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Mimosa pudica back  |  home
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Mimosa pudica Mimosaceae

Sensitive Plant Lajjalu Lajwanti, Chui- mui

Mimosa PudicaHabitat
Found in tropical and sub-tropical parts of India.

Morphology Description (Habit)
M.pudica is a diffuse undershrub, 50-90 cm. high. The stem and rachis are clothed with prickles; the leaves are bipinnate, pinnae 2-4, digitatively arranged, with 10-20 pairs of leaflets; the flowers in pinkish globose heads; the pods, small, flat, straw-coloured, with many bristles; the seeds, 3-5.

Principal Constituents
M.pudica contains a toxic alkaloid, mimosine identical with leucenine from Leucaena glauca (q.v.). The leaves, stems and roots give positive tests for alkaloids, but the total quantity present is small. An adrenaline-like substance has been identified in the extracts of leaves; a perfusion of mimosa ground in Ringer`s solution showed adrenaline action on isolated frog heart. Crocetin dimethyl ester is present in the plant. The roots contain tannin (c. 10%)1.

The seeds of the plant contain a mucilage composed of d -xylose and d -glucuronic acid. They yield 17% of greenish yellow fatty oil2.

The plant contains tubulin which shows the ability to bind colchicine with its sulfhydryl groups. A new class of phytohormones-turgorines are active in the plant. These periodic leaf movement factors are derivatives of 4-O-(ß-D- glucopyranosyl-6-sulphate) gallic acid3.

It has been observed that in rats with experimental injury of the sciatic nerve, the process of regeneration of the nerve was 30-40 per cent higher in rats treated with M.pudica extract, as compared to hydrocortisone treated group. The extract was given parenterally(1.6mg/100g) every 4th day upto 120 days4.

Clinical Studies
The aqueous extract of the root powder after pilot studies on patients with dysfunctional uterine bleeding (menorrhagia) showed promise5.

LD50 of 50% ethanol extract was found to be more than 1000mg/kg (intraperitoneally) in albino rats6.

A decoction of the root of the plant is considered useful in gravel and other urinary complaints. A paste of the leaves is applied to glandular swellings; the juice of the leaves is used in dressings for sinus and also as an application for sores and piles7.

The whole plant is crushed and used against itching; it also relieves scabies patches. A decoction of the root is taken to relieve asthma and diarrhea8.

  1. Manske & Holmes, I, 211; Heilbron & Bunbury, III, 175; Webb, Bull, sci. industr. Res Org. Aust., No. 268, 1952, 54; Chem. Abstr., 1950, 44, 2180; 1948, 42, 3812; 1949, 43, 3475; Banerji et. al., Trans. Bose Res. Inst., 1946, 16, 155.
  2. Hulyalkar et. al., J. Indian chem. Soc., 1956, 33, 864; Aggarwal & Karimullah, J. sci. industr. Res., 1945-46, 4, 80.
  3. Chem Abstr, 1992, 116, 250688; 1990, 112, 73778; 1992, 117, 146660.
  4. Prasad, G. C., et. al., J. Res. Ind. Med., 1975, 10(4), 37.
  5. Vaidya, G.H. and Seth, U.K. M. pudica - its medicinal value and pilot clinical use in patients with menorrhagia, Ancient sci. Life, 1986, 5(3), 156-160.
  6. Bhakuni, D.S., et. al., Screening of Indian plants for biological activities. Indian J. Exptl. Biol. 7: 250, 1969.
  7. Kirt. & Basu, II, 915; Nadkarni, I 799.
  8. Kapur, Indian Drugs, 1991, 28, 210; Mohiddin et. al., Int J Pharmacog, 1992, 30, 105; Ganesan, Geobios, 1993, 20, 264.

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