One of the last aerial oils we are making of the season before moving into root oils is Spilanthes (Acmella oleracea). The oil we make is a wonderful anti-fungal that can be used in external lotions, ointments, or oil mixes for fungal skin infections or fungal nail infections of the hands and feet.
This is an annual plant which doesn’t self-seed well here, so you need to save seed from it each year. It’s very easy to grow in Ireland given a sunny spot in a glasshouse or polytunnel. Thought to originate from South America it is now found all over tropical parts of the world. We harvest the whole aerial parts of Spilanthes when it’s in full flower.
We also make tincture from Spilanthes to use internally for systemic infections like Candida and as an anti-inflammatory for mouth and gums. Other uses internally include intestinal worms and digestive issues. It is a good antibiotic and local anaesthetic. Known as the ‘toothache plant’ it numbs the gums and creates a tingling effect as well as getting the saliva flowing! For toothaches you can simply chew on the ‘buzz button’ flower heads or apply the tincture on cotton wool to the area. Take a look at our videos page for a short video on Acmella spilanthes from our old farm in Sligo.