Makahiya is a diffusely spreading, half-woody
herb, with branched stems up to 1 meter long, sparingly prickly with
numerous deflexed, bristly hairs. The leaves are very sensitive, both
pinnae and leaflets, folding when touched. Pinnae are usually 4, digitately arranged at the end of each petiole, and 4 to 9 centimeters long. The leaflets are narrowly
oblong, inequilateral, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long, sessile, sparingly bristly, with pointed tips.
Heads are long-peduncled, solitary or 2 to 3 in each axil, about 1 centimeter in
diameter. Pods are flat, slightly recurved, 1 to 2 centimeters long, with 3 to 5 one-sided joints
that fall away on maturity. Florets are red in the upper part with pink
to lavender filaments.
- Common weed widely distributed
in the Philippines in open, moist, waste places, open grasslands and open thickets, at low and medium altitudes in settled areas.
- Introduced from tropical America.
- Pantropic weed.
- Seed contains a toxic alkaloid, mimosine, a non-protein alpha-amino acid, known to cause
hair loss and depressed growth in mammals (an unlikely event in humans
as this will require unusually large doses).
- Roots yield flavonoids, phytosterol, alkaloids, amino acids, tannins, glycoside, fatty acids.
- Leaf extract have yielded an adrenaline-like substance.
- Seeds contain a mucilage composed of d-xylose and d-glucoronic acid, yielding 17% greenish yellow fatty oil.
- Plant contains (1) tubulin with an ability to bind colchicene with its sulfhydryl groups. (2) crocetin dimethyl ester.
- Plant yields turgorine.
- Leaves and stems reported to contain the alkaloid mimosine; leaves yield mucilage; the roots yield tannins.
- Considered expectorant, antiasthmatic.
analgesic, antispasmodic, alterant, sedative and antidepressant.
- Roots are bitter, astringent, acrid, alexipharmic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, constipating, cooling, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge, resolvent, vulnerary.
- Leaves are bitter, sudorific, tonic.
- Emetic effect attributed to mimosine.
Leaflet movement physiology
• The leaflets fold together
in the early evening and reopens at sunrise. It is called bashful or
sensitive because the leaflets fold together on touching, warming and
shaking. The phenomenon is called seismonastic
movement due to a rapid change in turgor pressure and changes in membrane
permeability in the pulvini cells in the leaf regions with rapid movement
of calcium ions. At night, the leaves also fold and bend, termed nyctonastic
movements (reaction to absence of light).
• When the leaflets fold together on touching, they reopen in about 10 minutes.
• Seismonastic Movement / Actin Cystoskeleton:
Study showed fragmentation of actin filaments occurring during bending was involved in the regulation of movement. The effect of phosphatase inhibitors on the actin cytoskeleton
affects dynamic reorganization of actin filaments and causes the seismonastic movement.
- In the Philippines, roots used as diuretic; also used for dysentery and dysmenorrhea.
- Entire plant in decoction used as alterant and antiasthmatic.
- Root considered aphrodisiac, and used for bladder gravel and similar urinary complaints.
Decoction or infusion
of leaves used in asthma; expectorant.
- Used for hypertension, menorrhagia, glandular swelling, sore throat and hoarseness.
- Powdered seeds applied to wounds and sores.
- Bruised leaves applied to bruises.
- Decoction of leaves used for diabetes.
- Powdered roots and leaves taken with milk for piles and fistula.
- Juice applied externally to fistulous sores.
- Poultice of leaves for glandular swellings.
- Leaves and roots used for piles and fistula.
- Used as antifertility agent in some parts of India.
- 1:1 ethanol water extract used for pain relief.
- Seeds used a coffee substitute
- In China, used for treatment
of anxiety and depression.
- In Ayurveda, used as antiasthmatic, aphrodisiac, analgesic and antidepressant; also used in diseases associated with corrupted bile and blood, bilious fever, piles, jaundice, leprosy, ulcers, and small pox.
- In India, used for birth control.
- In the Antiles, Guiana, and La Reunion, roots used vomitive.
- In Indo-China, seeds used as emetic.
- In Mexico, used to alleviate depression.
- In Punjab and Cashmere, seeds used for sore throat.
- In Concan, paste of leaves applied to hydrocoeles and glandular swellings.
- Infusion of leaves used for dysentery; also as bitter tonic.
- Roots used for leucoderma, vaginopathy, metropathy, ulcers, dysentery, inflammations, jaundice, asthma, small pox, strangury, fevers.
- Leaves used for hydrocoele, hemorrhoids, fistula, scrofula, conjunctivitis, wounds and hemorrhages.
- Whole plants used for bladder calculi; externally, for edema, rheumatism, myalgia and uterine tumors.
- Whole plant, crushed, used for itching and scabies.
Study showed antimicrobial activity against Aspergillus fumigatus, Citrobacter divergens and Klebsiella pneumonia. (6)
• Antimicrobial: Ethanolic extracts activity against B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, A. flavus and T. rubrum. The antimicrobial activity was attributed to the presence of active constituents like alkaloids or tannins.
Study showed intraperitoneal use of Mimosa pudica decoction protected mice against pentylentetrazol and strychnine-induced seizures.
• Plant extracts showed the plant to be a moderate
diuretic, depressed duodenal contractions (similar to atropine), promoted
nerve regeneration and reduce menorrhagia.
• Also shown to have antidepressant activity.
• Antifertility Studies:
Studies on the root extract of M. pudica showed antifertility effect with prolongation of the estrous cycle and disturbance of the secretion of gonadotropin hormones in albino mice. (2)
• Antitoxin / Sea Snake Venom:
A study in India screened several herbal plants for antivenin activity
against common sea snake venom Enhydrina schistosa, the most toxic among
the common sea snakes. The investigation showed antivenom activity
in the alcoholic extract of Mimosa pudica, Mucuna pruriens, and Andrographis
• Antitoxin: Study on the aqueous extract of dried roots of Mimosa pudica showed significant inhibitory effect on Naja naja and Bangarus caerulus venoms. (9)
• Antitoxin / Venom Neutralizing: Of 17 plants screened, only M pudica showed 100% ability in neutralizing venom lethality. Study showed the potential use of M pudica as an antivenom agent of plant origin against five poisonous snake venoms found in Malaysia.
• Two new C-glycosylflavones from
Mimosa pudica: Two new C-glycosylflavones were isolated
from the whole plant of Mimosa pudica, and their structures were determined
as 6,7,3?,4?-tetrahydroxyl-8-C-[?-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1 ? 2)]-?-d-glucopyranosyl
flavone (1), 5,7,3?,4?-tetrahydroxy-8-C[?-d-apiose-(1 ? 4)]-?-d-glycopyranosyl
flavone (2). (4)
Study isolated Fonsecaea from the thorns of M pudica and suggests it could be a natural source of infection for the fungus Fonsecaea pedrosoi.
• Seed Mucilage / Sustained-Release Excipient:
Study showed the dissolution profile from formulation containing mucilage to drug in the proportion of 1:40 was found to be similar to the commercial sustained-release formulation of diclofenac.
• Anti-Depressant: Study suggests that M pudica produces antidepressant effect in rats with a profile similar to two tricyclic antidepressants.
• Anti-Malarial: Mimosine found to be an iron chelator
acting on malarial bugs by preventing the replication of cells.
• Apoptotic: Mimosine also causes apoptosis and studied for treating ovarian
cancer and other highly vascularized tumors.
• Anthelmintic: The Anthelmintic effect of Makahiya (Mimosa pudica) leaves Extract
in Native Chicken (Gallus domesticus) naturally infected with Gastro-intestinal Parasites (Thesis) (5)
• Anti-Hepatotoxic / Antioxidant: Study showed the co-administration of Mimosa pudica aqueous extract significantly lowered the level of lipid peroxidation in alcohol-fed mice. (16)
• Anti-Hyperglycemic: Mimosa pudica is one of eight medicinal plants in an Ayurvedic herbal formulation, Ilogen-Excel, showing antihyperglycemic effect in STZ-induced diabetic rats. (17)
• Nerve-Regenerative: (1) Study showed Mimosa pudica extract possess nerve-regenerative potential in rats with sciatic nerve injury. (2) In rats with experimentally injured sciatic nerves, nerve regeneration was 30-40% higher in rats treated with M. pudica extract than the hydrocortisone treated group.
• Antidiabetic Activity: In a study of alloxan-induced diabetic rats, the ethanolic extract of Mimosa pudica showed significant decrease of blood glucose level compared with Metformin as standard drug. (18)
• Antioxidant / Antibacterial: Comparative antioxidant, antibacterial and general toxicity studies on extracts of two Bangladeshi medicinal plants, M pudica and M rubicau, showed both exhibited prominent antioxidant property. While M. rubicaulis did not show any antibacterial activity, M pudica displayed considerable bacteriostatic activity against all six bacterial strains tested - B cereus, B subtilis, E coli, ampicillin-resistant E coli, S aureus and P aeruginosa.
• Antinociceptive / Toxicity Studies: In an acute toxicity study, a single dose of aqueous extract of 2000 mg KBW showed no clinical signs of toxicity or mortality. Study also showed dose-dependent central and peripheral analgesic property. (22)
• Hypolipidemic: Chloroform extract exhibited significant hypolipidemic activity. Results suggest that biologically activity phytoconstituents such as flavonoids, glycosides alkaloids may be responsible for the activity. (23)
• Tannins / Antivenom: Study showed tannins obtained from M. pudica was better than tannic acid in neutralizing the lethality of N. kaouthia venom in vitro. Results suggest M. pudica has a potential for treating N. Kaouthia snakebites. (25)
• Wound Healing:
(1) Study of the methanolic extract exhibited good wound healing activity, an effect attributable to phenol constituents. (2) Study of shoot and root extracts showed good wound healing activity when compared to standard drug Gentamicin. (3) In an incision wound model, topical application of chloroform and methanolic root extracts showed wound-healing activity with a significant rise in breaking strength, dry weight, and hydroxyproline content of the granulation tissue. (12)(28)(29)
• Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of a methanolic extract of leaves of M. pudica in carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in wistar albino rats. Results showed significant hepatoprotective effect with lowering of biochemical parameters and confirming histopathological changes. Results were comparable to standard hepatoprotective drug Silymarin. Effects may be due to active phytoconstituents flavonoids, glycosides, and alkaloids. (31)
• Antiulcer: Evaluation in rats of extracts of M. pudica for anti-ulcer activity in ulcer models -- aspirin, alcohol, and pyloric ligation -- showed the alcoholic extract to significantly decrease the volume of gastric acid secretion, PH, free acidity and ulcer index. (32)
• Homeophathic Mother Tinctures: Study showed significant differences in samples of mother tinctures. Alcohol content influenced the viscosity of tinctures.
• Antioxidant Activity: Study evaluated the total flavonoid (TF) and total phenolic (TP) contents of ethanol extracts of whole plant, stem, leaf, and seed. Results showed the leaf extract with the highest amount of TF and TP, Results suggested Mp could be a potential rice source of natural antioxidants. (33)
• Antioxidant: Study evaluated the in vitro antioxidant effect of an ethanolic extract of Mimosa pudica against free radical damage by different assay methods (DPPH, NO, ABTS, and H2O2). Results showed potent activity on Nitric Oxide and DPPH, compared to ascorbic acid and rutin as standards. (34)
• Nootropic: Study evaluated nootropic effects in both acute and chronic models of amnesia induced by scopolamine and AlCl3. Results confirmed nootropic (cognition enhancement) activity of EEMP, attributed to flavonoids and its antioxidant property. (35)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. Results showed potent antinociceptive action confirming the extract's central activity. In a carrageenin-induced paw edema model, results clearly demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity. (36)
• Antitumor / Glycosylflavones: Six glycosylflavones isolated from Mimosa pudica were evaluated for antitumor activity. Results showed inhibition on the proliferation of three tumor cells studies, viz., MCF-7, JAR, and N-2 A. (37)
• Cytotoxicity / Antioxidant: Various extracts of different plant parts (aerial parts and root) were screened for in vitro cytotoxicity, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities. The methanolic crude extract of aerial parts showed moderate antioxidant activity. The petroleum ether and methanol crude extract showed potential cytotoxic activities by brine shrimp lethality assay. All crude extracts showed poor or no activity against test organisms. (38)
Tinctures, seeds, extracts in the cybermarket.