Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spilanthes "Peek-A-Boo"

I found a new plant yesterday and two of them jumped into my cart.

I did a little net research and found this info:

In addition to the unique flowers, ‘Peek-A-Boo’ has attractive bronzy, dark green foliage which is edible. This annual is used in salads because of it’s pepper like flavor, and is also chewed for toothache because of it’s anesthetic properties, this is how it gets it’s other common name of Toothache Plant.

One person had this to say,"Of many hundreds of different kinds of plants that I eat in salads, only this species causes my tongue and lips to go numb. It is a fascinating plant in several respects, but its numbing or local anesthetic effect is unique, recalling Novocain® used by dentists.
If you chew any part of the herb, especially an entire flowerhead, at first your mouth experiences a warm sensation akin to that lent by French Tarragon. Next you sense some shocking acridity, then start salivating as if on command, and finally your mouth loses sensation for a few minutes. The tingling feeling that Toothache Plant causes has been traced to a constituent named spilanthol."

I doubt that I will be eating any of this plant, but it was interesting blog fodder.

There is a good plant profile here.

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing plant. I had no idea that Toothache plant has such an effect on the mouth. I will be sure to grow it as soon as possible.


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