A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring. In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for mostly flavoring purposes. Herbs, such as basil or oregano, may be used fresh, and are commonly chopped into smaller pieces. Spices, however, are dried and often ground or grated into a powder. Small seeds, such as cumin and black pepper seeds, are used both whole and in powder form.
Epazote is used as a leaf vegetable and herb for its pungent flavor. Raw, it has a resinous, medicinal pungency, similar to the liquorice taste of anise, fennel, or even tarragon, but stronger. Epazote's fragrance is strong, but difficult to describe. It has been compared to citrus, petroleum, savory, mint and putty.
Although it is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its carminative properties, it is also sometimes used to flavor other traditional Mexican dishes as well: it can be used to season quesadillas and sopes (especially those containing huitlacoche), soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese and chile, chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes and enchiladas. read more..
In Latin America and Spain, boldo is also used as a form of herbal medicine, particularly to support the gallbladder, but also to calm upset stomachs. In Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay it is frequently mixed with yerba mate or other teas to moderate its flavor. In Brazil and Paraguay, many families keep a boldo plant at home for this purpose, although boldo teabags are readily available in nearly all supermarkets.
Boldo is in the family Monimiaceae, which is closely related to the family Lauraceae (which includes many other plants used for their aromatic leaves, such as cinnamon, cassia, bay leaf, and camphor laurel. read more..