toothache plant

Toothache Plant: Anesthetic & Anti-Inflammatory Herb

The toothache plant, scientifically known as Acmella oleracea or Spilanthes acmella, is a fascinating herb that holds significant importance in both herbal medicine and culinary practices. This flowering plant belongs to the family Asteraceae and is also commonly referred to as Szechuan buttons, paracress, jambu, buzz buttons, tingflowers, electric daisy, and Brazilian Acmella.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The toothache plant is renowned for its anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. It is characterized by round yellow flowers and is used for various medicinal and culinary purposes.
  3. The plant’s active chemical compounds, such as spilanthol, contribute to its unique effects.
  4. In herbal medicine, it has been traditionally used to relieve oral conditions like stomatitis and may offer potential benefits for skin issues like dermatitis.
  5. In culinary applications, the toothache plant adds a distinctive flavor profile to different dishes from around the world.

Did you know? The toothache plant is not only valued for its medicinal properties but also serves as a biological pest control against mosquitoes and moth larvae.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the intriguing aspects of the toothache plant and explore how it works its magic.

What is the Toothache Plant?

The toothache plant, also known as Jambu, Electric daisy, Paracress, or Sichuan buttons, is a unique species of flowering herb in the family Asteraceae. Here’s a brief insight into its features:

Description of the toothache plant

The toothache plant has round yellow flowers and is famous for its numbing and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains active chemicals such as spilanthol, which causes tingling sensations and increases saliva production.

Common names and family classification (Asteraceae)

In addition to being called the toothache plant, it has other names like Szechuan buttons, buzz buttons, tingflowers, and Brazilian Acmella. This herb belongs to the Asteraceae family and has gained attention for its various uses in herbal medicine and cooking.

How Does the Toothache Plant Work?

The toothache plant, also known as Acmella oleracea, is famous for its ability to numb and relieve pain. It contains several important compounds that contribute to its unique properties, including flavonoids, prostaglandins, and most notably, spilanthol.

File Photo
File Photo

Here’s how the toothache plant works:

  • Numbing effect on the mouth: The active compound spilanthol found in the toothache plant is responsible for its distinctive tingling or numbing sensation. When we consume or apply it directly to our mouth, spilanthol interacts with the nerve endings, causing a mild electric-like feeling. This effect can be quite strong, which is why it’s also known as the “electric daisy” or “buzz button.”
  • Relief from dental pain: The numbing properties of the toothache plant make it an excellent natural remedy for toothaches. When we chew on it or apply it to the affected area, spilanthol acts as a local anesthetic, reducing pain and discomfort caused by toothaches and gum inflammation.
  • Reduction of inflammation: Besides its ability to relieve pain, the toothache plant also has anti-inflammatory effects. The flavonoids and prostaglandins in the plant help decrease inflammation in our mouth, providing relief for swollen gums and discomfort caused by oral conditions like stomatitis.

By addressing both pain and inflammation at the same time, the toothache plant offers comprehensive relief for various oral health problems.

The toothache plant’s unique way of working has made it a valuable ingredient in herbal medicine and traditional remedies. Its ability to provide targeted pain relief without significant side effects makes it an appealing alternative to conventional treatments.

The Toothache Plant in Herbal Medicine

The toothache plant, also known as Acmella oleracea, has long been used in traditional herbal medicine for its medicinal properties. Let’s explore some of its traditional uses and potential benefits:

1. Stomatitis

Stomatitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the mouth, including the gums, tongue, and inner cheeks. The toothache plant has been traditionally used to alleviate the discomfort associated with stomatitis. Its numbing effect on the mouth can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation caused by this oral condition.

2. Dermatitis

Dermatitis refers to a range of skin conditions characterized by redness, itching, and inflammation. Some studies suggest that the toothache plant may have potential benefits for dermatitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. While further research is needed to establish its efficacy, the plant’s active compounds may help reduce skin irritation and provide relief from symptoms associated with certain types of dermatitis.

It’s important to note that while the toothache plant has a long history of traditional use in herbal medicine, scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness for specific conditions is limited. As with any herbal remedy, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes.

Remember that herbal remedies should not replace conventional medical treatments and should be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. Additionally, individual experiences may vary, and it’s important to monitor for any adverse reactions or interactions when using herbal remedies.

Exploring the Culinary Wonders of the Toothache Plant

The toothache plant is a special herb known for its one-of-a-kind taste and numbing properties. It has become popular in many different cuisines worldwide. Here are some interesting ways this remarkable herb is used in cooking:

1. Bitter Taste with a Tingling Sensation

The toothache plant has a unique flavor that combines bitterness with a tingling or numbing sensation. This adds an exciting twist to various dishes and drinks.

2. Salads and Fresh Preparations

In salads, the toothache plant’s shredded fresh leaves can bring a refreshing and zesty element. The grassy taste along with the tingling sensation creates a memorable eating experience.

3. Flavoring Agent in Sauces and Dressings

The concentrated extract of the toothache plant, also called jambu oil or jambu extract, is used to flavor sauces, dressings, and marinades. It adds a distinct taste that enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

4. Seafood and Poultry Dishes

The toothache plant’s unique flavor goes exceptionally well with seafood and poultry dishes. Whether it’s adding a few leaves to grilled fish or incorporating it into a roast chicken recipe, this herb can elevate your cooking to new levels.

5. Exotic Cocktails and Mocktails

Bartenders have embraced the toothache plant for its ability to enhance cocktails and mocktails. By using jambu oil or fresh leaves in their creations, they can make tantalizing drinks that leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

6. Fusion Cuisine

The versatility of the toothache plant makes it ideal for fusion cuisine. Chefs from around the world have been experimenting with this herb to invent unique dishes that combine different culinary traditions.

Remember to use the toothache plant sparingly in your recipes as its strong flavor can easily overpower other ingredients. Its numbing effect may not be liked by everyone, so it’s best to start with small amounts and adjust according to your taste.

If you’re interested in exploring more about the history and significance of various culinary ingredients, you might find this comprehensive volume on the complete language of food intriguing.

Additionally, if you’re into natural alternative remedies, you might want to check out some other natural remedies that could complement your culinary adventures.

In the next section, we will explore how you can grow your own toothache plant garden and enjoy the benefits of this remarkable herb right at home. But before we do that, let’s take a closer look at some interesting facts about this herb by diving into its [complete illustrated encyclopedia entry](

Cultivating Your Own Toothache Plant Garden

Growing toothache plant at home can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to have easy access to this unique herb for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Here are some tips for successful cultivation at home:

1. Sun and Soil

Toothache plants thrive in full sun or partial shade, so choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight. They prefer well-drained, fertile soil with high organic content. A loamy soil mixture works well for cultivation.

2. Planting

Sow the seeds directly in the garden bed or start them indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost. The seeds are tiny, so sprinkle them lightly on the soil without covering them too deeply.

3. Watering

Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Once established, toothache plants have good drought tolerance.

4. Maintenance

5. Harvesting

When the plant reaches about 6-8 inches in height, you can start harvesting the flower buds and leaves. Regular harvesting encourages branching and more flower production.

Cultivating your own plant garden not only provides a fresh supply of this herb but also adds a unique touch to your home garden. With proper care and attention to its growing needs, you can enjoy the benefits of this versatile plant right at your doorstep. For those interested in expanding their garden, you may also consider growing blueberries as they complement the toothache plant’s cultivation requirements and offer another flavorful addition to your home-grown produce.

Safety Measures for Using the Toothache Plant Responsibly

When using the toothache plant, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and take necessary precautions to ensure safe consumption. Here are some safety measures to keep in mind:

  1. Start with small amounts: As with any new herb or spice, it’s best to start with a small amount to gauge your body’s reaction. This will help you determine if you have any allergies or sensitivities to the plant.
  2. Avoid excessive consumption: While the numbing effect of the toothache plant can be desirable for dental pain relief, excessive consumption may lead to unwanted side effects such as excessive salivation or tingling sensations. It’s recommended to use the plant in moderation and not exceed the suggested dosage.
  3. Consult a healthcare professional: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medication, it’s always wise to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating the toothache plant into your routine. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific health needs.
  4. Proper dosage: When using plant extracts or tinctures, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure that you’re using the product safely and effectively.
  5. Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding: Due to limited research on the safety of the toothache plant during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s advisable for pregnant and lactating individuals to avoid its use.
  6. Harvesting considerations: If you plan on harvesting toothache plants from your garden, make sure to properly identify them and avoid any potential confusion with similar-looking plants that may be toxic or harmful.

By following these safety measures, you can enjoy the benefits of the plant while minimizing any potential risks. Remember, responsible use is key when incorporating herbal remedies into your healthcare routine.


The toothache plant, also known as Acmella oleracea, is a versatile herb that offers both medicinal and culinary benefits. Its unique properties make it a valuable addition to herbal remedies and cooking.

With its numbing and pain-relieving effects, the toothache plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is commonly used for oral conditions like stomatitis, providing relief from toothaches and mouth ulcers. Additionally, it shows potential benefits for skin issues such as dermatitis.

In the culinary world, the toothache plant adds a distinctive flavor to various dishes. Its grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation adds excitement to salads, stews, and more. The flower buds, known as “buzz buttons”, are particularly popular for their flavoring properties.

Cultivating your own toothache plant garden can be a rewarding experience. By following some simple tips for successful cultivation at home and understanding its soil preferences and maintenance requirements, you can enjoy fresh leaves and flower buds whenever you need them.

When using the toothache plant, it is important to take safety measures into consideration. While side effects are rare, it’s best to avoid excessive consumption and follow proper dosage guidelines to ensure safe usage.

In conclusion, the toothache plant offers a wide range of benefits in both herbal medicine and cooking. Its versatile nature makes it an intriguing herb to explore. Whether you’re looking for natural remedies for dental pain or want to add an exciting twist to your culinary creations, the toothache plant is definitely worth considering.

So go ahead, embrace the toothache plant’s unique qualities and unlock its potential in your life. Discover the medicinal uses of this remarkable herb and experiment with its culinary wonders. The plant awaits your exploration!

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