The toothache plant or Acmella Oleracea is a flowering plant that is native to Brazil.
It has a number of names. These are spilanthes acmella, jambu, electric daisy, pancreases, and eyeball plant.
Moreover, this plant is related to the daisy, however, it looks very different from them.
It has round yellow flowers with dark red sots in the center. These flowers are also known as buzz buttons, or Sichuan buttons are actually clusters of many tiny flowers.
Furthermore, you can find this toothache plant in tropical and subtropical regions.
These include Australia, Africa, Sri Lanka, and southern and central India.
Traditionally, this plant has been used for a number of its medicinal benefits. Some of these have been proven by science.
It is commonly used for toothaches, however, you can also use it for issues like inflammation and gastrointestinal problems.
However, in some parts of the world, the toothache plant is used in foods and is has a strong, bitter taste that adds a unique flavor to the dishes.
Keep on reading.
Proven Benefits of Toothache Remeidies
There is some scientific evidence that the toothache plant has medicinal benefits.
It can help the following conditions:
As the name already suggests, the toothache plant can help to ease toothache pain.
When you choose this plant, it has a numbing effect on your mouth. Moreover, this local anesthetic effect is due to spilanthol.
It is the main active ingredient in this plant, according to the review.
Moreover, it also has plant compounds: flavonoids. The flavonoids help to reduce prostaglandins which interfere with your perception of pain.
This toothache plant can also help to treat stomatitis. It is the inflammation of the mouth.
An important thing to note is that this condition can be painful, thus making it hard to eat or drink.
The pain-relieving effect of spilanthol can help. According to an animal study, spilanthol decreases the enzymes that are involved in inflammation.
Though more recent human studies can help, a 2013 review indicates that this plant has anti-inflammatory effects that help stomatitis.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the toothache plant can help relieve dermatitis.
Moreover, this condition occurs when your skin becomes inflamed and swollen.
A 2019 animal study indicates this benefit.
The researchers suggest that spilanthol suppresses the migration of inflammatory cells, thus creating anti-inflammatory effects.
Additionally, this decreases the swelling you see in dermatitis.
Other Benefits of Toothache Plant
Some other benefits of toothache plants are:
One of the important things to note is that this tropical plant is also a natural diuretic.
Diuretics can help your body get rid of excess fluid making you pee more.
Moreover, this effect has been proven in a 2016 mouse study. This study indicates that spilanthol increases urine output.
The researchers also indicate that spilanthol targets cellular activities in the kidneys that are a part of urine production and water reabsorption.
When your salivary glands do not make enough saliva, you have a condition: Dry Mouth.
The bitter flavor of the toothache plant can help. Its bitter taste comes from spilanthol which can also stimulate your salivary glands.
Furthermore, in Sri Lanka, you can use the flower extract of this plant for this purpose.
According to a study, toothpicks with spilanthol increase salivation in people with dry mouth.
It contains a polysaccharide, or complex carbohydrate: rhamnogalacturonan, RGal.
The research indicates that RGal increases cell growth and also reduces inflammation, thus helping heal gastric ulcers.
Potential Side Effects of Toothache Plant
When you use this plant as a flavoring or food, the toothache plant, and its active ingredients are safe to use.
However, it can also cause complications, if the following scenarios apply to you:
Allergy to the Dasiy Family: In case you are sensitive or allergic to dairy or the Asteraceae family, use caution while using them.
Drink Alcohol: It is important to note that spilanthol can slow down alcohol metabolization.
Moreover, this can also make you feel drunk for a longer amount of time.
Use Diuretics: Another important thing to note is that since spilanthol is a natural diuretic, you should avoid using it with diuretic drugs.
Have Prostate Cancer: The toothache plant might help to promote the production of male hormones.
This is because it can potentially interact with prostate cancer drugs. Furthermore, the risk is higher if you consume the plant in high doses.
Pregnancy: High intake of this plant can also lead to birth defects.
Therefore, you should not use it if you are pregnant.
Always talk to a doctor before trying the plant for any purpose.
Toothache Plant Uses
Traditionally, you can use every part of the plant as herbal medicine. Moreover, you can use the flowers, leaves, and stems as:
Furthermore, in food, you can use the plant as an herb or a main ingredient.
When you cook it, however, the leaves can become mild and you can toss them in your salads.
You can also use roots, flowers, and leaves to make extracts.
Where to get Toothache Plants, Seeds, or Products?
Depending on where you live, the toothache plant may e hard to find. Your best bet, however, is to visit a nursery or find an online retailer that sells tropical plants.
When you prefer medicinal products that contain the toothache plant, check the places like:
- health markets
- herbal medicine shops
- vitamin and supplement stores
Moreover, toothache plant products are often labeled as “Spilanthes”.
Growing Acmella Oleracea
In case you want to grow toothache plant at home, make sure to follow the instructions below:
Use high-quality, well-draining soil for growing your toothache plants. Start planting your seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost.
Then press into the soil without covering, and then water.
Make sure to keep the seeds until they germinate. Transplant young plants outside 12-inch pots after the last frost passes on.
However, if you are planting in a garden bed, space them t least 12 inches apart.
Water the plants every few days, however, make sure to avoid overwatering.
You can expect your toothache plant to bloom between August and October.
Other Remedies for Toothache
Some other popular toothache remedies are:
Salt Water Rinse
One of the most popular home remedies for toothache and any dental issue is salt water rinse.
Saltwater is a natural disinfectant, and it can help loosen food particles and debris that may be stuck between your teeth.
In order to use this remedy, mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash.
Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
A hydrogen peroxide rinse can also help to relieve pain and inflammation.
Make sure to properly dilute the hydrogen peroxide. ix 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and use it as a mouthwash.
However, do not swallow it.
You can use a cold compress to relieve the pain you experience especially if you have any type of trauma that causes toothache.
Moreover, when you apply a col compress, it causes the blood vessels in the area to constrict. This makes the pain less severe.
Furthermore, the cold can also help reduce any swelling and inflammation.
To use this method, hold a towel with a bag of ice to the area for 20 minutes, where you feel pain. You can use this remedy every few hours.
It is one of the oldest toothache remedies in history.
To use this, dilute clove oil with a carrier oil like sunflower or jojoba oil.
Use a ratio of about 15 drops of clove oil to one ounce of carrier oil according to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy.
Then dab a small amount of diluted oil onto a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area a few times throughout the day.
However, you can also add a drop of clove oil to a small glass of water and make a mouthwash.
Popular for its round yellow flowers, the toothache plant has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, you can also use the plant as an herb or food. However, use caution with this plant if you are taking diuretics, is pregnant, or allergic to the daisy family.
The same is true if you have prostate cancer. It is possible to grow toothache plants in your garden beds or pots. This is because it thrives during the warmer months, offering a colorful and unique touch to your home garden.
Some other popular remedies for dental or oral issues are using salt water rinse, using essential oils like clove oil, vanilla extract, cold compress, hydrogen peroxide rinse, peppermint tea bags, and garlic, guava leaves, wheatgrass, thyme, etc.