Toothache Plant (Spilanthes acmella AKA Acmella oleracea) – The common name for this species of spilanthes is a give away as to this herbs most common usage: toothache control. The pain of dental inflammation is like no other and can inflict humans from infancy to old age. The mild flavor of dried spilanthes flowers and leaves increases its compliance with even the fussiest of patients. Topical application tincture of toothache plant is the fastest acting dental application. It’s pain numbing (analgesic) properties can be used on other areas of the body as well. Holistic healthcare providers infuse massage oils, salves, vinegars, and compresses with remarkable 1st aid herb to treat a variety of conditions.

What Causes Dental Pain?

There are many reasons for dental pain. Among these can be tooth decay, abscessed teeth, infected gums, emerging teeth (baby teeth or wisdom teeth or a damaged tooth or gum line due to an injury. These impacts the nerve in in the tooth or gums and triggers inflammation. Bacterial infections are another common cause of dental inflammation. Some people complain of tooth sensitivity to cold or hot food/liquid. This is caused by tooth enamel that has eroded or gum recession enough to expose the dentine under the enamel. This is not a dental emergency but it is reason to set up an appointment so the condition doesn’t worsen.

Be sure to visit an emergency room if you have any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Pain when you bite or chew
  • Foul-tasting mucus or discharge
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling around the tooth area
  • Continuous pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dark colored urine

These are indicators of a much more serious infection. Herbal treatment by spilanthes or any other herb is not suited as a substitution for a visit to the dentist. Dental infections can become septic very quickly. Using toothache plant is one of the options that will help relieve pain until a dental or emergency room visit occurs. Don’t have a dentist yet? Click on this page to locate an ADA approved dentist near you.


How Does Spilanthes Help?

Toothache plant has a compound called spilanthol. It hosts a number of properties which, when combined, prove to be invaluable to dental issues. Among them are anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antimicrobial and analgesic properties. More needs to be known about how spilanthol works but scientists speculate that it works with bioflavonoids to inhibit of prostaglandins which allow the brain to perceive pain. Other compounds such as tannins interaction with the flavonoids to break up colonies of bacteria and other microbes in the mouth.

Western Formulas

In Western Clinical medicine, dental support blends prominently feature spilanthes along with antibiotic herbs. Berberine containing herbs such as goldenseal, Oregon grape or barberry are the most common choices. Strawberry leaf tincture is another tooth enamel strengthening herb that may be added to treat sensitive teeth. Echinacea is another companion to toothache plant for its numbing effect along with its immune stimulating properties. A small amount of clove essential oil may be added to increase the analgesic effect.


Spilanthes is normally available as a tincture, mouth rinse or a tea. As a tincture, put .4ml in a 1/2 ounce of water. Swish in mouth, then hold against side until numbing action begins. Tincture may be swallowed. Mouth rinses work the same way but the amount of mouth rinse is 1/2 ounce and the mouth rinse is spit out after the it is swished and gargled. Tea may be sipped slowly and held in mouth until swallowed to allow numbing and antiseptic effect to begin.


Spilanthes is rich in alkylamides which increase levels of testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormones. It is contraindicated for patients with androgen sensitive prostate cancer.

Further Research on Spilanthes

Research Gate – High Therapeutic Potential of Spilanthes Acmella

Hindiawi – Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology of Spilanthes acmella: A Review

NCBI: High Therapeutic Potential of Spilanthes Acmella: A Review