Toothache plant

Last Updated: November 18 2022

Spilanthes acmella is a traditional medicine for toothache, fever, and as an aphrodisiac; one study in rats suggests that it may increase testosterone, but it is an understudied herb.

Toothache plant is most often used for


Spilanthes acmella (Toothache Plant, Paracress) is a food product that has some history of medicinal usage related to its pain relieving properties. As the bioactives are absorbed topically and the leaves are used in salads, consumption of salads have been touted to help toothaches and other oral diseases where pain is a side-effect thereof.

It is currently in preliminary stages of research right now, with no human evidence. In rats, these pain relieving effects do appear to exist when applied to the skin (no evidence on oral consumption) and are fairly potent, but underperformed when compared to the reference drug.

Other properties of Spilanthese Acmella are as an aphrodisiac (which appears to be quite potent in rats, building up in efficacy over time rather than acute effects) and the diuretic effect, which only has one study on it currently but exhibited more potent effects than furosemide. The mechanism of diuresis appears to be similar to a loop diuretic.

Additionally, Spilanthes has been found to increase testosterone, FSH, and LH; similar effects were also noted with another herb containing the same molecular class of N-Akylamides (Anacyclus Pyrethrum) but currently this is one study.

What else is Toothache plant known as?
Note that Toothache plant is also known as:
  • Jambu Oleoresin
  • Acmella Oleracea
  • Spilanthes Oleracea
  • Toothache Plant
  • Paracress
  • Spilanthes Acmella
Dosage information

Based on the evidence in rats using 150mg/kg of an ethanolic extract, an estimated human dose is:

  • 1,600mg for a 150lb person
  • 2,200mg for a 200lb person
  • 2,700mg for a 250lb person

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1.^Sharma V, Boonen J, Chauhan NS, Thakur M, De Spiegeleer B, Dixit VKSpilanthes acmella ethanolic flower extract: LC-MS alkylamide profiling and its effects on sexual behavior in male ratsPhytomedicine.(2011 Oct 15)
2.^Ramsewak RS, Erickson AJ, Nair MGBioactive N-isobutylamides from the flower buds of Spilanthes acmellaPhytochemistry.(1999 Jul)
3.^Ley JP, Blings M, Krammer G, Reinders G, Schmidt CO, Bertram HJIsolation and synthesis of acmellonate, a new unsaturated long chain 2-ketol ester from Spilanthes acmellaNat Prod Res.(2006 Jul 20)
7.^Mbeunkui F, Grace MH, Lategan C, Smith PJ, Raskin I, Lila MAIsolation and identification of antiplasmodial N-alkylamides from Spilanthes acmella flowers using centrifugal partition chromatography and ESI-IT-TOF-MSJ Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci.(2011 Jul 1)
8.^Prachayasittikul S, Suphapong S, Worachartcheewan A, Lawung R, Ruchirawat S, Prachayasittikul VBioactive metabolites from Spilanthes acmella MurrMolecules.(2009 Feb 19)
10.^Sharma V, Thakur M, Chauhan NS, Dixit VKEffects of petroleum ether extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum DC. on sexual behavior in male ratsZhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao.(2010 Aug)
11.^Boonen J, Baert B, Burvenich C, Blondeel P, De Saeger S, De Spiegeleer BLC-MS profiling of N-alkylamides in Spilanthes acmella extract and the transmucosal behaviour of its main bio-active spilantholJ Pharm Biomed Anal.(2010 Nov 2)
12.^Raner GM, Cornelious S, Moulick K, Wang Y, Mortenson A, Cech NBEffects of herbal products and their constituents on human cytochrome P450(2E1) activityFood Chem Toxicol.(2007 Dec)
13.^Heit C, Dong H, Chen Y, Thompson DC, Deitrich RA, Vasiliou VKThe role of CYP2E1 in alcohol metabolism and sensitivity in the central nervous systemSubcell Biochem.(2013)
14.^Chakraborty A, Devi BR, Sanjebam R, Khumbong S, Thokchom ISPreliminary studies on local anesthetic and antipyretic activities of Spilanthes acmella Murr. in experimental animal modelsIndian J Pharmacol.(2010 Oct)
15.^Boonen J, Baert B, Roche N, Burvenich C, De Spiegeleer BTransdermal behaviour of the N-alkylamide spilanthol (affinin) from Spilanthes acmella (Compositae) extractsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2010 Jan 8)
17.^Wongsawatkul O, Prachayasittikul S, Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya C, Satayavivad J, Ruchirawat S, Prachayasittikul VVasorelaxant and antioxidant activities of Spilanthes acmella MurrInt J Mol Sci.(2008 Dec)
18.^Iizuka T, Nagumo S, Yotsumoto H, Moriyama H, Nagai MVasorelaxant effects of Acer nikoense extract and isolated coumarinolignans on rat aortic ringsBiol Pharm Bull.(2007 Jun)
20.^Ratnasooriya WD, Pieris KP, Samaratunga U, Jayakody JRDiuretic activity of Spilanthes acmella flowers in ratsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2004 Apr)