Published on 14/03/2012
A painkilling gel derived from an Amazonian plant could replace dental injections in the UK in as little as two years’ time.
Cambridge University researcher Dr Françoise Barbira Freedman discovered the benefits of the Acmella oleracea plant whilst living with the Keshwa Lamas tribe in the Amazonian rainforest.
A painkilling gel has been derived from a plant in the Amazon rainforest
During her trip she suffered severe pain in her wisdom teeth. When given the remedy by the tribe’s medicine men the discomfort went away immediately.
The plant works by blocking nerve endings to produce a numbing effect that lasts more than an hour.
Now, Dr Freedman and her team have successfully trialled a painkilling gel derived from the plant with no apparent side effects and positive feedback from patients.
In early trials, the gel helped relieve pain during removal of teeth that were impacted, or stuck below the gum line.
The gel was also considered more efficient than the standard anaesthetic used when patients with gum disease need pain relief for scaling and polishing. The effects lasted longer, and patients were more likely to attend follow-up appointments.
Researchers say that the gel could be brought to market as early as 2014 as a natural alternative to synthetic painkillers such as NSAIDs.
Dr Freedman believes it could transform practise in Western dental surgeries, by ending the need for injections as well as lessening the pain of baby teething.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical