Acmella oleracea, Spilanthes oleracea, Spilanthes, Toothacheplant, Pará Cress, Brazilian Cress.
Acmella oleracea, Spilanthes oleracea, Spilanthes, Toothacheplant, Asteraceae or Compositae, Aster family, contains spilanthol (and other isobutylamides, particularly in the buds) which produces a numbing sensation on the tongue, and increases salivation. This compound produces a numbing sensation similar to that produced by Echinacea angustifolia root, which also contains isobutylamides. Used medicinally and as a food plant, with leaves added to salads (in small amounts) for a unique flavor and sensation; also cooked as a pot herb. This plant is a cultigen, grown in South America for centuries, perhaps originating from related wild species in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, but is not known from the wild. Naturalized elsewhere as a tropical weed in South America, Asia, and Southeast Asia. Research for pharmacological activities including potential antimalarial, antiviral, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and analgesic effects among other activities. A folk remedy for gout, inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis), and to relieve a toothache. Sold in American nurseries as an ornamental annual for its bicolored, petalless flowerheads. Introduced to British gardens by 1770.
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