The Many Uses of Spilanthes Acmella Oleracea
Using Spilanthes (AKA Buzz Buttons, Paracress, Electric Daisy, Toothache plant) for the 1st time can be scintillating experience but for some a little warning and proper instruction can make the difference between effective remedy or a waste of money; between having fun or feeling pranked. One thing to keep in mind is that Spilanthes has antibiotic properties. If you are swallowing Buzz Buttons or Spilanthes spit daily it is possible to kill off some beneficial gut bacteria. So in the event that you really like it or really need it for a prolonged period of time we recommend adding some probiotics or yogurt to your diet.
The most economical way to get that Fresh Buzz Button feeling year round would be to buy a bulk quantity of fresh flowers in season and Freeze them. Freezing has little to no effect on the Spilanthanol level or the taste of the flower. The texture remains crunchy and the Buzz Button flowers thaw quickly in the mouth.
The most versatile form to preserve Spilanthes in would be tincture. If you are making your own tinctures you can make them as strong or weak as you'd like. For the food & beverage industry, a tincture (aka INFUSION) using your choice of liquors will open up a whole new world of creative cocktail mixing. For those with medicinal needs of the Toothache Plant a tincture works as well as a dried flower for teeth and gum issues but can also be used as a mouthwash, gargle and for wound care.
No matter how you are using this wonderful edible flower it's going to make you salivate so be prepared to spit or swallow. If you chew it up and swallow quickly your are getting the least out of it with the most impact on your gut flora. So with this edible flower you should not rush through the process as you would any other food. Spilanthes is not any other food it's culinary magic happens in the mouth with the tingly, buzzy, effervescent feeling and as a spice that both dampens extremely hot dishes and enhances citrus flavors like an herbal MSG.
Buzz Button Cocktails
- As A Garnish: Best with Fresh or Frozen Flowers.
Crack open thw flower with your teeth and tuck it into your cheek. When you want a little more effect pull it out with your tongue and chew it a little and tuck it back into your cheek. This can give you the most extreme effect and you can control the level by bringing it out and putting it back into your cheek. Even when you think the effect is waning, if you place it between your lips for awhile your lips will start to "buzz".
- Muddle It In: Best with Fresh or Dry Flowers.
Break up the buzz button flower and spinkle the flakes directly into the cocktail. This is a good use of the Dry Flowers because they need to rehydrate to release the Spilanthanol. It will give you a milder experience.
- Rim Your Glass: Best with Fresh or Dry Buzz BUtton Flowers:
Break up the flower in to a pile of flakes. Wet the rim of your cocktail glass (lemon, lime, water) and roll the edge of your glass around on it. You could even mix it with your salt to give people a little surprise. A very good use of Dry Flowers.
- Make A Foam: Make or buy a Spilanthes Tincture and blend it up with some Meringue powder to make a foam to top any drink.
How to Save Your Fresh Spilanthes
- Dry It: Naturally air dry your fresh Spilanthes Flowers in a dark, dry place with lots of air flow. Using a dehydrator, even on a low setting, could impact the potency of the Spilanthanol. This method is great for Medicinal use and for making flakes to rim cocktail glasses.
- Freeze It: Freeze your Buzz Button flowers using an ice cube tray if you have small quantities so that they do not stick together. If you have large quantities you can spread them out on a tray. This is best for Serving as a cocktail garnish, it retains the fresh flavor, color and size.
- Ticture It: Soak your Spilanthes Flowers in alcohol for at a minimum of 6 weeks. Fill your container with the Toothache flowers, then pour in the alcohol, usually 100 proof vodka. Keep it in a dark place and shake it often. If you are growing you own Spilanthes you may want to include the Whole Plant for your tinctures as all parts of the plant contain spilanthanol. Tincture is good for people who do not want the plant matter in their mouth, it can be as concentrated or as diluted as you would like. Spilanthes tinctures are also good for use as mouthwash, making a cocktail foam, wound care and for placing on a cotton ball for better placement in the mouth.
Medicinal Use Methods for the Toothache Plant
Usually Dry Flowers or Tinctured Spilanthes are used for Oral Care
- Dried: For oral use tuck a Flower, or piece of a Dried Spilanthes Flower, directly on the painful spot
- Tinctured: A few drops of tinctured toothache plant placed on a cotton ball and held directly on the painful spot. You can also use a diluted tincture as a gargle for sore throat or a bacteria killing mouthwash. Because of the numbing effect, a diluted tincture in a spray bottle is an excellent wound care supply especially for injured pets or children who will not hold still for you to clean their wound.
- Disease: Medical reviews have made a case for the use of Spilanthes to combat many diseases. You will need to do your own research in this respect but we can point out some of the best Doctor reviewed studies.