Also known as Toothache Plant. A spreading, highly ornamental plant with gold and red cone-shaped flowers borne above glossy green leaves. Easy-to-grow annual that can be brought indoors and grown as a perennial. This plant needs to be more widely grown and investigated for medicinal properties. (Spilanthes acmella)
Medicinal: Used by the Australian aborigines, the leaves have a numbing effect when chewed. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, especially when used at an early phase of infection. As a sialagogue it stimulates the flow of saliva, tonifies the gums, enhances immune function in the mouth and acts as an oral antiseptic reducing swelling, decay, and mouth sores caused by viruses. Has immune-enhancing components chcmically similar to Echinancea species. Spilanthes is prophylactic and possibly curative for blood parasites such as malaria, and possibly useful for treating infections due to spirochetes. Its anti-fungal properites are reported useful for treating athlete's foot and ringworm.
Growing instructions: Annual. Germination at 70-80°F. In 7-12 days. Direct sow or transplant. Full sun. Grows 8-12" tall. Space 12-18" apart. Self-sows.