Please tell me how to use this herb which can be used to prevent infections. Do I boil it or what? I grow it in my garden. Thank you.
Medicinal uses of Toothache Plant (Spilanthes acmella).
Whole plant is used to stimulate healing, and as a tonic to boost the immune system, usually taken at the first signs of an infection, either bacterial or viral. Its tonic powers are increased when used with Echinacea. The flower buds are used as a local anaesthetic for sore teeth and gums, and as an antiseptic. The dried buds are usually chewed. They stimulate the flow of saliva, sometimes copiously. An extract can also be used, or half a cup of flower bud tea taken. The tea is also used as a mouthwash to help prevent tooth decay. It is sometimes used to treat cold sores. Use as a gargle for sore throat.
Collect leaves and flower-buds at any time. For drying, collect when the plant is at its peak, near the end of summer. Dig up the entire plant, wash it clean, and hang it to dry. To collect the seeds, allow seed heads to dry on the plant before removing them. They store well. The dried flowers are effective for about one year after collecting.
To make the tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons dried flowers (or leaves depending on what you are using the plant for). Steep for 10-15 minutes, and strain.
Here is a link that might be useful: making herbal extracts