Rainforest Remedy May Tackle Toothache

Sten Stovall
Wall Street Journal

LONDON—An anesthetic gel made from a plant found in the Peruvian rainforest could revolutionize dental treatment, researchers from the University of Cambridge said Wednesday.

Indigenous tribes in Peru discovered the pain-killing properties of the Acmella Oleracea plant centuries ago and used it to treat toothache, ulcers and abscesses.

A Cambridge University anthropologist, Francoise Freedman, experienced the plant’s pain killing properties first hand while living with the Keshwa Lamas tribe in the Amazon in 1975.

“We were trekking through the rainforest and I was having terrible trouble with my wisdom teeth. One of the men with me noticed and prepared a little wad of plants to bite onto. The pain went away.”

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