Spilanthes is an easy to grow tropical plant that is native to Brazil. It is low growing and has lovely dark green leaves and button like yellow and orange flowers. Also known as Toothache Plant, Spilanthes is perhaps best known as an agent that numbs tooth and gum pain if you chew a bit of the flower. Due to a constituent called Spilanthol, the flower has powerful anesthetic and analgesic virtues. The signature zing taste is fascinating and can quickly quell aching pain in the mouth. Spilanthol has also been shown to be a powerful insecticide capable of killing mosquito larvae in a dilution of 1: 100,000. This plant has also been studied for their ability to increase the immune system’s resistance to infections. Spilanthes promotes the production of leukocytes (white blood cells) and antiviral interferons which are a group of proteins released by cells in virus-infected tissue which prevents or delays the growth of viruses. Spilanthes has further been worked with as a remedy for the common cold and flu and to reduce allergic responses. The herb is often suggested to allay swollen glands, gum disease and infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Spilanthes also shows great promise in supporting people with Lyme disease as well. This is a wonderful plant to include in a medicinal garden.
Spilanthes (Spilanthes oleracea)