseed, wormzaad (Dutch), yerba de Santa María (Spanish).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Preliminary study suggests that wormseed is effective in the treatment of parasitic worms. Further research is needed before a conclusion may be made.