Mimosa Tenuiflora of the Leguminosae family
A few of the Middle and South American Countries contain Mimosa Hostilis plants naturally. The plant grows from southern Mexico to the northern region of Pernambuco, Brazil. Therefore, it also grows in El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. However, the two most popular types of MHRB on the market come from either Brazil or Mexico. Within these two regions as well, there are areas known for producing higher quality MHRB. These are the coast of the Chiapas and Oaxaca, in Mexico. Though Mimosa Hostilis grows best in tropical lowlands, it also grows in altitudes as high as 1000 meters above sea level.
The Many Names Of Mimosa:
Since Mimosa grows throughout the Middle and South Americas, there are many names that refer to the same plant (see list below). In Brazil, MHRB is typically referred to as Jurema Preta or (just) Jurema, but is also known as Vinho da Jurema. In Mexico, the most common name is Tepezcohuite due to the fame the plant has received under this name for its healing properties (see ‘Uses’ below).
- Vinho da Jurema
- Jurema Preta
- Arbre de peau
- Mimosa Hostilis/ MHRB
Mimosa Hostilis Plant Description:
This small bushy tree grows up to 8 meters tall, with much of its growth occurring in the first five years. It has pinnate leaves that typically contain between fifteen and thirty pairs of bright green leaves. The outside bark ranges from a dark brown to gray color. The inside of the bark is typically a reddish-brown, becoming closer to a purple/red color towards the inner-most root bark. On the stems of the plant, there are sharp thorns. The Mimosa Hostilis plant also contains white fragrant flowers. These flowers blossom at different points in the year depending on the hemisphere the Mimosa Hostilis is in. Since Mimosa Hostilis grows mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, the most common time for blossom is from September to January. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, the plant grows from November to June.
Uses & Benefits:
- A tea can be made from a mixture of the leaves and ground-up stem bark. This tea helps to treat and relieve tooth pain.
- Water extractions of the Mimosa Tenuiflora have also been shown to help treat and relieve severe coughs and bronchitis.
- Brazilian indigenous tribes use the root bark as a natural entheogen.
- Also in Brazil, some women rub the root of Mimosa Hostilis into the soles of the feet of men. This is because it is also known in Brazil as an aphrodisiac.
- In Mexico, the root bark is an ethnomedicine, with the primary use is of treating burn victims. This ethnomedicine, when in powdered form, can be spread on the burns to produce analgesic effects.These effects can last up to three hours. As well, the MHRB reduces the regeneration time for the skin.
- The term Tepezcohuite means “skin tree”and therefore, many Westerners use the root bark of this tree to treat psoriasis and eczema.
- The bark can be powdered and put into capsules, that when taken orally can help reduce exhaustion and debility.
Health Benefits for Pets:
The healing properties of the tree make it useful in treating domesticated pets against parasites.You can make a shampoo-like solution form the mixture of both the root bark and the leaves. Using this solution on your house-pets can prevent and treat parasites.
- Sheep, goats, and even cows eat the pods and leaves of the plant. Thus, the Mimosa Hostilis also providesa source of fodder or forage for animals.
- Mimosa Tenuiflora is very good for fighting soil erosion and reforestation. This is because Mimosa Hostilis fertilizes the soil through its nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This also allows for other plants to come use the soil that the Mimosa has conditioned.
- Mimosa Tenuiflora is known as a prolific pioneer plant. This is because it continually drops its’ leaves on the ground causing a thick layer of mulch and then humus to form.
Dye & Leather Production:
Many manufacturers are using the bark as a natural dye in clothing and for leather production. This is because of its’ high tannin content (16%)found in the roots that produces a rich purple color. This high tannin content also helps to keep the plant from rotting.