Spilanthes Acmella (Acmella Oleracea)
Splianthes Acmella is a species of flowering herb in the Asteraceae family. A common name for it is also tooth-ache plant.
Traditionally it has been used to treat tooth aches, throat and gum infections.
These plants have an interesting chemistry, containing flavonoids, sterols, sesquiterpene lactones and amides, notably spilanthol, which has anaesthetic effects. Chewing one leaf is enough to numb the mouth and cause a tingling sensation on the tongue. The flowers are the most numbing part of the plant.
Eating a fresh flower is described having the following effects. “Within a few seconds, the taste buds, gums, and entire mouth become overwhelmed by the intense tingling buzz, saliva swirling stimulating sensation. Whilst this is happening, the mouth is being cleaned and the gum tissues, lymphatic and immune systems stimulated and strengthened”.
Used as a rinse (tincture) its prickly effect increases the circulation to the gums. With increased circulation the gums have the ability to restore, re-tone themselves and become tighter, healthier and more resistant. It has an antiseptic effect, it also stimulates the salivary glands to produce more salvia which acts like a tonic for healthy gums and oral flora. A mouth rinse with approx. 10 drops of Spilanthes tincture can be used daily to promote gum health.