Mimosa Pudica – An Entire Natural Pharmacy In One Plant
Due to their potential and benefits, phytomedicines have been in practice in most traditional therapy systems such as Ayurveda, Greco-Arab and Chinese. The use of various parts of different plants to treat different disorders is well documented in multiple ancient and modern texts. While some plants have a singular part that is used for treatment, there are others where multiple parts are used. Mimosa pudica is one plant where all its parts are used in treating different disorders. Valued for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hypoglycemic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic and blood purifying activities, Mimosa pudica is truly an entire natural pharmacy in one single plant.
Phytochemical screening of Mimosa pudica leaf extract indicates the presence of glycosides, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, coumarins, phenols, quinines, and tannins. Extracts from the root indicate the presence of glycosides, fatty acids, tannins, essential oils, alkaloids, amino acids, flavonoids, and phytosterol.
Parts of this plant have been used to treat high blood pressure, leucorrhea, and menorrhagia. Its roots and leaves are used to treat hemorrhoids. A paste made from the leaves and stem is used for treating eczema, psoriasis, and treat hemorrhoids wounds. Fresh juice extracted from its leaves is taken for curing spermatorrhea and impotence.
An annual to perennial plant, Mimosa pudica is a creeping plant. Although it can grow nearly up to one meter in height, it generally bends after growing around forty-five centimeters. Originating from Central and South America, the plant is now found almost all over the world. In some places, it is cultivated as green manure. It is also grown as an ornamental plant due to its novelty of the bi-pinnate leaves drooping and closing when touched. Gathered extensively from the wild for its medicinal properties, Mimosa pudica is also cultivated commercially in some parts of the world. With more and more people gaining knowledge about what is Mimosa Pudica and its many uses, the wonderful qualities of this plant are being adopted globally. Although known by many different names in different parts of the world, most of us are familiar with its common name – ‘touch-me-not’.
Traditional Uses of Mimosa Pudica
Mimosa pudica has been used to treat various ailments for ages. Given below is a list of the various parts of the plant and their use in treating different ailments.
Roots – Used for treating fever, ulcers, snake bite, jaundice, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, fistula, asthma, and leucoderma.
Leaves – Used for the treatment of wounds, pink eye, hemorrhoids, fistula, depression, hydrocele, insomnia and toe infections.
Seed – Used in the treatment of urinary tract infections. The mucilage from the seed is also used for making tablets as it is a good binding agent.
The Plant – Used for treating edema, rheumatism, depression, muscle aches and also used as an insect repellent.
Side Effects – Known for its anti-fertility properties, mimosa pudica should never be consumed by those trying for pregnancy. Neither should it be consumed by pregnant women.
Uses and Benefits of Mimosa Pudica
Healing wounds –Grind the leaves with a little water, extract the juice and apply it to the wound.
Anti-Venom – Boil dried mimosa root in water, which is then applied to the bite area.
Antidepressant – Used for ages as an antidepressant in many countries around the world, it is also used for reducing anxiety and to improve memory. An extract made from the complete plant is used for this purpose.
Treating piles – Leaves crushed into a fine paste and applied as a poultice has been used for ages in the treatment of bleeding piles.
Healing ulcers – Extract from the leaves when consumed, helps reduce gastric acid secretion and total acidity, thus providing relief to those suffering from ulcers.
Treating Diarrhea – Used traditionally for treating diarrhea through the consumption of extract made from the leaves of mimosa.
Treating inflammation – The leaves are boiled and the warm liquid used as a compress on the inflamed area.
Diabetes treatment – Traditionally, dried leaves and roots are powdered and consumed daily to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Liver protection – The extract has been proven to protect the liver from toxicity.
Anthelmintic properties – Consuming the extract helps expel intestinal worms from the system.
Antimicrobial properties – The extract from mimosa has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Preventing and treating mumps – the antiviral properties of mimosa help prevent mumps. Extract from the plant is also used to treat those suffering from mumps.
Anticonvulsant properties – Extract from the leaves have been traditionally used in Africa to treat people suffering from convulsions.
Hypolipidemic properties – The presence of alkaloids, glycosides, and flavonoids in mimosa help lower lipid levels.
Treating Uterine prolapse – Decoction made from the plant is consumed for treating uterine prolepses. A paste made from the root is also applied as a poultice for forty days.
Aphrodisiac properties – Extract made from the roots has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac.
Methods of Using Mimosa Pudica:
Poultice – Pound a handful of fresh mimosa pudica leaves with a little water to make a coarse paste. Application of this paste as a poultice helps in reducing inflammation and treating wounds.
Tea – Boil a cup of water and add a small number of fresh leaves to it. Allow simmering until the color of the water changes. Strain the liquid and consume it. Mimosa tea helps treat diarrhea, reducing anxiety, treating depression, stomach ulcers, and in reducing blood sugar levels.
Oil – To make Mimosa pudica oil, you need to heat a little oil (any non-refined oil will do). To this add about one-fourth cup of fresh mimosa leaves. Once the leaves stop sizzling, take it off the flame and drain the oil. Use the oil after cooling to massage areas with aches and pain.
The Bottom Line
Offering healing properties through every part, Mimosa pudica is truly nature’s pharmacy. While traditional medical practitioners have been using this plant for ages, scientists are confirming the many uses and benefits of the plant. However, remember to consult a medical practitioner before using the plant for treatment.