Everything You Need to Know About the Toothache Plant

The toothache plant has many uses beyond simply fighting tooth pain. Traditionally, it has also been used for reducing wrinkles, combating colds and flu, enhancing sexual function and easing inflammation. In some countries, fresh and cooked leaves of the toothache plant are even eaten in salads and savory dishes.

Native to Brazil, the toothache plant goes by the scientific names of Acmella oleracea, Spilanthes acmella†or Spilanthes oleracea. It can also be called paracress, the eyeball plant or electric daisy. In Brazil itís called jambu.

Despite its varied names, the toothache plant is becoming more popular throughout the world as an herbal powerhouse. And research is growing that shows just how much this plant is capable of. Letís take a look at some of the toothache plantís most common uses and how you can take advantage of them.

Everything You Need to Know About the Toothache Plant


1. Relieve Pain

The toothache plant gets its name from a strong tingling or numbing sensation in the mouth when you chew on the leaves or flower buds, sometimes called “buzz buttons” or “electric buttons.” It also tends to stimulate saliva production and creates a cool sensation in your throat. These sensations fade after about 15 minutes.

Researchers donít know exactly which chemicals cause these effects, but they have found a diverse array of active medicinal compounds throughout the plants. One of the most important compounds is spilanthol. Among other bioactivities, spilanthol can reduce sensitivity to pain. Spilanthol is even being proposed for use in several drugs due to its analgesic activity.

How to Use: If you have a toothache, gum irritation, mouth ulcer or other dental pain, try chewing on the fresh flower buds or leaves of a toothache plant. You can also drink tea brewed with some fresh or dried leaves or flowers. Another option is to swish several drops of a toothache plant tincture in your mouth for about a minute, then spit it out. Experiment with using toothache plant on other localized pains, such as muscle pain, a sore throat or arthritic pain.

2. Combat Inflammation

The toothache plant has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that toothache plant extracts have high free radical scavenging activity. The toothache plant also contains many potent antioxidants, which help prevent free radical damage in your body and keep inflammation under control.

How to Use: The toothache plant is completely safe to eat, so you can use it in salads and cooked dishes. The antioxidants in the toothache plant will not be affected by cooking, so you can add toothache plant leaves or flowers to any dish. Toothache plant tea is also safe to drink regularly.

3. Kill Bacteria and Fungi

Toothache plants have antibacterial properties against a range of bacteria, including oral bacteria that can lead to dental cavities and periodontal disease. Toothache plant extracts were also found to have better antifungal activity against certain strains of fungi than fluconazole, a common antifungal drug.

How to Use: Swishing with a few drops of toothache plant tincture or tea may help kill harmful oral bacteria. Chewing on the leaves or flower buds can also help. Toothache plants have also been shown to combat skin fungi, so you can try applying the leaves or a tincture to fungal infections like ringworm or athleteís foot.

4. Enhance Sex Drive & Performance

Research suggests the toothache plant is able to increase sexual arousal and performance. Certain alkamides in toothache plants appear to mimic the action of testosterone, or stimulate the secretion of the hormone. In addition, toothache plant extracts have the ability to relax vascular tension. This allows blood to flow more effectively through blood vessels, which improves erectile function.

How to Use: Try including toothache plants in your diet or drinking toothache plant tea if youíre experiencing a lull in your sex drive or performance.

5. Improve Skin Tone

Traditionally, the toothache plant has been used cosmetically to smooth out wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin. Studies have found that toothache plant extract is a fast-acting subcutaneous muscle relaxant. This can accelerate the repair of skin wrinkles and strengthen the collagen network of tissues, which helps keep skin looking young and healthy.

How to Use: Various anti-aging creams are starting to contain toothache plant extracts. You can also simply crush some leaves and apply a poultice to your skin, or apply a toothache plant tincture.

6. Boost Immune System

Spilanthol and certain other compounds in toothache plants have been shown to stimulate your immune system and enhance immune response. This is helpful for preventing or fighting a variety of conditions, such as colds, respiratory infections or influenza.

How to Use: Include toothache plant in your diet to boost overall immune function, or brew some tea when you feel a cold coming on.

Toothache Plant in Pot


You can buy commercial toothache plant tinctures, liquid extracts and dried powders. But the best way to have a fresh, high-quality supply of toothache plant on hand is to grow your own.

The easiest way to start toothache plants is from seed. Check your local garden center for seeds or order them online. The seeds need light to germinate, so sprinkle them on top of your potting mix and donít cover them until they sprout.

Toothache plants canít handle frost. They are perennial in the tropics, but can be grown as annuals in colder climates. The plants only naturally grow up to 2 feet (60 centimeters) across, so they can fit in a corner of your garden or in a container. They prefer full sun to partial shade and soil rich in organic matter.

To harvest, simply cut down the above-ground parts of the plant and use them fresh or hang them to dry. If your growing season is long enough, your plant may be able to grow back for a second harvest.

You can also check out Healing Harvest Homesteadís detailed instructions on how you can make your own tincture.

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Mia B
Past Member 1 months ago


Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago


Ellie L
Past Member 2 months ago

Thanks very much

Sarah A
Past Member 2 months ago

thank you

Vincent T
Vincent T3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Mona P
Mona Pietsch4 months ago

thank you

Leo Custer
Leo Custer4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Leo C
Leo Custer4 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

j W
j W4 months ago

Far out! I think I used to jam with "Electric Daisy" & "The Eyeball Plant" back in my High School & College days. Good times.
Seriously though, this sounds like a cool plant to have around.
Rock & Roll! :)