Wormseed oil is extracted from the entire herb, especially the seed or fruits, by a process called steam distillation from Chenopodium ambrosioides of the Chenopodiaceae family, an herb found throughout South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and the United States. The Mayans gave wormseed its name after realizing its efficacy in dealing with intestinal troubles. However, a German pharmacist was the first to successfully extract the true Chenopodium oil in 1895.
Wormseed is toxic in overdose so must be used under the guidance of a health care professional. Wormseed must not be confused with Wormwood because they are entirely two different plants.
Wormseed oil is used for rheumatism of the joints and treats skin conditions like eczema. It contains anti-fungal, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic therapeutic properties among many more. It is used in medicines formulated to rid children of roundworms, tapeworms, and other parasites any parasite of the intestinal tract, though it is not as effective against tapeworms.
Wormseed oil has been recommended for the treatment of malaria, chorea, hysteria, and other nervous diseases. It is also used to treat nervousness, anxiety, and depression.
In addition, the wormseed plant also has culinary uses in several Latin American regions. Consuming food cooked with wormseed plant is believed to help avoid intestinal gas, provided the leaves of the plant are cooked or consumed with beans and other foods that form gas in the stomach and intestine.
Wormseed oil should not be ingested for any type of treatment, even in small amounts, due to its potential toxicity. Wormseed oil is toxic to the liver and kidneys and even a small amount can cause fatal poisoning.
Signs of poisoning include irritation of the digestive tract, nausea and vomiting, vertigo, ataxia, deafness and visual difficulties. Wormseed oil should be avoided during pregnancy or breast-feeding