Dr Françoise Barbira Freedman has spent thirty years visiting and living with the Keshwa Lamas in Peru.
During one visit she was given a leaf of the Acmella Oleracea to chew to ease the pain of her wisdom teeth. The remedy was so effective she took a sample back to the UK for testing.
The plant has been turned into a gel for medical use which has the potential to replace anaesthetic injections in the dentist's chair.
– Dr Françoise Barbira Freedman
"During the time I have spent with the Keshwa Lamas I've learnt all about the different plants and leaves they use for everyday illnesses and ailments._
"I first went to Peru as a young researcher hoping to learn more about what was a secretive community who were experts in shamanism. Along the way I've learnt a great deal about natural medicines and remedies; everything from toothache to childbirth._
"This treatment for toothache means we could be looking at the end of some injections in the dentist's surgery. We've had really clear results from the tests so far, particularly for peridodontological procedures such as root scaling and planning... _
"The native forest people described to me exactly how the medicine could and should work and they were absolutely right.”_
The treatment has passed the first two clinical tests. If it is successful in stage three it could be used by UK dentists as early as 2014.