The grass of the teeth o Acmella oleraceais a fast-growing plant native to Brazil and Peru. It is characterized by having a cluster of many tiny yellow flowers that adopt a rounded shape with red spots in the center.
Traditional medicine has used this plant for the health benefits attributed to it. Also, many of these have been studied by science, such as toothache relief. Its effectiveness in treating gastrointestinal and inflammation problems was also evaluated.
It is important to know that the herb of the teeth can be added to food. Its strong and bitter taste brings a unique taste to food. What are its benefits, culinary uses, and possible side effects? We show them to you in this space.
Benefits attributed to it
Given its various applications in folk medicine, it is not surprising that the Acmella oleracea be the object of research that seeks to unravel its effects against some diseases and ailments. Let's see in detail.
1. Relieves toothache
As its name indicates, this plant is known to treat pain and inflammation symptoms in the teeth. This is because when chewed, the Acmella oleracea has a numbing effect in the mouth.
A review published in EXCLI Journal showed that spilanthol, an important active ingredient in this herb, is the cause of this anesthetic effect. In the same way, it is a source of flavonoids, a series of natural compounds capable of reducing prostaglandins, associated with the perception of pain.
2. Can help treat stomatitis
Stomatitis is a condition characterized by inflamed mouth and lips. It can also cause painful sores and ulcers that make it difficult to eat or drink.
As we have said, the spilanthol present in the herb of the teeth can be of great help. According to a study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, this active ingredient reduces the effects of the enzymes that are responsible for inflammation. However, more research is still needed.
3. It can control some symptoms of dermatitis
Dermatitis is a skin disorder that manifests itself as dry itchy skin or a rash with red, swollen skin. Now, the anti-inflammatory properties of Acmella oleracea they can alleviate the symptoms of this condition.
An investigation published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences stated that spilanthol is able to inhibit the migration of inflammatory cells, which creates an effect that can reduce the swelling of the skin caused by dermatitis.
4. It is a natural diuretic
Diuretics allow the body to eliminate excess fluid in the urine. According to a study published in PLoS One, spilanthol can increase urine production by directing the cellular activities of the kidneys that produce urine and reabsorb water.
5. Reduces dry mouth
Dry mouth or xerostomia occurs when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, which can cause bad breath and the lips to appear dry and chapped. Fortunately, the bitter taste that characterizes spilanthol can reduce these effects by stimulating the salivary glands.
Even a study published in Journal of Opioid Management demonstrated that spilanthol toothpicks are capable of increasing salivation in those with signs of dry mouth.
6. Helps to address gastric ulcers
According to research published in PLoS One, the herb of the teeth can be used as an adjuvant for gastric ulcers, thanks to the fact that it contains a polysaccharide or complex carbohydrate that responds to the name of rhamnogalacturonan or RGal. RGal is known to increase cell growth and reduce inflammation.
Read also: Gastric and duodenal ulcers
Dosage and recommendations of the herb of the teeth
Usually, the Acmella oleracea it is considered a safe plant to consume. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before including it in the diet.
As for the doses, you must take into account its different presentations:
If you are going to make a tea, add a tablespoon of this herb to a cup of boiling water and allows the extraction process to run for 25 minutes.
If you purchased a liquid extract, you can add 10 to 60 drops in a glass of water, between 1 to 4 times a day.
In case of being any other commercial product that contains this plant, follow the instructions suggested by the manufacturer.
Culinary uses of tooth grass
Toothbrush is not only a medicinal plant, but it can also become the main ingredient in many recipes. Since all parts of this herb are edible, you can enjoy them in different ways, whether raw, cooked, dried or powdered.
Its use is common in salads. Small amounts of fresh chopped leaves are added to provide a special flavor. However, keep in mind that cooking the leaves causes them to lose their strong and bitter taste, so if you prepare them this way you can use them like any other vegetable.
Fresh and boiled leaves are also added to soups and stews. These are usually combined with chili and garlic for a greater taste and supply of vitamins. On the other hand, in India, the flower buds of the Acmella oleracea they are used as one of the flavorings of chewing tobacco.
Discover: Tobacco deducts days from your life
The herb of the teeth is natural medicine and culinary ingredient
The Acmella oleracea, better known as tooth grass, is a flowering plant native to Brazil and Peru. Although it grows fast, it only grows in temperate climates, given its sensitivity to cold and frost.
This plant stands out in traditional medicine for its large number of benefits. In general, the herb of the teeth is able to relieve toothache, reduce the inflammation of stomatitis and control the symptoms of dermatitis.
Further, serves as a special ingredient in salads, soups and stews. Cooking its leaves reduces its strong flavor, so you can use it like other leafy vegetables, add it to your dishes and enjoy its nutrients and benefits.
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