Growing the Toothache Plant and it’s Medicinal Benefits

This is my first year to grow the Toothache Plant and to be honest, I purchased the seeds because I thought the flowers were cool looking. I thought they looked like little eyeballs so I fondly refer to them as the eyeball plant.

I purchased my seeds from Baker Creek but I’m sure there are many companies that sell the seeds and I believe I have also spotted them for sale on Etsy. The seeds I purchased were for the Bullseye Toothache Plant.

I did not realize the toothache plant was known to have a variety of medicinal uses and is an antiviral, antibiotic, and antifungal. It has a numbing sensation when used in the mouth or on a small wounds like bug bites.

This plant is a sialagogue. What does sialagogue mean? It means that when you chew on the flower of the toothache plant you mouth is going to produce a LOT of saliva. The effect does not last long, less than 15 minutes and there are some good videos on YouTube if you want to see it in action.


  • Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks or you can direct sow after last expected frost date. Here is a link if you need to know your frost dates:
  • Plant in full sun
  • Plant 6 to 12 inches apart. It is going to spread!
  • Can be grown in ground or in a container
  • It is considered a tropical plant and grows as a perennial in zones 9-11.

I live in zone 8 and started my seeds indoors. I then transplanted them into my flowerbed after frost. I just watered it when I watered my other plants and gave it no specials care. I think this plant would be easy to grow even if you think you have a black thumb.


It is said that the fresh leaves are rich in minerals and a useful source of folic acid and vitamin C.

The flower heads contain spilanthol and has antibacterial and antifungal properties making it a good purifying herb to use for disinfecting wounds, treating painful canker sores and treating ringworm infections.

They can be chewed to make the inside of your mouth numb if you don’t swallow it for a while.

This will reduces the pain associated with throat and gum infections and will induce saliva secretion which will have a cooling sensation in the throat. The flowers are crushed and applied at the site of toothache.

You can find other HOW TO GROW information HERE.

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