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Peruvian rain forest herb proven to cure toothaches

Mar 27, 2012

Medical science continues to enthrall us with new discoveries, and one of its latest findings is a proven remedy for toothaches from a very old source, the Amazon.

Spilanthes extract is an anesthetic gel made from the Acmella Oleracea plant found in the Peruvian rainforest. Known locally as “the toothache plant,” the leaves and flower heads of Acmella Oleracea contain a natural analgesic which when chewed numbs the tongue and gums.

Indigenous tribes in Peru have used the pain-killing properties of the plant for centuries to treat toothache, ulcers and abscesses.

The Cambridge University anthropologist responsible for bringing the discovery to clinical trials in the United Kingdom says if the gel continues to do well in tests it may end the use of synthetic anesthetics like Novocain in dental care.

“This treatment for toothache means we could be looking at the end of some injections in the dentist’s surgery,” said Francoise Freedman.

Freedman said she experienced the plant’s anesthetic use firsthand while living with the Keshwa Lamas tribe in the Amazon in the mid-1970’s. "We were trekking through the rainforest, and I was having terrible trouble with my wisdom teeth. One of the men with me noticed and prepared a little wad of plants to bite on to. The pain went away."

The fact that her discovery was introduced for testing occurred almost by accident. It wasn’t until a Cambridge neuroscientist asked Freedman to bring medicinal samples back for neurological research that she remembered of her earlier experience in the rain forest. She says she threw in an Acmella Oleracea plant sample as an afterthought.  Also, the plant sample she provided was intended for the bottom of the testing list at Cambridge but the list got reversed and so Spilanthes was tested first.

"It was immediately successful and we've never looked back," Freedman said.

If late stage trials go well, the product will be brought to market in 2014 or 2015 and a percentage of future profits will be shared with the Keshwa Lamas community in Peru.

Sources: Fox News, Mountain Rose Herbs,, Anglia ITV-News


Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC ©

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