Mimosa Tenuiflora Mimosa Tenuiflora, or Mimosa Hostilis, is the scientific name of a plant more commonly known as the Mimosa tree or shrub. The mimosa plant is a fern like perennial that can grow up to eight meters tall given optimal growth conditions. The mimosa leaves are attached with a petiolate and arranged alternately and bipinnately lobed with fifteen to thirty three odd bipinnately compounded leaflets. The leaflets themselves are attached in a sessile fashion and have a parallel venation which resembles the opposite arrangement of the leaflets on the leaf.
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The plane (side view) and entire (above view) margined leaflets have an oblong shape with a mucronate apex, a slightly oblique base, and a glabrous leaflet surface. The stem of the mimosa plant has a modification that results in a food storing and ground anchoring bulb. This bulb tends to form approximately halfway between the surface of the ground and the end of the mimosa’s long thin taproot. Mimosa Tenuiflora is a member of the Leguminosae family, which is more commonly known as the pea, bean, or legume family.
The resemblance to the Leguminosae family can be seen in he presence of root nodules called rhizobia that assist with nitrogen fixation of the plant. Much like common pea plants, Mimosa Tenuiflora produces lightly fleshy pod like fruit that dry and drop to the ground for reproduction. Unlike the pea plant, the mimosa plant’s fruit has a papery consistency and harbors six to eight hard, flat, light brown seeds that are usually three to four millimeters in length and are dispersed for reproduction through wind and rain.
Mimosa Tenuiflora is a tropical plant native to Brazil, but is also found wild in Southern Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, and Guatemala. Although native to equatorial parts of South America, Mimosa Tenuiflora is also cultivated as a tree or shrub in many southern areas of the United States. The mimosa plant is rated for a USDA zone nine or higher, which is twenty five degrees Fahrenheit and up, for optimal growth. Being a tropical plant, Mimosa Tenuiflora requires full sun and grows best in sandy well drained soil below five hundred meters in altitude.
Mimosa Tenuiflora is a hardy plant though and with its quickly growing taproot and bulb, it can easily split concrete or stone if rooted in a one to two illimeter wide crack. While it is an unassuming looking plant, the mimosa tree has some surprising medicinal uses which range from treating skin lesions for humans and animals, tooth pain, cough, bronchitis, and even a condition called venous ulceration. The ancient Mayans often used roasted mimosa tree bark to treat cuts and lesions, as well as a mimosa bark syrup concoction to treat respiratory problems.
In a more recent example, a recent study found that compounds of Mimosa Tenuiflora are helpful in treating venous ulceration; a condition in which improper circulation causes ulcer ike sores on the body. Mimosa Tenuiflora also has the highest content of DMT, a strong naturally occurring psychedelic tryptamine, of any plant in the world; having a content of approximately one percent DMT found in the root bark. Due to this feature, many South American tribes have been known to make a tea from the root bark called Jurema which nas been used in hallucinogenic shamanic rituals tor thousands of years.
All of the medicinal properties of the mimosa tree are found within its bark. While not medicinal, the leaves and pods of the plant are high in fiber and protein and can e used as food for animals or even potentially humans in dire need of sustenance. The bark on the stem and the bark on the roots have different medicinal uses and properties. The stem bark of Mimosa Tenuiflora has a variety of medicinal uses that are still being discovered. Native South Americans have used the stem bark of mimosas to treat inflammation, infection, burns, and even respiratory problems.
Having very high levels of tannins, mimosa stem bark is an excellent astringent, coagulant, and anti-inflammatory. When applied to serious burns, mimosa stem bark as been found to reduce scar tissue formation and increase skin cell growth. Mimosa Tenuiflora stem bark is also found in many topical wellness products like soap, shampoo, and even skin treatments for herpes, acne, and eczema. In many South American cultures a tea made from the stem bark is used as a cleansing agent for the body for many addictive substances.
The bark of the root of the mimosa tree has less effective properties similar to the bark of the stem; however the potency of DMT in the root bark allows some trained individuals to use the plant for spiritual healing and exploration. Some shamans and medicine men in tribal societies make a tea called Jurema from the root bark of mimosa trees and use them during spiritual rituals to try to expand their minds and find supernatural explanations to situations. Many of these medicine men train for years to know how to control the powerful effects of the Jurema and understand the hallucinations and intense emotional experiences caused by the DMT.
Some tribes that practice the Jurema ritual also use a complementary tea made from the seeds of P. Harmala, or Syrian Rue, which amplifies the effects of the Jurema; this mixture is called Ayahuasca. Many people ho consume the Jurema or Ayahuasca teas, whether trained or not, claim to have life changing experiences usually associated with hallucinations of god-like or otherworldly beings that expose some revelatory information to the user. Some who experience this find it to be a frighteningly overwhelming experience, while others seem to benefit more psychologically from the feelings.
Mimosa tree bark harvested from the stem of the plant has many aforementioned uses, a few of which involve the astringent, coagulant, and anti-inflammatory properties of the bark. Most of the times when these uses are desired out of the ark, it is roasted and ground into a powder for easy direct topical application or to be made into a salve for the same purpose. Mimosa stem powder or cream, usually called tepezchuite, is a good remedy for minor or severe cuts and burns, and is widely effective on many inflammation and bacteria related skin problems.
There is direct evidence for the compounds in mimosa stem bark having the ability to generate and sustain collagen, which is why the use of tepezchuite produces less scar tissue and heals wounds so quickly. Teas of the Mimosa Tenuiflora stem bark are made by boiling the bark in water. Due to its astringent compounds, Mimosa tea is somewhat effective in treating mild tooth aches and also good for expelling toxins from the human body during withdraw or detoxification from an addictive substance. A decoction, or water extraction, is made by pounding or grinding the bark in cold water to leech the desired compounds trom the bark.
Mimosa decoctions nave been used since Mayan times to treat coughs and bronchitis. Once again the astringent properties of the mimosa bark act as an expectorant to help those with mucus in their throats dislodge it and cough it up. The decoction method is the same method sed by shaman and medicine men to convert the root bark of Mimosa Tenuiflora into Jurema or Ayahuasca. This use of the mimosa tree may lead to new research in the field of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAO’s) due to the puzzling nature of the bioactivity of the DMT while used for hallucinogenic.
Normally, DMT is not orally active to humans because of the presence of the Monoamine Oxidase (MAOs) compounds found in the human body which break down the DMT. However, when Jurema or Ayahuasca is consumed, the DMT is rendered orally active most likely due to a large amount of an unknown, and seemingly very effective, MAO’. Mimosa Tenuiflora contains high levels of many medicinal compounds, of which are tannins, saponins, alkaloids, glucosides, luperol, and methoxychalchones.
Tannins are responsible for the astringent properties of the mimosa tree, having strong antibacterial, viral, and parasitic properties, as well as the anti-inflammatory and antiulcer properties. Saponins, the compounds responsible for the cleansing effect of mimosa tea, promote the hydrolysis of toxins from the cells of the digestive tract. Alkaloids are common nitrogen based molecules that have a wide range of edical applications including helping with many cardiovascular problems as well as some respiratory problems.
Alkaloids are the compounds responsible for the expectorant properties as well as the psychoactive properties being that DMT is an alkaloid. The glucosides in Mimosa Tenuiflora act as a mild purgative which aid in the cleansing properties of mimosa bark. Luperol is a well-known anti-inflammatory compound that has been used to reduce swelling in the paws of rats and is seen to work better than the accepted standard anti-inflammatory. Luperol is clearly esponsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of mimosa tree bark but is also an effective inhibitor of prostate and skin cancers.
Similar to Luperol, methoxychalchones are the compounds also responsible for some anti-inflammatory effects as well as some anti-bacterial effects of mimosa bark. Mimosa Tenuiflora stem bark can be used liberally with few health issues. Any topical application of powdered mimosa bark or mimosa salve is overall safe; with perhaps only slight discomfort if applied to sensitive tissues. Mimosa tea and mimosa decoction are also mostly safe with the only risk of health issues being upset tomach or indigestion caused by the astringent properties of the plant when over consumed.