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Spilanthes acmella Toothache Plant  Legetan Asteraceae
 

 

Spilanthes acmella, Toothache Plant, Asteraceae, legetan

A small, erect plant, it grows quickly and sends up gold and red flower inflorescences. Eating Acmella is a memorable experience. The leaf has a smell similar to any green leafy vegetable. First, a strong, spicy warmth spreads outward across one's tongue, turning into a prickling sensation and causes salivation. As the prickling spreads, it mellows into an acidic (slightly etallic) 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.For culinary purposes, small amounts of shredded fresh leaves add a unique flavour to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavour and may be used as leafy greens.
Medicinal uses:The most common and widespread medicinal use is to treat toothache and throat and gum infections. Worldwide the flower heads are used either fresh or dried and powdered, but the use of roots and leaves has been recommended as well. The plant is further recommended as a cure for dysentery and rheumatism, and to enhance the immune system. It is used against blood parasites, especially against malaria, both prophylactic and curative.

  

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