Spilanthes

Spilanthes (pronounced spy-lan-these) is an excellent herb to know about in the winter months as it is used for enhancing the immune systems resistance to infections. In my opinion it is the most reliable herbal ally when it comes to protecting one from colds and the flu.

Parts Used & Constituents:

The entire Spilanthes plant can be used as medicine, but the flower buds, flowers and roots have the highest concentrations of active compounds mainly alkylamides, similar to those in the Echinacea genus. The major active compound reported in this plant is “spilanthol,” which is a pungent alkylamide. Though the roots have been reported to be a rich source of active principles they are fairly unsubstantial and so are not commonly used. The flowers are the most commonly used part. The pictures above show how amazing these flowers are. They look like little yellow balls with deep maroon bulls eyes on them. These little flowers pack quiet the punch! If you have never had the experience of tasting them…seek it out. I like to call them “buzz buttons” because they make your mouth tingle so much it feels like it is buzzing. These Spilanthes flowers also promote salivation, a lot of salivation. In the language of herbalists we would say this herb is a strong “sialogogue” (it makes you salivate).

Family & Names:

This low growing plant is in the Asteracea or Compositae family  (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, or sunflower family). It’s Latin name is Spilanthes acemella and it is common name is it’s genus name “Spilanthes”. There are a couple other common names for this herb but I don’t hear them used much. Some call it Paracress and an old school name for it was the “Tooth Ache Plant”.

When To Use:

Spilanthes is antiseptic/anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and most importantly anti-viral and an immunomodulator. As I mentioned above it is used for enhancing the immune systems resistance to infections. It also stimulates wound healing especially wounds in the oral cavity. If I ever accidentally chomp down on the inside of my cheek or my tongue, I will gargle with the mixture I mentioned above, (90 drops or 3 squirts in a one ounce shot glass of warm water). If challenged with any manner of gum disease, Spilanthes is an excellent remedy. Again use it to swish. The most common traditional use of this plant is to reduce toothache. All over India as well as South America Spilanthes is used in this way. If I were to experience any type of issue in the mouth, or any type of viral infection, from a cold sore to Shingles, this would be one of my top herbs to use. Finally, there are no known contraindications for this herb, it is generally recognized as safe even for pregnant mothers to use when fighting colds or infections.

How To Use:

A simple but reliable way to use the Spilanthes herb is to make an infusion. To do this, one would put 1 Tbsp. of the dried herb in one cup of water and let it steep for 25 minutes before drinking. If you don’t have the herb on hand, find it as a liquid extract aka. tincture from a company who makes their extract from the fresh plant, organically grown, at a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. Click this link to buy a bottle prepared in this manner. When taking the liquid extract it's fine to take more than with many herbs and I personally notice the best results when dosing this way. If I feel any hint of a cold, the slightest heat in the head or scratchy throat, or if I have been around someone who is coughing, sneezing and sniffling, I will take 90 drops (3 squirts) in a one ounce shot glass of warm water as soon as I get home. If my throat feels scratchy at all, I will gargle with this same mixture several times and then swallow it at the end. Using Spilanthes in this way has helped me completely prevent many an oncoming cold. As a general rule, if I am taking Spilanthes preventatively, I will also do my best to; get to bed as early as possible and only drink warm liquids. When taking this approach, I find the Spilanthes remarkably reduces the number of colds I would have caught.

Recap:

When you need an herb to help prevent colds or the flu use Spilanthes at the onset. To minimize the duration of a cold or any virus, use Spilanthes as soon as possible and until all signs are completely gone. For many issues involving the oral cavity, swishing or gargling  with Spilanthes extract in a little water is the perfect remedy.

Did you know…Singing Springs offers several products that contain Spilanthes:

  • It is sold as a simple liquid extract or tincture. In this form it is available in 1 oz., 2 oz. and 4 oz. sizes.
  • Spilanthes is a chief herb in both our Herbal Mouthwash and in our Herbal Tooth Powder.
  • Spilanthes is the main herb in the Breath Tonics, which are used like “Binaca” as breath fresheners. In these easy to use products it is there to kill germs that cause bad breath and it leaves the mouth feeling very fresh and tingly.
  • The Soothing Sore Throat Spray also contains Spilanthes as a major herb to fight the infection causing the soar throat as well as to moisten the mucus membranes of the mouth when feeling dry and scratchy.
  • Another great product that has Spilanthes is the Elderberry Immune Elixir.

As with all of our products, the herbs in these formulas, both chief and supporting, are all 100% Certified Organically grown and GMO free. The Spilanthes is included in its pure, revitalizing, whole form not as a standardized extract.