Epazote is an herb well-known to Mexican and Caribbean cooking. The name comes from the Aztec (Nahuatl) epazotl. It is also known as pigweed or Mexican tea and is frequently regarded as a garden pest. It is most commonly used in black bean recipes to ward off some of the "negative" side affects of eating beans. Much like cilantro, it is referred to as an "acquired taste". The herb is quite pungent and some say it smells like gasoline or kerosene.
Epazote can normally be found fresh in Mexican grocery stores or is available air-dried. One teaspoon of dried epazote leaves is equivalent to about one branch, or 7 fresh leaves. Fresh epazote leaves can be placed in a plastic bag and stored for up to 1 week. You can air-dry the fresh leaves and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Purchase dried epazote online at GourmetSleuth.com. We sell dried epazote which includes the leaves and bits of stem. You can use this for cooking or for making tea.
Rick Bayless's (in his book "Authentic Mexican") describes this herb as the well-known essential ingredient in Mexican black bean recipes as well as in quesadillas and some moles (moh-LAYS).