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Like many other medicinal plants out there in the mystical realms of nature, the Toothache plant obtained its common name from its most common use. When chewed, it produces a numbing sensation, like that of Kava Kava. In medical terminology, this effect is refereed to as an anesthetic. It's useful for more than toothaches though, having a wide range of medicinal properties. I personally became interested in it with the idea of making home made herbal salves and mouth washes. I took some pure menthol, added stevia for artificial sweetness ( because it's a mouth wash we don't want real sugar ), and added Kava extract along with Acmella oleracea tincture!
For stammering, toothache, and stomatitis, a decoction of infusion of the leaves and flowers is prepared. It has diuretic properties as well. A diuretic is something that stimulates the production of urine. The toothache plant increases the production of saliva. Maybe this could help cure cotton mouth ;) Different varieties have shown many other medicinal properties including: immunomodulatory, antiviral, insecticidal, antimalarial, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antimutangenic. After discovering these facts, me and a really cool Native American friend of mine made our own mouth wash out of it, and peppermint!
Acmella oleracea Phytochemistry
Phytochemistry is the study of phytochemicals that are made by plants. As it turns out, human beings are not the most advanced chemist on the planet. We learn from plants that have been around way before we were. They don't need solvents and college to do what they do either. Nothing but organic resources made available by their environment along with sunlight, and air is needed for these botanicals to produce pharmacological constituents. It's an interesting field, and you yourself could be publishing your own scholarly journals on the subject one day!
Acmella oleracea contains fatty acid amids like spillanthol. This is whats thought to increase saliva. It also has stigmasteryl-3-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and a variety of triterpenes. You can learn much more about it using academic journals. One of many electronic databases to find such studies on plants like the Toothache plant (acmella oleracea) is Google Scholar.
Growing Your Own Live Toothache Plant
The seeds can be sowed in a damp compost. They will sprout in a few weeks. Perlite in the compost helps. They like full sun and plenty of water. There is such a thing as over-watering though. Don't water your Toothache plant until the soil is dry. Only a seed will need soil that stays wet until it's established enough to do without for a bit. If you live in the Southern United States, you'll want to pretend like "full sun" means only half of the day.. I like to put my plants in an area where they get shade and only get direct sunlight during certain parts of the day. You could purchase one below and skip this step. Your purchase helps keep me and this site alive.
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