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Spilanthes (Acmella oleracea)

Spilanthes is a genus of plants that is commonly used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties. One of the primary active components of spilanthes is alkylamides, which have been found to have immunomodulatory effects.

Studies have shown that spilanthes extracts can stimulate both innate and adaptive immune responses. Innate immunity is the body's first line of defense against pathogens, and spilanthes has been found to enhance the activity of natural killer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells, which are all important components of the innate immune system. Additionally, spilanthes has been found to increase the production of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that help to regulate the immune response.

Spilanthes has also been found to have an effect on adaptive immunity, which is the body's targeted response to specific pathogens. Specifically, spilanthes has been found to increase the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is an antibody that plays a crucial role in mucosal immunity. Mucosal immunity is particularly important because it protects against pathogens that enter the body through mucosal surfaces, such as the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract.

Spilanthes is also sometimes called "the toothache plant" because of its use in traditional medicine to treat toothaches and other dental problems. The plant contains natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

One way that spilanthes is used for toothaches is by chewing on the plant's leaves or flowers. When the plant is chewed, it releases a tingling, numbing sensation in the mouth, which can help to relieve pain in the affected tooth. Some people also use spilanthes tinctures or mouthwashes for dental pain relief.

Another way that spilanthes can be used for toothaches is by applying a poultice or compress made from the plant. To make a poultice, the fresh leaves or flowers of the plant are mashed or ground into a paste, which is then applied directly to the affected tooth or gum. A compress can be made by steeping the plant in hot water to create a strong tea, which is then soaked into a cloth and applied to the affected area.

The alkylamides in spilanthes give the plant a sharp tingle when nibbled upon, releasing a cascade of saliva. That action gives spilanthes its other nickname, buzz buttons. Due to this action, the tincture should not be squirted directly into the back of the throat.

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