Botanical name: Acmella oleracea
Other names: Spilanthes acmella, Toothache plant, Paracress, Buzz buttons, Szechuan buttons
The most common and widespread use is to treat toothache and throat and gum infections. Worldwide, the flower heads are used either fresh or dried and powdered, but the use of roots and leaves have been recommended as well. The plant is further recommended as a cure for dysentery and rheumatism, and to enhance the immune system. It increases the flow of saliva and is useful in fever especially during summers.
It is used against blood parasites, especially against malaria, both prophylactic and curative.
Previous studies have also demonstrated its diuretic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory activities.
These plants have an interesting chemistry, containing flavonoids, sterols, sesquiterpene lactones and amides, notably spilanthol, which has anaesthetic effects. The flowers are the most numbing part of the plant. Spilanthol is also a potent insecticide, able to kill mosquito larvae at a concentration of 1/100,000.
The tingling sensation has also caused rumours to spread regarding spilanthes’ application in oral sex. The taste buds, gums, and entire mouth become overwhelmed by the intense tingling buzz, saliva swirling stimulating sensation. The mouth is being cleaned and the gum tissues, lymphatic and immune systems stimulated and strengthened.
Preparation: Chewing one leaf is enough to numb the mouth and cause a tingling sensation on the tongue.
Reference: 1) Mother Herbs (P) Ltd, Spilanthes Acmella, 2) 2004-2012 Herbalistics, Spilanthes oleracea – Toothache plant (seed)
Toothache Plant Common Uses
Toothache Plant Actions
Toothache Plant Recipes
Toothache Plant Precautions
Caution should be taken with eating the fresh flowers, as there have been reports of difficulty breathing due to increased saliva and numbing of the throat.