Have you heard about the Toothache plant? Let’s grow it!
Toothache plant is an herb used in folk medicine throughout India. Its roots and flowers are used to give a local anesthetic effect and that temporarily eases the pain toothaches. The flowers of this rare plant have also been utilized as a urinary antiseptic and treat malaria.
How does this happen?
Spilanthol in the Toothache plant is an antiseptic alkaloid found in great quantity in the flowers. This is what causes the numbing sensation.
Native to South America, the plant belongs to the Asteraceae family. Its botanical name is Acmella oleracea / Spilanthes acmella, and it is also known as Electric Daisy and Buzz Button. This lesser-known flowering annual is grown for its antiseptic properties too.
Another USP of the plant is its petal-less flowers. When ingested, these flowers taste like grass and then give a numbing effect that lasts for about 15 mins. The sensation is powerful. Apart from this, the herb also makes you salivate since it is a Sialagogue. If you have a sore throat, it might feel cool, and gum irritations or mouth ulcers would also be relieved for a small period.
You could also use crushed leaves of the plant to soothe a painful scratch or wound.
Other health benefits of Toothache plant:
- Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasite
- Immunity booster
- Strong Diuretic
Amazing isn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to grow the Toothache plant in your garden?
- Propagate the herb via seeds.
- Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost date.
- Sprinkle the seeds on growing medium.
- Seeds need light to germinate. Thus, cover them with a fine layer of vermicompost.
- Mist the seeds very lightly. Do not overwater.
- Reduce misting once seedlings emerge.
- The flowers bloom from June-September.
- Use a heat mat for seed germination.
- Transplant the seedlings outdoors about 10-12 inches apart in full sun to partial shade. Read about how to re-pot old plants.
- It prefers compost rich and well-drained soil. Use a high-quality potting mix.
- Plants can sprawl out up to 2 feet.
- Water sparingly.
- The plant features bronze foliage and popping blooms that look great in borders, as accents or in containers. Buy pots & planters online.
Caring for Toothache plant:
- Do not overwater.
- The plant is not prone to any disease or insect infestation.
- Pinch back the stems to encourage bushy growth.
For adverse conditions seek medical help. In case you are allergic to certain herbs, do not consume without consulting your doctor.