Spilanthes Acmella – The Toothache Plant
The toothache plant is an exciting herb to add to the garden. In northern climates, it’s grown as an annual. All parts of the herb are used, from the roots to the leaves and flowers. It is commonly used to treat toothaches, mouth, throat and gum infections, as the leaves have a mild anesthetizing effect. The leaves can be chewed and tucked around sore gums and teeth to provide relief from pain. The toothache plant has antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasite, and immune-boosting properties. It is used to fight blood parasites and malaria. The fresh leaves are also edible and are eaten like cress and taste great in salads!
Health Benefits and Uses
The toothache plants, as its name suggests, are great for toothaches and mouth ailments. Here is a shortlist of its medicinal qualities.
- Strong Diuretic
How To Grow Spilanthes Acmella
In northern climates, the toothache plant is an annual herb. It grows best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It prefers fertile, moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 6.1 to 6.5. The optimal temperature for germinating the seeds is 20-24°C (68-75°F). To begin, be sure to surface sow the seeds as they require light to stimulate germination. If starting the seeds outdoors, bury the seeds 1/4 inch deep. Germination takes approx. 1-2 weeks.
For the best germination results, it’s recommended to grow indoors in sterilized potting soil. Black earth and a peat moss mixture work well. Always keep the soil moist but never soggy. Once the seedlings have at least two sets of leaves, they can be transplanted outside after the last risk of frost.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use.
The Complete Medicinal Herbal: A Practical Guide to the Healing Properties of Herbs, with More Than 250 Remedies for Common Ailments.