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Paracress, scientifically known as Acmella oleracea is a flowering herb that belongs to family Asteraceae. They have several medicinal properties and are used as a pain relief plant. The leaves are mostly used in salads and its consumption can treat toothaches and other oral diseases. The other name for paracress is toothache plant, electric daisy, and tingflowers.
Studies show that paracress plant has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help in curing conditions like a fungal infection, rheumatism, intestinal problems etc. Paracress contains active compounds like flavonoids, resins, tannins, choline, and phytosterols  .
Mostly the leaves and flowers of this plant are used for culinary purpose and medicinal use. The oil extracted from the flower is available as a flavouring agent in foods. Toothache plant powder is made by drying the whole paracress plant in shade, grinding it, and making a powder out of it.
Health Benefits Of Paracress
1. Treats erectile dysfunction: Paracress triggers blood circulation in the urogenital area and helps prevent impotence. A mixture of this pain-aiding plant and ashwagandha is used for maximum benefits  .
2. Cures sore throat: Sore throat or pharyngitis can be cured easily with toothache plant  . The root of this plant should be boiled in water and then used to gargle to alleviate sore throat The root of this plant helps to prevent congestion by expanding the bronchial passages  .
3. Boosts libido: This plant possesses aphrodisiac, libido stimulant, and spermatogenic properties. The alkyl amide found in paracress plant increases the production of testosterone, improves libido, increases spermatozoa, and boosts fertility  .
4. Treats common cold: The antiviral property of Acmella oleracea helps in treating the symptoms of nasal congestion and flu. The root powder of this plant is mixed with black pepper for early treatment  .
5. Cures toothache: As named, toothache plant is best known to treat toothache and all kinds of oral diseases. The treatment works well with camphor added to this plant root powder.
6. Helps in recovery from paralysis: The presence of stimulating properties and nervine in paracress help strengthen the nerves and promote fast recovery from paralysis. Root extracts of this plant are beneficial for the same  .
7. Manages epilepsy: This is a kind of nervous disorder that can be managed by paracress due to its nervine properties . They also manage facial neuralgia pain by relieving the pain and pressure on nerves and reducing the swelling in the area  .
8. Cures headache: This toothache plant has analgesic properties that make it a beneficial remedy to cure headaches. Apply the plant's paste on the forehead to get relief  .
9. Treats digestive problems: The cholagogue and sialagogue properties of this plant make them a good option for curing all digestive problems. The pancress root is suggested best for the treatment  .
10. Manages arthritis: Paracress plant have alkaloids and flavonoids which help relieve the arthritis problems by preventing the uric acid from being deposited in the joints, thereby improving the blood circulation. They also help in effectively reducing the inflammation throughout the body  .
Paracress also help improve digestion, treats stammering, prevents air-borne and waterborne diseases, cures irregular periods, and removes intestinal worms  .
Uses Of Paracress
- The fresh leaves of paracress can be used in salads to give it a unique flavour.
- Cooked leaves can be used as a leafy green vegetable.
- The flower buds are used as a flavouring agent in tobacco.
- The oil extracted from this plant is used for flavouring chewing gum and foods.
- Flowers are mainly used as spices.
Dosage Of Paracress
- For toothache, prepare a tincture with its leaves and flowers, pour 2 drops around the mouth and spit it after few minutes  .
- For throat pain, add 8oz of paracress flowers in water and let it boil for 10 minutes. Cool it and gargle to ease the pain  .
Side Effects Of Paracress
Paracress plant causes minor side effects. Excessive intake of paracress can loosen the stools and cause an increase in the bowel movement.
Paracress Soup Recipe
- 200 gm prawns
- 3 cups of yellow sauce made from cassava/ sabudana/ tapioca roots
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 1 bunch of paracress leaves
- 1.5 cup of water
- 2 cherry peppers and salt to taste
- 6 tbsp(s) sabudana flour
- Soak prawns in cold water for 8 hours and change the water 2 times.
- Combine garlic, yellow sauce, water, cherry peppers, and salt in a large saucepan and boil the mixture on high flame for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the flame, add prawns and let it warm up for 30 minutes.
- Separately, cook the paracress leaves in water for 10 minutes until the roots become tender. Drain and put aside.
- Take another saucepan, add sabudana flour in water, stir and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Take prawns mixture, sabudana mixture, and boiled paracress all together in a saucepan and mix it well.
- Serve it hot.
-  Prachayasittikul, V., Prachayasittikul, S., Ruchirawat, S., & Prachayasittikul, V. (2013). High therapeutic potential of Spilanthes acmella: A review. EXCLI journal, 12, 291–312.
-  Sharma, V., Boonen, J., Chauhan, N. S., Thakur, M., De Spiegeleer, B., & Dixit, V. K. (2011). Spilanthes acmella ethanolic flower extract: LC–MS alkylamide profiling and its effects on sexual behavior in male rats. Phytomedicine, 18(13), 1161-1169.
-  Chakraborty, A., Devi, B. R. K., Sanjebam, R., Khumbong, S., & Thokchom, I. S. (2010). Preliminary studies on local anesthetic and antipyretic activities of Spilanthes acmella Murr. in experimental animal models. Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 42(5), 277.
-  Dubey, S., Maity, S., Singh, M., Saraf, S. A., & Saha, S. (2013). Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology of Spilanthes acmella: A Review. Advances in pharmacological sciences, 2013, 423750. doi:10.1155/2013/423750
-  Moreira, V. M., Maia, J. G., Bortolotto, Z. A., & Cavalheiro, E. A. (1989). Characterization of convulsions induced by a hexanic extract of Spilanthes acmella var. oleracea in rats. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research= Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas, 22(1), 65-67.
-  Paulraj, J., Govindarajan, R., & Palpu, P. (2013). The genus spilanthes ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological properties: a review.Advances in pharmacological sciences,2013, 510298. doi:10.1155/2013/510298
-  Paul, S., Sarkar, S., Dutta, T., & Bhattacharjee, S. (2016). Assessment of anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties of Acmella uliginosa (Sw.) Cass. based on experiments in arthritic rat models and qualitative gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses.Journal of intercultural ethnopharmacology,5(3), 257–262. doi:10.5455/jice.20160521010145