Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 30, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 30, 2022 



bonded siblings, 
only 3 months 
old. Hawthorn (left, 
pink nose) is our 
little CH boy (cerebellar 
hypoopplasia), and he's been getting physical 
therapy and growing stronger. He can use 
the litter box and is learning to on his own. Juniper 
is his sister and guardian angel. They will be 
adopted together. Read more about Hawthorn's 
CH on our website's Very Young page and don't 
miss the video. They are spayed/neutered, vaxed, 
chipped, and healthy. After adoption we will always 
be available to provide advice and support.

Submit your application on our website, www.



About the Author:

Nyerges has been teaching ethnobotany since 1974. He is the author of “Guide to Wild 
Foods and Useful Plants,” “Foraging Wild Edible Plants of North America,” and other 
books on the uses of wild plants. He can be reached at


 EPAZOTE (Dysphania ambrosiodes) (formerly Chenopodium ambrosiodes)

Also known as Mexican tea or wormseed. Member of the Goosefoot Family


Epazote is a wonderful herb to know, which has been used in Mexican cookery for centuries. Said to originate 
from central Mexico, it can now be found throughout North America.



Probably the most distinctive aspect of epazote is its unique aroma – a blind man should be able to identify 
it! When seen for the first time, it might appear as a somewhat ragged and darker green lambs quarter (to 
which it’s related).

Epazote has a branched stem which can reach up to about three feet. The shiny-green leaves are elliptical, 
two to five inches long, and sometimes reddish tinged or blotched. The uniquely aromatic leaves are arranged 
alternately. The undulating leaf margin is slightly or entirely toothed. The leaf surface is hairless, 
although it may be slightly tomentose when very young.


Epazote is abundant along inland stream beds in sandy soil and common in seaside salt marshes. The 
plant, which is sometimes cultivated, generally prefers waste locales and areas with somewhat poor, sandy 
soil. It seems to prefer the semi-shade along the bank of a sandy river or stream but will do well in rich 
garden soil when cultivated. Believed to have originated from central Mexico, it is now well naturalized 
throughout parts of the United States.



Epazote has long been popular in Central and South American and Mexican cookery as a culinary spice, 
especially in bean dishes since it prevents gas. It adds a unique flavor to beans, and as an herb, it is as cherished 
as cilantro by some. To use, crumble dried leaves into the pot of beans, or add some fresh leaves to 
your particular taste. 


Though fresh leaves can be added to dishes, the plant is usually dried first, which somewhat mellows the 
fragrance. The dried leaves are then crumbled into the pot of beans, or stew, shortly before being served.



Epazote can be successfully grown from cuttings that have been rooted in good soil or vermiculite, however, 
most gardeners start them from seed. Soak the seeds for a few hours in water before planting, and 
then plant them in a flat, or directly into the garden. The seeds seem to take longer than other seeds to 
sprout, and gardeners often forget they even planted the seeds. So make sure to label your plantings.


In colder climates, epazote will live as an annual. In the South and warmer environments, it will act more 
as a perennial, and will come up for a few seasons. 

Harvesting the mid-sized epazote plants is easy. Just pinch off the top new growth. Pinch off just what 
you need at the time, or pinch back 
a lot if you plan to dry some of the 
herb for storage. The leaf production 
of each epazote plant is greatly 
increased by this pinching. The 
entire above-ground plant will die 
back each year, but as long as the 
soil hasn't dried out, the roots will 
continue to produce year after year. 
Also, the regular pinching-back of 
the leaves during the growing season 
will significantly extend the 
growing season for your plants.


The leaves are best harvested young, 
and dried. I prefer only the leaves 
in my cooking. However, you will 
observe that in Mexico, the entire 
above-ground plant is harvested, 
dried, and ground up for use in cooking, or for sale.


Epazote is most famous for its use as a way to prevent or 
stop excessive gas. Think of it as nature’s “Bean-O.” It 
is one of the best-recognized antiflatulents, also aiding 
the digestion. It acts as a vermifuge, expelling intestinal 
worms (such as roundworms and hookworms) and other 
intestinal parasites. It is used by the Chinese as a diaphoretic, 
to strengthen the eyes and the circulation, to cure 
coughing up blood, and for dysentery. The herb is taken 
either in powder form or infused into a tea.

We’ve also had positive results with using epazote to rid 
cats and dogs of worms. Simply sprinkle a small amount 
of the dried and powdered leaves into their food. Epazote 
seeds and leaves in chickens’ water will also cure and prevent 
some diseases common to fowl.


Pure oil of Chenopodium is toxic. However, epazote leaf 
contains only 1 percent of this oil, and such small amounts 
are ideal as a vermifuge or anti-flatulent. The seeds contain 
approximately 10 percent oil of chenopodium; a teaspoon 
or so of the seeds added to dog and cat food works 
wonders as a de-wormer and does not pose a threat to 
the animal’s health in such low dosage. Eating moderate 
amounts of the cooked greens poses no health hazard 
whatsoever. However, due to the strong aroma of epazote, 
it is rarely cooked alone. Generally, epazote greens are 
mixed with other greens before cooking.



If epazote does not grow near you, the seeds are readily 
available from seed suppliers. One source for epazote is 
Survival Seeds, Post Office Box 41-834, Los Angeles, CA 90041, for $4 per seed packet (price includes 




Cooking with epazote is easy! Add approx. one tablespoon of the herb -- both the chopped stems and the 
leaves -- to a pot of beans. You can use it fresh or dried. The epazote herb can also be added to soups, 
stews, and made into tea. The powdered leaves can be added to salads, such as potato and bean salads. 


Here are some simple recipes I've developed for using epazote.



 1 cup black beans 

 sage, pinch


 oregano, pinch

 3 onions 

 epazote, two tsp.

 3 small potatoes 

 salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the beans first for about an hour until tender. Then add the onions and potatoes,and cook until tender. 
Add the seasonings. Let simmer on low temperature for 15 minutes before serving.



 1 cup lentils 

 1 bay leaf

 5-6 cups water 

 2 tsp. dried epazote

 1 diced red onion 

 3 cloves of garlic

 2 diced carrots

Wash the lentils, and then simmer for an hour and a half. Add the other ingredients when the beans are 
nearly soft. Simmer `til the vegetables are soft. (Add salt or kelp to taste, if desired.)

Pet of the Week

Six-year-old Gidget is a sweet and calm cat in 
search of her loving forever home. This beautiful 
girl loves being petted, and even allows baths and 
brushing! Gidget has gotten along with other cats 
before and would be a wonderful addition to your 

 The adoption fee for cats is $100. All cat adoptions 
include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-
appropriate vaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-
and-wellness exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as 
well as a goody bag filled with information about 
how to care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an 
adoption appointment at Adoptions are by appointment only, 
and new adoption appointments are available every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone calls or email. 

A view of the roughly-toothed highly aromatic leaves of epazote



WHAT: Silent Sky. A play.

WHO: Written by Lauren Gunderson. Directed 
by Barbara Schofield. Presented by Sierra 
Madre Playhouse.

WHERE: Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra 
Madre Boulevard, , Sierra Madre, CA 91024. 
This is just east of Pasadena. Ample free parking 
is available in adjacent streets and lots.

WHEN: September 9- October 9, 2022. Fridays 
and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays. At 2 
p.m. Also, Saturday matinées at 2 p.m. on September 
17, 24, October 1 and 8.

ADMISSION: $45. Seniors (65+) $40.Youth 
(21 and under) $25.

DISCOUNTS: Teen tickets (age 13-19) are 
available at $5 through the TeenTix Pass program. 
Go to our website to learn more.

RESERVATIONS: (626) 355-4318.

ONLINE TICKETING: https://sierramadreplayhouse.

including one intermission.

 When astronomer Henrietta Leavitt 
begins work at the Harvard Observatory in 
the early 1900s, she doesn’t begin by looking 
through a telescope. She joins a group of 
women “computers,” charting the stars as a 
vital part of the world’s first study of the sky 
done from photographs. As Henrietta, in her 
free time, attempts to measure the light and 
distance of stars, she also takes measure of her 
life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication 
to science with family obligations and the possibility 
of love. Based on the life of 19th-century 
astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, Silent Sky 
explores a woman’s place in society during a 
time of immense scientific discoveries.


"Lauren Gunderson’s luminously beautiful 
play Silent Sky is an intellectual epic told on 
an intimate scale. Bottom line: Heavenly." —
Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Lauren Gunderson is the playwright of 21 produced 
plays. The recipient of an MFA from 
Tisch School of the Arts, she is a winner of 
the Berrilla Kerr Award. Her previous works 
include A Short History of Nearly Everything; 
The Van Gogh Café; The Happy Elf; The 
Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and 
Her Dog!;I and You (made into a film starring 
Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams); and many 
more. Silent Sky had its premiere at South 
Coast Repertory in 2011.


Barbara Schofield directs. At Sierra Madre 
Playhouse, she directed productions of Incident 
at Vichy (L.A. Times Critic’s Pick), Proof, 
Arcadia and The Fantasticks. She is director-
in-residence and Literary Manager at Open 
Fist Theatre Company. She is a board member 
of Sierra Madre Playhouse. She has served as 
a faculty member at American Musical and 
Dramatic Academy. Additionally, Barbara has 
directed or acted in productions in New York, 
Kansas City, London and Berlin. Dr. Schofield 
received her Ph.D. in Theatre from Tufts 


The cast for Silent Sky includes Ann Marie 
Wilding, April Elize, Candida Celaya, Aubrey 
Saverino and Jack Menzies.


Production Manager: Jeanne Marie Valleroy. 
Stage Manager : John Dimitri. Assistant Stage 
Manager: Dori Jurican.. Resident Lighting 
Designer: Derek Jones. Costume Designer: 
Shon LeBlanc. Projection Designer: Fritz Davis. 
Technical Director: Todd McCraw. Scenic 
Arist: Orlando de la Paz. Interim Artistic Director: 
Gary Lamb. Associate Company Manager; 
Beryl Tsang.


Understudies: Madi Bready, Madelyne Herman, 
Gloria Tsai, Cristiana Barbatelli and 
Chris Granlund.

PLEASE NOTE: Covid-19 safety protocols in 
effect on performance dates will be observed. 
As of the writing, audience members must be 
masked and vaccinated. Vax card or digital record 
will be checked.

 Silent Sky is the story of a real woman 
whose life and discoveries were hugely significant 
for the exploration of the universe.

Farmer Adrian Gaytan grows epazote, and 
sells it at local farmers markets.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: