Mimosa pudica is a perennial herb that is commonly known in different places by a different name like Shame Bush, Shy Plant, Prayer Plant, Touch-me-not, etc. The name mimosa comes from ‘mimikos’ which in Greek means mimic. In Latin, the word mimosa means ‘abounding in’ and Pudica means ‘bashful’. This plant can be generally found in Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines and grows in places where there is adequate shade.
This sleepy herb has many great medicinal properties and has been used traditionally as a treatment for many ailments.
What does it look like and why do the leaves close when we touch it?
The touch-me-not is an ornamental plant that has Seismonastic movements. The leaves of the Mimosa Pudica plant close as a response to stimuli like touch, wind, light, heat, cold and vibration. It is a short plant that grows up to a height in the range of 15 to 100 cm. These plants can be found in cultivated areas like lawns, roadsides, and vacant locations. The leaves are dark green in color and hairy.
The reason the plant shrinks down when touched is to protect itself from external stimuli that can be herbivores animals or even leaves of the neighboring plant or touch. Due to the stimulus, certain chemicals like the potassium ions are released which sprays out water which results in a reduction in cell pressure. Hence the leaves close when touched and they reopen after a couple of minutes.
What makes the touch-me-not a medicinal herb?
The Mimosa Pudica is a herb which has many nutrients and medicinal properties. The leaf contains tannins, alkaloids, coumarins, terpenoids, glycosides, flavonoids, quinines, phenols, and saponins. The extracts from the root contain many essential oils, fatty acids, amino acids, tannins, and flavonoids. Dr. Todd Watts from MicrobeFormulas.com says that candida is particularly sensitive to cayenne spice because it effectively degrades the candida cell wall, giving the immune system an opportunity to step in and finish the job of killing it. It is used as a detox product as it contains various properties that can cleanse the system. It also has antibacterial, anticonvulsant, aphrodisiac, sedative and tonic properties making it a great herb that can be used for herbal medicines. With so many medicinal properties and nutrients present, using it is bound to have many health benefits.
Health benefits of Mimosa Pudica
Heals wounds: The Mimosa Pudica has many antibacterial properties that make the healing of cuts and wounds faster when applied. Not just that it also helps in pain relief when it is used on the wound. Preparing this medicine is also a D-I-Y project and is easily done within a few minutes. Takes a few leaves of the plant and crush it. It becomes a pulp with some juice left behind, apply this paste directly on the cut or wound. Repeat the same for a few times and you will see that the wound heals faster than using any other medicine.
Acts as an anti-venom: Traditionally, the touch-me-not was used as an antidote for scorpion stings and snake bites. The root extract was applied to the bitten area and the plant’s root was chewed as a medicine. This was among the many plants with medicinal values and a recent study conducted on this herb found that the water extract of the dried root has antivenom properties that can suppress the spread of snake venom. A mixture of crushed leaves and stem is also an effective cure for insect bites.
Is a cure for piles: The touch-me-not plant is a cure for the bleeding piles due to the anti-inflammatory properties. It is also beneficial in relieving pain and burning sensation. The leaves of the plant can be crushed and formed into a paste and applied on the affected area or can be used in a powder form. 1 tsp of powdered root extract can be mixed to a glass of milk or added to the curd to get its benefits. It is a known traditional remedy for hemorrhoids or piles for ages but modern medicine is discovering its benefits now.
Cure for chronic joint pain or arthritis: The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb can cure pain caused by arthritis. It can reduce the inflammation in the joints, reduce swelling and provide relief from pain. The leaves of the plant can be crushed and a paste is made out of it. That paste is applied to the affected area and left overnight and when used regularly the swelling reduces and the pain subsides.
It can also be used to reduce knee and leg pain by making oil from the herb. The leaves of the Mimosa Pudica is added to sesame oil and boiled. When all the moisture of the leaves is removed the sizzling sound stops and then the heat should be turned off. This oil can then be used to massage the aching joints to get pain relief.
Cures stomach ailments: People suffer from a variety of stomach ailments like indigestion, diarrhea, stomach ache, intestinal worms, etc. The Mimosa Pudica is a magical herb that can cure all of the stomach related issues. The juice extracted from the plant can relieve diarrhea and associated discomfort by helping in replenishing the water content in the body. The intestinal worms and stomach aches can be treated by consuming a paste made of the leaves and mixed with honey for 3 to 4 days.
Relieves depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness: The Mimosa Pudica which is a traditional medicinal herb in many countries has been used for treating depression and anxiety. It is also known to improve memory. Since it is a cure for anxiety it puts the mind at ease and helps to sleep better. A paste made of leaf extract of this plant is boiled in water and strained and had as a tea at nighttime can provide relief from anxiety and provide relief from insomnia.
Relief from itchy skin: Itchy skin can be caused due to a variety of reasons and that condition can worsen due to continuous scratching. One of the cures to get rid of this is to use the shy plant extract on the affected area. One can make a paste from the root of the plant and applied on the irritated part and the juice from the leaves extract can be mixed with sesame oil and made a paste that can be applied on the infected skin. Due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of the herb, it provides maximum relief.
Cure for diabetes: Mimosa Pudica can help in regulating the blood sugar levels and consuming the extract will help in releasing insulin in the required quantity. The juice from the plant extract can be consumed with water twice a day for 7 to 10 days to see positive results in blood sugar levels. A single herb can potentially cure diabetes and its related complications.
Protects the liver: The Mimosa Pudica has help in releasing toxins from the body, especially the liver. The extract of this plant can reduce the toxicity in the liver.
Helps maintain oral hygiene: The plant has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties due to which it helps to improve oral health. It reduces swelling of gums, toothache and any infection to the gum. A decoction is prepared by boiling the root extracts with water. This decoction can be used to gargle the mouth every day to help in better oral hygiene.
Reduces hair loss: The plant can be useful to control hair loss and increase the growth of new hair cells. A paste made from the plant extract is mixed with coconut oil should be applied to the scalp and then washed off with water after 20 to 30 minutes.
Mimosa Pudica is a herb with various health benefits and with no side effects. Ensure that you take in the recommended quantities to get the most out of it.