Acmella oleracea

Acmella oleracea is a species of flowering herb in the family Asteraceae. Common names include toothache plant, Szechuan buttons,[2] paracress, buzz buttons,[3] tingflowers and electric daisy.[4] Its native distribution is unclear, but it is likely derived from a Brazilian Acmella species.[5] A small, erect plant, it grows quickly and bears gold and red inflorescences. It is frost-sensitive but perennial in warmer climates.

Acmella oleracea
Spilanthes-closeup-large.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Acmella
Species:
A. oleracea
Binomial name
Acmella oleracea
Synonyms[1]
  • Spilanthes oleracea L.
  • Spilanthes acmella (L.) Murray not (L.) L.
  • Pyrethrum spilanthus Medik.
  • Cotula pyrethraria L.
  • Bidens fixa Hook.f.
  • Bidens fervida Lam.
  • Anacyclus pyrethraria (L.) Spreng.
  • Spilanthes radicans Schrad. ex DC.
  • Bidens fusca Lam.
  • Bidens oleracea (L.) Cav. ex Steud.
  • Bidens acmelloides Berg.
  • Spilanthes oleracea var. fusca (Lam.) DC.
  • Spilanthes fusca hort.par. ex Lam.
  • Spilanthes acmella var. oleracea (L.) C.B.Clarke ex Hook.f.

Its specific epithet oleracea means "vegetable/herbal" in Latin and is a form of holeraceus (oleraceus).[6][7]

Culinary usesEdit

For culinary purposes, small amounts of shredded fresh leaves are said to add a unique flavour to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavour and may be used as leafy greens. Both fresh and cooked leaves are used in dishes such as stews in northern Brazil, especially in the state of Pará. They are combined with chilis and garlic to add flavor and vitamins to other foods.[8]

The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive salivation, with a cooling sensation in the throat.[8] The buds are known as "buzz buttons", "Sichuan buttons", "sansho buttons", and "electric buttons".[9] In India, they are used as flavoring in chewing tobacco.[9]

 
Jambu oil

A concentrated extract of the plant, sometimes called jambu oil or jambu extract, is used as a flavoring agent in foods, chewing gum, and chewing tobacco.[10][11][12][13] The oil is traditionally extracted from all parts of the plant.[10] EFSA and JECFA reviewed a feeding study in rats and both authorities recognized that the no adverse effect level for spilanthol was 572 mg/kg b.w./day, yielding a safe dose of spilanthol of 1.9 mg/kg b.w./day, or 133.5 mg/70-kg-male/day, 111 mg/58-kg-female/day, or 38 mg/20-kg-child/day.[12][13]

Jambu extract as a flavoring agent is described as having a citrus, herbal, tropical or musty odor, and its taste can be described as pungent, cooling, tingling, numbing, or effervescent. Spilanthol, the major constituent of jambu extract, is responsible for the perception of a mouth-watering flavor sensation, as well as the ability to promote salivation as a sialogogue, perhaps through its astringent action or its pungent taste.[14][15]

CultivationEdit

This plant prefers well-drained, black (high organic content) soil. If starting outdoors, the seeds should not be exposed to cold weather, so start after last frost. Seeds need direct sunlight to germinate, so should not be buried.[16]

Traditional medicineEdit

A decoction or infusion of the leaves and flowers has been used as a folk remedy.[15]

Active chemicalsEdit

The most important taste-active molecules present are fatty acid amides such as spilanthol, which is responsible for the trigeminal and saliva-inducing effects of the plant.[17] It also contains stigmasteryl-3-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and a number of triterpenes. The isolation and total synthesis of the active ingredients have been reported.[18]

Biological pest controlEdit

Extracts were bioassayed against yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) larvae. The spilanthol proved effective at killing mosquitoes, with a 24-hour LD100 of 12.5 µg/mL, and 50% mortality at 6.25 µg/mL. The mixture of spilanthol isomers produced a 66% weight reduction of corn earworm larvae at 250 µg/mL after 6 days.[17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  2. ^ "Szechuan Button". Atlas Obscura.
  3. ^ Bradt, Hilary; Austin, Daniel (2017). Madagascar. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 106. ISBN 9781784770488.
  4. ^ Wong, James (September 2012). James Wong's Homegrown Revolution. W&N. p. 197. ISBN 978-0297867128.
  5. ^ Acmella oleracea. Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine PROTA.
  6. ^ Parker, Peter (2018). A Little Book of Latin for Gardeners. Little Brown Book Group. p. 328. ISBN 978-1-4087-0615-2. oleraceus, holeraceus = relating to vegetables or kitchen garden
  7. ^ Whitney, William Dwight (1899). The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Century Co. p. 2856. L. holeraceus, prop. oleraceus, herb-like, holus, prop. olus (oler-), herbs, vegetables
  8. ^ a b Benwick, B. S. Like a Taste That Tingles? Then This Bud's for You. Washington Post. October 3, 2007.
  9. ^ a b It's Shocking, But You Eat It. All Things Considered. NPR. February 28, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Burdock, George A. (2005). Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients (5th ed.). CRC Press. p. 983. ISBN 0849330343.
  11. ^ "Flavors and Extracts Manufacturers of the United States. Safety Assessment of Jambu Oleoresin, Washington, D.C.". FEMA: 12.
  12. ^ a b Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food and Additives (2007). "Evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. Flavoring Agents: Aliphatic and Aromatic Amines and Amides". World Health Organization Technical Report Series. 65 (947): 1–225. PMID 18551832.
  13. ^ a b "Scientific Opinion on Flavouring Group Evaluation 303 (FGE.303): Spilanthol from chemical group 30". EFSA Journal. 9 (3): 1995. March 2011. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.1995.
  14. ^ Tiwari, KL; SK Jadhav; V. Joshi (November 2011). "An updated review on medicinal herb genus Spilanthes". Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine. 11. 9 (11): 1170–1178. doi:10.3736/jcim20111103. PMID 22088581.
  15. ^ a b Chopra, R.N.; Nayar, S.L.; Chopra, I.C. (1956). "Glossary of Medicinal Plants". Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. New Delhi, India.
  16. ^ "Spilanthes acmella Seeds". Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  17. ^ a b Ramsewak, R. S.; et al. (1999). "Bioactive N-isobutylamides from the flower buds of Spilanthes acmella". Phytochemistry. 51 (6): 729–32. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(99)00101-6. PMID 10389272.
  18. ^ Ley, J. P.; et al. (2006). "Isolation and synthesis of acmellonate, a new unsaturated long chain 2-ketol ester from Spilanthes acmella". Nat. Prod. Res. 20 (9): 798–804. doi:10.1080/14786410500246733. PMID 16753916. S2CID 22470004.

External linksEdit