Epazote – Dysphania ambrosioides

We often have a Hispanic family over for cookouts and I always learn new easy cooking tips, but this one floored me.  We were having a BBQ, but Rosa wanted to cook a freshly caught catfish that Aaron had just brought home from the lake.

She proceded to gut the fish and make several slices into it’s skin and started walking in the woods.  I have learned to never ask her what I am eating and to just enjoy the truly authentic taste (I once ate ram lungs), but this time I followed her. I was curious.
She stopped and started picking what I thought were weeds, brought them back and packed them on the catfish.  She tucked the leaves into the skin, rubbed it with garlic, placed lemon slices over the top side, and wrapped it with foil.  It was quite tasty.
The plant was epazote (the e is silent).  It is a herb from Central and South America, that just happens to grow very well on our farm.  She told me that Mexicans use this herb when they cook black beans to prevent gas and also make a tea out the leaves for a natural wormer and to help with female problems. A wormer? She often reminds me of just how poor her situation was before she came to America.
The herb has a very different smell. Kind of citrusy, piney, camphory smelling. Very different.  Here is what it looks like growing in the wild:
And here is a close up of the leaves:
Mexican people from the south use this herb mostly in quesadillas, mole, chilaquiles, and certain types of tamales.  I think it is neat that something I thought was just a random weed is such a staple part of another cultures food seasoning.

What do you think?