Marketed as a natural alternative to Botox. Applied topically, Acmella Oleracea reportedly reduces muscle tension, reducing facial wrinkles caused by tense or contracted facial muscles. It is considered a natural muscle relaxant and has been traditionally used as an herbal Orajel of sorts, used to numb toothaches thanks to the presence of analgesic alkylamides called spilanthol.
This spilanthol is thought to have the same paralyzing effects on facial muscles as it does on gums, reducing wrinkles by relaxing the skin. It’s seen in topical formulas and can easily penetrate the skin, inhibiting contractions in subcutaneous muscles.
In a clinical study, 75% of patients immediately realized the smoothing effect of Acmella Oleracea, noticing results the day after the first application. Patents are being developed to use Acmella Oleracea as a safe alternative to toxic Botox. However, Acmella Oleracea does not pack the collagen-building peptide punch of the usual ‘Botox in a Jar’ ingredients.
An extract of the plant has been tested against various yeasts and bacteria and was essentially inactive.
Common names include toothache plant, paracress, Sichuan buttons, buzz buttons, tingflowers and electric daisy. In Brazil it is called jambu.
Holetz, F. B.; et al. (2002). “Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases“. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 97 (7): 1027–31. doi:10.1590/S0074-02762002000700017. PMID 12471432.