Family: Asteracea
Botanical name: Acmella oleracea
Malayalam: Kupamanjal , Akrav, Palluvedanachedi
English: Tooth ache plant
Hindi: Akarkar, Pipulka
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.
A decoction or infusion of the leaves and flowers is a traditional remedy for stammering, toothache, stomatitis and throat complaints.
Tooth ache plant extract has been tested against various yeasts and bacteria and was essentially inactive.
Tooth ache plant has been shown to have a strong diuretic action in rats.
Spilanthes extract has been discovered to aid in saliva stimulation (sialogogue) for people suffering from dry mouth (xerostomia). Its properties provide relief to dry mouth by enhancing saliva production.
The juice of Toothache plant is used to grind medicinal pills and is also used to stop bleeding from the mouth and nose of patients bitten by Viper.
Acmella oleracea
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