Amazon plant yields miracle cure for dental pain
Mongabay.com, 15 March 2012

CALIFORNIA, USA: The world may soon benefit from a plant long-used by indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon for toothaches, eliminating the need for local injections in some cases. Researchers have created a medicinal gel from a plant known commonly as spilanthes extract (Acmella Oleracea), which could become a fully natural alternative to current anesthetics and may even have a wide-range of applications beyond dental care. Cambridge University anthropologist Françoise Barbira Freedman was the first westerner to live with the Keshwa Lamas indigenous tribe in Peru; they introduced her to the power of spilanthes extract, which is grown ornamentally around the world but native to the Amazon. Freedman has now founded pharmaceutical company Ampika Ltd., which is linked to Cambridge University’s commercial arm. A portion of proceeds from the company will also be shared among the Keshwa Lamas people, who Freedman still visits. Read the article …

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