One of the reasons for this blog endeavor is that I wanted to show how easy it is to use herbs in your daily life. Whenever I meet people who are not familiar with herbal benefits I find they tend to shy away from using them at all, thinking it's just too "difficult," or "confusing."
In truth, it can be if you are dealing with a more complex situation or specific pharmaceuticals, for instance. But it certainly doesn't have to be. In the posts titled "Daily Dose" I'll be offering up examples of how I use herbs in day to day life. I won't get much into the details about an herb (although I will include any specific contra-indications, or warnings), but I will try and come back and do so in a later post that will focus on that specific herb's qualities. Daily Dose is meant to be a quick reference, an herbal inspiration for the herbally impaired.
Today, it's Spilanthes (acmella oleracea).
My tooth has been hurting for a few days now, and it occurred to me that I may have a cavity. Since I can't get to a dentist right away, I pulled down my tincture of Spilanthes and placed a teaspoon in a shot glass with a bit of warm water. I swished this around my mouth for a good 30 seconds or more (just like when you use mouthwash), and then spit it out. (Yes, you could swallow it if you like; t has other benefits as well, I'll get to that in another post). My mouth quickly had that trademark tingly sensation that Spilanthes gives, like hundreds of miniature little firecrackers exploding in there. Then a gentle, soothing light numbness.
Within about 5 minutes, my tooth no longer hurt. Now I can get back to fixing Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, I will need to go to a dentist next week --if I have a cavity there's no way around needing a filling-- but until then, I will gargle probably about three times a day using the same method.
If the pain gets really bad, I will also put a little drop of clove essential oil in my palm, add 5 drops of olive oil, and then take a cotton swab and put that right on the gum (no open wound of any kind, please! clove oil is a potent irritant) above the hurting tooth. This works fantastic (!) for pain, and the relief is immediate.
The Wrap Up: Spilanthes, the "toothache plant" is a potent anti-bacterial and immune stimulant (known to even fight E. coli and staph). This plant is specific for issues of the gums and helps to numb them when you gargle with it, while offering relief for inflammation and infection of the gum tissues. It raises blood flow in the tissues, thereby helping to carry away the waste created by infection/inflammation -- all around, it's helping to keep any nasties I might have going on in my mouth at bay until I can get it taken care of. And that's just some of what this plant brings to the table. Good stuff!
Contraindications: none I've come across, however I've heard it can with high or regular use stimulate auto-immune issues (because it stimulates the immune system), so use with discernment if that's you.