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Acmella oleracea - Toothache plant

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Toothache plant

Toothache plant is a prostrate perennial plant. The plant is often cultivated as an annual for its edible leaves in parts of the tropics, especially Brazil. It is also grown widely as an ornamental because of the attractive colourful heads.


Parts Used

Chemical Composition

The most important taste-active molecules present are fatty acid amides such as spilanthol, which is responsible for the trigeminal and saliva-inducing effects of products such as jambu oleoresin, a concentrated extract of the plant.[1]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada Hemmugalu
Hindi Akarkar
Malayalam NA
Tamil NA
Telugu NA
Marathi Pipulka
Gujarathi NA
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit NA
English Toothache Plant, Para cress




Kind Shape Feature
Simple Oblong Leaf Arrangement is opposite



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Unisexual 2-4cm long Pink 4-5 Heads in axillary or terminal panicles, Heads often 2 coloured, yellow and reddish-brown


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Achene Achenes monomorphic, upto 2 mm long, laterally compressed, ciliate at the edges. Pappus of 2 or 1 bristle or absent. Seeds upto 5 Fruiting throughout the year

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used

Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

How to plant/cultivate

Prefers a sunny position. Plants have escaped from cultivation in New Caledonia, where the species is classified as 'Invasive'. There is a wild form with much stronger flavoured leaves that is occasionally used in salads but is more commonly used medicinally, especially to treat toothache .A cultivated form 'Oleracea' has milder flavoured leaves and has become very popular in Brazil both as a salad and an addition to soups.[3]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Photo Gallery


External Links