Holistic and herbal medicines are rooted in the use of the natural gifts of the earth to obtain health and healing. Whether you commit fully to the practice of holistic wellness, or you are simply looking for ways to nurture your body in a more natural way, it is important to understand your resources and what the earth has to offer you for your body’s many needs. One natural gift from the earth that’s important to understand is acmella.
The acmella plant is a resource that you may not be familiar with but could make all the difference in your lifestyle of natural living. Not only has it been used for centuries in both medicine and cooking all over the world, but modern research has proven that acmella has powerful and relevant medicinal uses even today.
Acmella is a flowered herb native to South America, however, it can now be found in abundance in East Africa, Asia, and even the Pacific and Australia. This powerful herb can be used in its entirety - stem, leaves and flower buds - for a host of medical applications. (1) Some of its main benefits include:
The unique chemical makeup of the plant and all its components are what give it such a wide range of uses. Each application builds upon the next, creating a versatile remedy for an abundance of ailments. Because of this, it has been used to enhance treatments of conditions like malaria, colds, respiratory infections, and influenza. However, it is specifically known for a few of its many applications, which may be worth exploring to enhance your own health and wellness at home.
Due to a compound called spilanthol and essential phytochemicals in the makeup of the plant, acmella exhibits definitive antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Thanks to the spilanthol, extracts from the root and flower of acmella also have proven to have anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Topical application of acmella to the face and skin functions as an antibacterial agent that can be applied to relieve and improve conditions of the skin, such as acne, excessive redness, and mild infections. The muscle-relaxing properties can also be utilized to reduce wrinkling, as well as restore and strengthen essential collagen in the skin for anti-aging purposes.
Acmella has been tested as a vasorelaxant, proven to relieve vascular tension in the body. The presence of antioxidants also aid in improving overall heart health. Active components of acmella called flavonoids attribute the plant with antipyretic qualities, meaning it has the ability to reduce fever. These also aid in further combating inflammation.
The powerful pain relieving properties of acmella are so pronounced that it has earned itself the nickname of “the toothache plant.” Historically, sucking or chewing on an acmella leaf was used to numb the site of oral discomfort or pain. This is due to what scientists refer to as local anesthetic activity - a tingling or numbing sensation at the site of contact with the plant or its extracts.
This natural numbing effect can bring instant relief to toothaches, mouth sores, and other oral ailments. Ingestion can also bring relief to stomach aches or digestion discomfort. Application to the skin may result in a tingling that can relieve irritation and pain from inflammation. In fact, acmella has been proven as a viable treatment for painful conditions such rheumatism and gout.
Further pain relief is characteristic of the flavonoids and other compounds present in the plant interfering with pain perception. This creates the possibility of more lasting pain management. The muscle-relaxing factors of this plant may also bring relief to stomach cramping when digested.
Acmella is an herb of many uses and wonders, which has the potential to unlock a world of possibility for your wellness. Both age-old practice and in-depth scientific testing have proven that its compounds present real ad diverse value to our health, and the furthering of medicine. Whether you are looking to care for your skin, reverse signs of aging, benefit your heart, or simply find relief for a toothache, acmella is one botanical remedy you want to have in your cabinets at all times.
Written By Zoe Freeman
Zoe is a writer for The Hired Pen. She has a background in freelance work, providing content for companies ranging from health and wellness websites and online retail catalogs. She studied English Literature and Shakespeare at Southern Utah University and runs a personal editing service for freelance and self-publishing authors.