Plants & Farm StoriesFeb 2, 2022
Pharm Harvest: Spilanthes
Spilanthes (Spilanthes acmella) is an eye-catching plant that always draws the attention of visitors on our Certified Organic farms in Josephine County, Oregon. A member of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family, Spilanthes is related to Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Calendula (Calendula officinalis). Spilanthes doesn’t grow petals and only reaches about a foot tall, but it boasts a bloom the size of a large olive, mostly yellow with a red, eye-like center.
A common name for this plant is “Buzz Buttons,” and if you were to chew on one, you’d understand why. Spilanthes has a taste as unique as its appearance. You may feel a pleasant buzzing sensation, and your mouth may water, as you chew it. Tasting Spilanthes is definitely a memorable experience.
We harvest the whole plant in summer, from flower to roots. Some harvests are done by hand, but for this one, we use a root digger as well as our team of farm employees and interns. We tap off the excess dirt, then load the Spilanthes harvest into the wagon. Back at the barn, we give them a good wash before sending them off to be tested at our laboratory and processed at our nearby facility.
Herb at a glanceBotanical name: Spilanthes acmella
Common name(s): Spilanthes, Toothache Plant and Buzz Buttons
Plant family: Asteraceae
Native habitat: Brazil
Parts used: whole flowering plant
Botanical description: round, yellow blooms with a red, eye-like center
Use(s): cleanse and detoxify*