Sensational Spilanthes and Oral Health

oral health, dry mouth remedy, dry mouth treatment, xerostomia, herbal, oral hygiene

Originating from the Peruvian Amazon, and used traditionally by indigenous peoples there as a powerful plant remedy for oral health issues, spilanthes is likely one of the very first plants to have become a global sensation.

The seafaring Portuguese (knowing a good thing when they were taught it) brought spilanthes with them to India and to Africa where it took root within the Ayurvedic healing system of India and herbal medicine traditions of Africa (most commonly for its oral care properties).

It was just prior to the French Revolution that knowledge about this plant reached the ears (and tongues) of Europeans. The acclaimed self-taught and plant-obsessed French botanist Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle (1746-1800) included spilanthes in his self-financed publication, which featured a section on exotic plants.

Georges Cuvier said of L’Héritier de Brutelle: “His works were superb, but his table frugal and his clothes simple. He spent 20,000 francs a year on botany, but went about on foot.”

Spilanthes is one of the botanical realm’s most powerful sialogogues—a substance that induces saliva production. Its mouth-tingling and saliva-inducing effects are due to a unique and potent bioactive compound called spilanthol.

Spilanthol

Spilanthol activates ion channels in the cell membranes of nerve fiber receptors on the tongue and within the oral cavity. This causes an exchange of charged ions between the inside and outside of the cell which, in turn, generates an electrical signal on the surface of the nerve fiber—a ‘vibratory chemesthetic sensation’—that directs the salivary glands to release saliva. In addition to its sialogogue action, scientific studies show spilanthes to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent, too.

Discover More: Spilanthes Research.


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