Acmella oleracea-Toothache Plant


Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K.Jansen Acmella oleracea    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Common Name: Toothache Plant

Hindi: Akarkar, Pipulka • Marathi: Pipulka, Akarkara • Kannada: Hemmugalu • Assamese: Pirazha • Tangkhul: Ansa han


Toothache Plant or “Paracress” is a flowering herb. Its leaves and flower heads contain an analgesic agent that may be used to numb toothaches. It is grown as an ornamental (and occasionally as a medicinal) in various parts of the world.

The stems are prostrate or erect, often reddish, hairless. Leaves are broadly ovate to triangular, 5-11 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, margins toothed, tip sharp.

Flower-heads arise singly, elongated-conical, containing primarily disc florets, 1-2.4 cm long, 1.1-1.7 cm in diameter. Disc florets are many, yellow to orange, 2.7-3.3 mm long. Achenes are black, 2-2.5 mm long. Eating Toothache Plant is a memorable experience. The leaf has a smell similar to any green leafy vegetable. The taste, however, is somewhat reminiscent of Echinacea, but lacking the bitter and sometimes nauseating element of that medicinal. First, a strong, spicy warmth spreads outward across one’s tongue, turning into a prickling sensation. With this the salivary glands leap into action, pumping out quantities of saliva. As the prickling spreads, it mellows into an acidic (slightly metallic) sharpness accompanied by tingling, and then numbness. The numbness fades after a time (two to twenty minutes, depending on the person and amount eaten), and the pungent aftertaste may linger for an hour or more.

Medicinal uses:

Acmella Oleracea extract is considered a natural alternative to Botox, and is extracted from a plant called Acmella Oleracea. Applied topically, Acmella Oleracea reportedly reduces muscle tension, reducing facial wrinkles caused by tense or contracted facial muscles. It is considered a natural muscle relaxant and has been traditionally used as an herbal Orajel of sorts, used to numb toothaches thanks to the presence of analgesic alkylamides called spilanthol. This spilanthol is thought to have the same paralyzing effects on facial muscles as it does on gums, reducing wrinkles by relaxing the skin. It’s seen in topical formulas and can easily penetrate the skin, inhibiting contractions in subcutaneous muscles. In a clinical study, 75% of patients immediately realized the smoothing effect of Acmella Oleracea, noticing results the day after the first application. Patents are being developed to use Acmella Oleracea as a safe alternative to toxic Botox. However, Acmella Oleracea does not pack the collagen-building peptide punch of the usual ‘Botox in a Jar’ ingredients (Source).

Disclaimer- Unverified information The leaves and flower heads contain analgesic, antifungal, anthelminthic, and antibacterial agents, but some of the compounds are destroyed by desiccatio


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