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Mexican tea (Dysphania ambrosioides): what it is for and how to use

The Mexican tea is a medicinal plant, also known as santa maria herb, which is widely used in traditional medicine to treat intestinal worms, poor digestion and to strengthen the immune system.

This plant has the scientific name of Chenopodium ambrosioides and is considered a small shrub that grows spontaneously on land near homes, with elongated leaves, of different sizes, and small, whitish flowers.

The Mexican tea can be purchased in some markets or in health food stores, in its natural form, such as dried leaves or in the form of essential oil. Because it is considered a plant with some degree of toxicity, it should be used preferably with the guidance of a health professional, in addition to advising the use of leaf tea, instead of essential oil, which has a higher concentration of potentially toxic substances.

See also: How to make horsetail tea and what it is for

What is the mast Mexican tea

Although it is a plant widely used in traditional medicine, the mastruz has few studies carried out to confirm its properties in the human body. Even so, several investigations have been carried out with the plant in animals, revealing important actions such as:

  1. Eliminate intestinal worms
    This is one of the most popular uses of the Mexican tea and, according to some studies done in humans, the use of the plant in fact has a strong action against different intestinal worms, including roundworms and dwarf tapeworm.

This action appears to be related to the main active substance in the plant, ascaridol, which has shown efficacy similar to some pharmaceutical deworming drugs, such as albendazole.

  1. Strengthen the immune system
    According to animal research, the use of the Mexican tea extract seems to be able to regulate the production of some important cells for the defense of the organism, such as macrophages and lymphocytes, strengthening the immune system.

The mixture of beaten Mexican tea leaves with milk is popularly used to help in the treatment of respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and tuberculosis, due to the association of the immune system’s strengthening and expectorant effects.

  1. Decrease inflammation
    Another common use of the mast is to relieve inflammation, especially joint problems such as osteoarthritis. In addition, the plant also helps to relieve the pain of inflammation. This analgesic action was observed in the use of the alcoholic extract of the plant, which seems to act on NMDA receptors.
  2. Improve poor digestion
    Although there are no studies proving the action of the plant on poor digestion, this is one of the most used popular uses. According to this form of use, Mexican tea can be taken after large meals to improve digestion, as it may be able to increase the production of gastric juice.
  3. Reduce blood pressure
    In Morocco, the mast is widely used to help treat high blood pressure and, according to studies done in rats, this property is due to the stimulation of type 2 muscarinic receptors in the heart, which slightly decrease heart rate, in addition to relaxing the heart muscle.
  4. Combat bacterial, viral and fungal infections
    Both the use of extracts of Mexican tea and essential oil have shown potent antimicrobial action, which is capable of eliminating various types of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  5. Avoid osteoporosis
    In other investigations carried out in laboratory rats, the use of hydroalcoholic extract of Mexican tea was able to prevent the loss of bone density and can be applied to prevent the appearance of osteoporosis, especially in women who will enter menopause.

How to use the mast Mexican tea


The most common way to use the properties of the mast is with the infusion of its leaves, preparing a tea:

Mexican tea infusion: put 1 tablespoon of dry Mexican tea leaves in a cup of boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Then strain and drink a cup up to 3 times a day.
In addition to the infusion, another very popular way to use the Mexican tea is its essential oil, however, it is important that its use is made only under the guidance of a naturopath, herbalist or a health professional with experience in the use of medicinal plants.

Possible side effects
Side effects of the mast include irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, headache, vomiting, palpitations, liver damage, nausea and visual disturbances if used in high doses.

Is Mexican tea abortive?


In high doses, the properties of the mast can act by altering the contractility of the body’s muscles. Therefore, and although there are no studies confirming this action, it is possible that it may have an abortion effect. Thus, its use is not recommended in pregnant women.

Check out other dangerous plants for being potprimarily abortion, which should be avoided in pregnancy.

Who should not use
The mast is contraindicated in the case of pregnancy and in children under 2 years of age. The Mexican tea is a medicinal herb that can be toxic, and medical advice is needed to define the recommended dose.

See also: Dandelion Flower: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

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