Did you know you could grow a natural toothache treatment right in your backyard?
This insightful guide not only reveals the secrets of using it as a natural toothache treatment but also provides valuable tips on cultivating and growing this remarkable plant.
This herbaceous plant is renowned for its unique culinary and medicinal attributes.
Commonly known as “Electric Daisy” or “Szechuan Buttons,” this tropical native of Brazil has found cultivation across various global regions.
What sets the Toothache Plant apart is its remarkable ability to elicit a tingling or numbing sensation in the mouth upon consuming its leaves, flower buds, or stems.
This characteristic experience is attributed to the active compound spilanthol, abundantly present in the plant. Traditionally recognized for alleviating toothaches and oral discomfort, the Toothache Plant has become a fascinating addition to culinary dishes—see our recipe below!.
In gastronomy, enthusiasts incorporate Toothache Plant into salads, teas, infusions, and as a garnish, introducing a unique and unexpected flavor profile. The tingling sensation it imparts bears resemblance to the numbing effect associated with Sichuan peppercorns.
Beyond its culinary uses, the toothache plant has garnered attention for its potential medicinal benefits. Including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It’s crucial to note that, while generally safe for consumption in moderation, individual tolerance to the numbing sensation may vary. Caution should be exercised to avoid excessive consumption.
How To Grow A Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea)
- Start with Quality Seeds: Acquire high-quality Acmella oleracea seeds from a reliable supplier to ensure successful germination.
- Choose the Right Planting Location: Opt for a sunny location in your garden with well-draining soil. If you prefer container gardening, select pots with proper drainage.
- Plant the Seeds: Sow the seeds 1/4″ deep in the chosen location or containers. You can sow 4–6 seeds together every 6 inches or sow about one seed per inch.
- Provide Adequate Sunlight: The toothache plant thrives in full sunlight, so make sure the chosen spot receives ample sunlight throughout the day.
- Maintain Soil Moisture: Keep the soil consistently moist, adjusting watering to prevent either drought stress or waterlogged conditions.
- Monitor Soil pH: Aim for a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH range to create optimal growing conditions for Acmella oleracea.
- Thin Out Seedlings: Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them out to provide sufficient spacing. This helps promote healthy growth and prevents overcrowding.
- Encourage Bushier Growth: Regular pruning is beneficial to encourage bushier growth, leading to increased flower production.
- Harvest When in Full Bloom: Harvest the flower buds and leaves when the Toothache Plant is in full bloom, typically in mid- to late-summer.
- Utilize in Culinary Dishes: Incorporate the harvested parts into salads or use them as a flavorful addition to various culinary dishes to experience the unique numbing properties of Acmella oleracea.
Cultivating Acmella oleracea by following these steps not only ensures a thriving plant but also provides an interesting and useful addition to your garden and culinary menu (see our recipe for toothache salad below).
Is the Toothache Plant a Perennial?
The Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea) is generally considered a tender perennial or an annual herb, depending on the climate in which it is grown.
In its native tropical regions, Toothache Plant can behave as a perennial, thriving year-round in a warm and frost-free environment. However, in areas with colder climates or where frost occurs, it is often grown as an annual.
In temperate regions with distinct seasons, the Toothache Plant is usually cultivated as an annual because it is sensitive to cold temperatures and cannot withstand frost. Gardeners in such areas may need to replant it each year after the last frost has passed.
If you live in a region with a warm and tropical climate, the toothache plant may survive and persist as a perennial. Otherwise, consider growing it as an annual, starting new plants each growing season.
Always check local climate conditions and gardening recommendations to determine the best approach for cultivating the Toothache Plant in your specific area.
Is The Toothache Plant Invasive?
The Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea) is not considered invasive in most regions. It is native to the tropics of Brazil and has been cultivated in various parts of the world for its culinary and medicinal properties. In controlled garden settings, it tends to stay within its designated area, and its spread is generally manageable.
However, it’s essential to note that the term “invasive” can have different implications depending on the context and the specific ecosystem. In some regions, a plant that behaves well in one climate may exhibit invasive tendencies in another, especially if it is introduced to a new environment where it lacks natural predators or controls.
Toothache Plant is typically grown as an annual or perennial herb, and it is well-behaved in gardens. If you are considering planting it, it’s advisable to check with local agricultural or environmental authorities to ensure that it is not listed as invasive in your specific area. Always be mindful of local regulations and guidelines regarding the cultivation of plants to prevent any unintended ecological impact.
Toothache Companion Plants
Companion planting involves placing plants together in the garden that can benefit each other by enhancing growth, deterring pests, or providing other advantages.
When considering companion plants for the Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea), it’s beneficial to choose plants that have similar growing requirements and can coexist harmoniously.
Here are some companion plants that may pair well with the toothache plant:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is known to repel certain pests and can enhance the flavor of nearby plants. It’s a versatile herb that complements the toothache plant in both culinary and companion planting aspects.
Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
Marigolds are often used as companion plants due to their ability to repel nematodes and other soil-borne pests. They can add a splash of color to the garden while providing a protective barrier for the toothache plant.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum spp.)
Nasturtiums are believed to deter aphids and other pests. Their vibrant flowers can add beauty to the garden, creating an aesthetically pleasing environment for the toothache plant.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Chamomile is known for its calming effects on nearby plants and may help improve the overall health of the garden. It’s a low-growing herb that can complement the growth habit of the toothache plant.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
Lavender is valued for its aromatic qualities and may attract beneficial insects while deterring pests. Its upright growth can provide an interesting contrast to the toothache plant.
Thyme (Thymus spp.)
Thyme is a low-maintenance herb that can act as a ground cover, suppressing weeds around the Toothache Plant. It also has aromatic properties that may help repel certain pests.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano is a culinary herb with pest-repelling properties. Planting it alongside the toothache plant can create a functional and flavorful herb garden.
When planning a companion planting arrangement, consider the specific needs of each plant regarding sunlight, water, and soil conditions.
Additionally, observe how the plants interact over time to determine the effectiveness of the companion planting strategy in your garden.
How To Use the Toothache Plant As A Natural Toothache Treatment
Harvesting Harvest the flower buds and leaves of the Toothache Plant when they are in full bloom, usually during the summer.
These parts contain the active compound spilanthol, which imparts the characteristic tingling or numbing sensation.
Preparation Wash the harvested parts thoroughly to remove any dirt or contaminants. You can use fresh or dried flowers and leaves for the preparation.
The most straightforward method is to chew a small amount of fresh toothache plant buds or leaves. Chew them slowly, allowing the saliva to mix with the plant material.
The numbing effect will start to manifest in the mouth, providing relief to the affected area.
Infusion or Tea To Alleviate Toothache Pain
Another method is to make an infusion or tea using the dried toothache plant. Steep a teaspoon of dried flowers or leaves in hot water for about 10–15 minutes. Strain the mixture and allow it to cool slightly before gargling or swishing it around in your mouth.
Tinctures or Extracts for Natural Toothache Treatment
Tinctures or extracts can be prepared by soaking the fresh or dried plant material in alcohol or glycerin. This method allows for a concentrated form of the active compounds. A few drops of the tincture can be applied directly to the affected tooth or gum.
Crushed fresh leaves or flower buds can be applied directly to the affected area for a more targeted effect. This can be particularly useful for localized pain.
Toothache Plant Mouthwash
One popular home remedy utilizing the Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea) is a mouthwash or oral rinse that can provide a temporary numbing effect and potentially alleviate mild oral discomfort.
Here’s a simple recipe for Toothache Plant Mouthwash:
- 1 tablespoon fresh Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea) leaves and flower buds
- 1 cup distilled water
- Harvest and Clean the Toothache Plant Collect fresh leaves and flower buds from the toothache plant. Wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities.
- Prepare the Infusion In a small saucepan, bring the distilled water to a gentle boil. Remove it from heat and add the fresh Toothache Plant leaves and flower buds.
- Steeping Process Allow the toothache plant to steep in the hot water for approximately 10–15 minutes. This allows the active compounds to infuse the water.
- Strain the Infusion After steeping, strain the liquid to remove the plant material. You should be left with an herbal infusion.
- Cool the mouthwash. Let the Toothache Plant mouthwash cool to room temperature. Ensure it’s comfortable for oral use and not too hot.
- Rinse and Gargle Use the mouthwash as you would with any oral rinse. Take a small amount into your mouth, swish it around, and gargle for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. You can repeat this process as needed.
- Caution While this Toothache Plant mouthwash is generally considered safe for temporary relief, it’s essential to use it in moderation. Excessive use may lead to an intense numbing sensation or increased saliva production. Also, be cautious if you have known allergies to plants in the Asteraceae family, as Acmella oleracea belongs to this group.
By following these steps, you can harness the natural analgesic properties of the toothache plant to alleviate the discomfort associated with toothaches.
While the toothache plant is generally safe for oral use, it’s essential to use it in moderation. Excessive consumption may lead to increased saliva production or a very intense numbing sensation.
As with any herbal remedy, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant.
Consideration Keep in mind that while the Toothache Plant can provide temporary relief for toothaches, it is not a substitute for professional dental care. If you experience persistent or severe tooth pain, it is crucial to consult with a dentist to address the underlying cause.
Is the toothache plant Edible ?
The Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea) is indeed edible, and its distinctive culinary feature is the tingling or numbing sensation it imparts to the mouth.
This unique flavor experience arises from the presence of spilanthol, the active compound residing in the leaves, flower buds, and stems of the plant.
The toothache plant, Acmella oleracea, adds a unique and tingling flavor to dishes.
Here’s a simple recipe for a refreshing Toothache Plant Salad that incorporates the distinctive taste of this herb:
Toothache Plant Salad Recipe
- 2 cups fresh mixed greens (e.g., arugula, spinach, or your favorite salad greens)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea) leaves and flower buds, washed and patted dry
Basic Salad Dressing Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the Toothache Plant Harvest fresh leaves and flower buds from the toothache plant. Wash them thoroughly and set them aside.
- Prepare the Salad Base In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.
- Create the Dressing In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Assemble the Salad Add the Toothache Plant leaves and flower buds to the salad mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat the ingredients evenly.
- Serve Divide the Toothache Plant Salad among serving plates. Garnish with additional Toothache Plant leaves for an extra burst of flavor.
Enjoy Serve the Toothache Plant Salad as a refreshing and unique side dish alongside your favorite main course. The tingling sensation from the Toothache Plant adds an exciting element to the overall dining experience.
Feel free to customize the salad by adding other ingredients, like nuts, fruits, or proteins, based on your preferences. This recipe highlights the toothache plant’s distinctive flavor while offering a delightful and healthy salad option.
Disclaimer and Warning
Remember, this remedy is not a substitute for professional dental care. If you experience persistent or severe oral issues, it is crucial to consult with a dentist to address the underlying cause.
As with any natural remedy, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet for medicinal purposes.
If consumed in large amounts, cinnamon may interact with prescribed medications, including those for diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease.
The information provided in “Wild Herbal Adventures: Exploring Nature’s Pharmacy, One Week at a Time” is intended for informational purposes only.
My Homestead Life, LLC, does not assume responsibility or accountability for any actions, decisions, or consequences that may result from using the information presented in this course.
It is essential to consult with qualified professionals or conduct thorough research before applying any herbal knowledge or practices to ensure their safety and suitability for your specific circumstances.