This tropical plant, unusual in most gardens, is a member of the Aster family, the Compositae. It has an unusual habit, growing rapidly as a ground cover never more than a few inches above the soil, but with big, rounded, almost heart-shaped leaves. Its flower has no petals, being just a red and yellow bud, about the size of a fingernail. We harvest the buds as soon as they start appearing (depends when the seeds were started), and will harvest the rest of the plant, roots and all, before the frosts (which kill it instantly).
Elemental associations: Water
Phytochemistry: Alkyl amides, sesquiterpenes
Actions: Salilagogue, antifungal, carminative, immunostimulant
Specific systems: Mouth and upper digestive
There is nothing like eating a fresh bud of Spilanthes. Get your friends to try it, it is an experience everyone should enjoy. Within a few seconds, your mouth will start producing large amounts of saliva, followed by a very intense tingling and numbing effect. It disinfects and stimulates every inch of the oral mucosa, making it excellent for gum disease, toothache, or even wisdom tooth pain. Often, tooth extraction can be averted just by using Spilanthes extract daily. It is also useful in cases of sore throat, disinfecting and numbing as it slides down into the stomach (great for that ‘tickly’ cough that keeps you up at night, maybe combined with Licorice).
It is an excellent addition to any anti-fungal regimen, against everything from candida to athlete’s foot. It also works to stimulate the immune system in acute conditions, much like Echinacea (it possesses a similar chemical profile).
Indications: Mouth and gum disease, toothache, sore throat, candidiasis
Contraindications: Pregnancy and autoimmune conditions (theoretical)
Preparation/Dosage: It is not quite so potent once it dries, therefore the tea is not really recommended. Either eat it fresh (best way) or use an extract of the fresh buds combined with ther extract of leaves and roots, both at 40%, 1:2 to 1:10. Dilute in water before use, and take ¼ to ½ tsp. as needed.