Spilanthes oleracea Jacquin
- Common Name: Toothache Plant, Para Cress
- Family: Asteraceae Giseke
- Country of Origin: Brazil
- Description: Paracress has no particular odour, but when eaten it has an interesting flavour that slowly develops from pleasant and salty to a strong, tickling-burning pungency that leaves back a numb feeling in the mouth. Biting into a flower head of paracress is an adventure long remembered!
The pungent flavour of paracress is due to an unsaturated alkamid, spilanthol, which reaches its highest concentration (1%) in the flowers.
- Uses: Culinary use of paracress is today restricted to tropical Brazil, particularly the provinces Acre, Amazonas, Pará and Ceará, where the herb is much used in the cooking styles of the indigenous peoples. There, the strach-containing tubers of manioc is a staple, and since that vegetable has a quite bland taste, it is often flavoured with potent spices. For this purpuse, paracress is often used; the leaves are used fresh, added as a whole and eaten as an additional source of vitamins (and flavour).
Medicinal: Traditional medicine used this plant for a wide range of uses. Modern scientific studies support the health benefits of paracress. (From Philippine Alternative Medicine)
Additional images for this accession:Click on thumbnails to enlarge
- Accession # 200700052
- Source: Jardin Botanique De La Gacilly 2007 Index Seminum
- Accession Date: 03-19-2007
- Bench: 1324 - NEO:Amazonia B
- Qty: 1 confirmed on 05-22-2013
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- SubClass: euasterid II
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- A brief article on Spilanthes
- Gernot Katzer's Spice Dictionary - last visited on 27 November 2009
- An article from All Things Considered on NPR.org
data regenerated on Wed, 22 May 2013 14:23:39 -0400