Toothache Plant, Szechuan Buttons or Electric Daisies
A low-growing plant with bronze-purple leaves host yellow/red "gumdrop" flowers that bloom repeatedly summer through fall. Attractive annual ground-cover that's edible. The young leaves have a slight peppery taste when added to salads. Hard to find and a conversation piece.
The leaves and flower heads, particularly the young buds, contain a natural analgesic which numbs the tongue and gums. Has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, efficacy against malaria is well documented. Spilanthol, the main chemical compound, is an effective anti-parasitic.
A mouth rinse of spilanthes extract can be used daily to promote gum health. In vitro testing has shown that the plant's extract has strong effect against E.coli, pseudomonas, salmonella, klebsiella pneumonae and staphylococcus albus, as well as inhibiting the growth of candida albicans. Improves digestion, eases flatulence, improves the appetite, and helps to overcome nausea and vomiting by its stimulating effect on the salivary glands.
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Every seed germinated of this foodie focused favorite. Grew in an outdoor planter and the hearty plant survived all sorts of climactic challenges. The tiny gumdrop flower packs an amazing punch and you will either be endeared and revered, or a pariah for having your friends taste/eat one of these flowers. The numbing of the tongue is tart and electric. Use to garnish cocktails, or as a pre-dessert to perk up and perk out taste-buds. The buds freeze well too so you can save some for future dinner parties.
I've purchased these seeds several times. They never disappoint. Beautiful plants with sweet flowers that last. I'll continue to plant them but closer to the house so I can enjoy them more.