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Which one? Spilanthes acmella or spilanthes oleracea?

Posted by tumblingtomatoes fl/10 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 17, 08 at 15:15

****** I just posted this same message in the herb forum cause I didnot know which would have better info for me, here or there? ******

Newbee here w/ another post about toothache plant...
Can anyone tell me which one is the one you can chew leaves & or flowers or both for a numbing of gums? Does it only numb tongue or gums too?
It is for a family member who has nerve damage & suffers from pain in the gums. like toothaches.....but there is nothing but pain killers for the treatement for this.
I thought & was suggested by someone else to use something natural instead or as well as medications.
So.....bare with me while I ask some pretty basic questions......

Another basic question????? I have seen it in three catalogs(online),1. Baker Creek ( has it listed as Spilanthes acmella,

while 2. Nichols garden nursery has it listed as Spilanthes acmella / paracress

& the 3rd place I've seen it is in Seeds of Change catalog, listed as two different plants: 1. Spilanthes acmella/salad cress (says it has purple leaves & the flowers are medicinal) & has listed also 2. Spilantes Oleraccea/para cress...... saying it's leaves are chewed & flowers are ornamental & medicinal. It calls them both "Toothache Plant" though.

Hmmmm......which one do I choose if I am looking for something herbal to chew for a numbing of the mouth/gums?????? Are the flowers edible as well as the leaves or leaves only or flowers only , these descriptions are vague to me?????

Thanks! :)
Are any of these companies good co. to order seeds from or does anyone have any recommendations/suggestions where to order from? Thanks again everyone!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Which one? Spilanthes acmella or spilanthes oleracea?

Spilanthes acmella is definitely numbing to the mouth and gums. I am not sure about the oleraccea, as I have just grown and used acmella. It's the leaves which are used for the numbing effect. You can chew fresh or dried leaves, or make a tincture and use a drop or two applied to the gums. It also causes one to salivate profusely. You might also try a drop or two of St. John's wort tincture (Hypericum perforatum)directly rubbed on the sore gums, as it has a healing effect on nerves. Just check to make sure your friend isn't taking any meds that might interact with either herb first. Best of luck to you.

RE: Which one? Spilanthes acmella or spilanthes oleracea?

Acmella and oleracea are just different names for the same plant.. Someone decides to change a species name (for whatever reason) and throws more confusion into plant identification----Turkey Tail Mushrooms have always been Coriolus versicolor, but now they're sometimes called Trametes versicolor. Go figure.

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