Touch Me Not Plant: Uses, Side Effects, Research

Lajjalu-Mimosa pudica Linn. is a small plant which is used mainly in the treatment of  wounds, piles, uterine prolapse, diarrhea.

Botanical name- Mimosa pudica Linn.
Family- Leguminosae
Lajjalu flower

Names in different languages:
English name – Sensitive plant
Hindi name – lajalu, chui mui
Bengali name – Lajjavati
Kannada name – Nachike mullu, Nachike Gida
Gujarati name – Reesamani
Tamil name – Tottalavadi
Mimosa pudica

Varieties:
There are about 4000 species of mimosa. Mimosa pudica is a small herb which grows like a weed in a short period of time. It is a native of Brazil but now found all over India in the temperate climate. The leaves are arranged symmetrically and close on touch; hence the name sensitive plant. The flowers are pink in color.
Mimosa pudioca inflorescense

Touch me not plant – medicinal properties
Rasa (taste) – Kashaya – Astringent, Tikta – Bitter
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – Light to digest, Rooksha – Dryness
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sheeta – Coolant
Karma- Kapha-pitta hara (reduces the vitiated Kapha and Pitta Dosha)

Part used– Root, whole plant.
Paste of the plant is used (as poultice) for external use.
Touch me not plant leaves

Chemical composition:
The plant contains mimosine and turgorin. The periodic leaf movements exhibited by the plant are due to presence of derivatives of 4-O- gallic acid. The aerial part of the plant Mimosa pudica contains C- glycosylflavones, 2-Orhamnosylorientin. The root of the plant contains 10% tannin and 55% ash. The seed contains mucilage.
Touch me not plant

Dosage-
Fresh juice 10-20 ml
Decoction: 50 – 100 ml, in divided doses, per day.

Mimosa pudica uses

Traditional indications:
Yoniroga – useful in female reproductive system related disorders such as heavy periods
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery
Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Pittatisara – diarrhea due to excess Pitta, ulcerative colitis
Shopha  – inflammation
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Shrama – tiredness, fatigue
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Vrana – Ulcers, wounds
Kushta – skin diseases
Asra – blood disorders such as abscess, skin disorders, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding etc.

Uses of Lajjalu:

  • The decoction of the root in a dose of 45-50 ml is taken to get relief from renal stones, urinary complaints and asthma.
  • The decoction of the plant Mimosa pudica is consumed in a dose a divided dosage of 10-15 ml thrice a day get relief from diarrhea, bleeding piles, diabetes.
  • The paste of the plant is applied over fresh wounds to stop bleeding, to treat skin diseases.
  • The paste of the plant is applied as poultice, over the affected area, to relive vaginal prolapse, anal prolapse.
  • The powder of the seed is given in a dose of 4-6 g in lower sperm count.
  • The paste of the leaves of the Mimosa pudica plant is applied to treat fractures of the bone.

Important formulations containing Lajjalu:
Kutaja avaleha:  It is a type of semisolid preparation used in the treatment of piles, ulcerative colitis, diarrhoea, IBS, anemia, bleeding disorders, gastritis, inflammatory conditions.
Ural BPH capsule: It is a capsule used for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
Selip syrup and tablet: This formulation is used in the treatment of piles, constipation, and anal fistula
Samangadi churna: Samangadi Churna is an Ayurvedic medicine, in herbal powder form.  It is used in the treatment of bleeding hemorrhoids.
Palsinuron capsule: This capsule is used in the treatment of cervical spondylitis, brachial neuralgia, paralysis.
Lakshadi churna: Lakshadi Churnam is an Ayurvedic powder medicine used in the treatment of nasal bleeding, heavy periods and other bleeding disorders. It is best avoided in delayed periods, less menstrual bleeding (oligomenorrhoea).
Pilocure tablet: It is a tablet used for the treatment of bleeding piles and hemorrhoids.

Research articles related to Mimosa pudica:

  • Anti microbial activity: The antimicrobial activity of Lawsonia inermis, Mimosa pudica, Cestrum diurnum and Solanum xanthocarpum was determined by agar disc diffusion method against five strains of microbes: Bacillus pumilus, Micrococcus luteus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeroginosa and Candida albicans. All the selected plants exhibited antimicrobial activity but the degree of their potency varied. The results showed that Cestrum diurnum and Mimosa pudica showed more antimicrobial activity as compared to Lawsonia inermis and Solanum xanthocarpum.
  • Broad spectrum anti microbial activity: Antimicrobial activities of 50% methanolic crude extracts of Mimosa pudica L were evaluated against different bacterial strains (E.coli MTCC-443, Pseudomonas aeruginosa MTCC-4673, Staphylococcus aureus MTCC- 3160, Bacillus subtilis MTCC-441, Streptococcus pyogenes MTCC-1926.) by agar well diffusion method & MIC determination. The crude extract showed a broad spectrum of antibacterial activities by inhibiting the respective bacteria in Agar well diffusion assay.
  • Adaptogenic and nootropic activity: Ethanolic extract of pudica at the dose of 500 mg/kg produces potential changes in chronic Alzheimer’s model and stress.
  • Ethno medical and traditional use of Mimosa pudica: Recent studies have found that the extracts of this plant can be used for controlling child birth. Traditional herbal doctors recommended this plant for the treatment of bronchitis, general debility and impotence.

Mimosa pudica side effects:
It is best to avoid during constipation and scanty periods.

Classical categorization:
Charaka Samhita –
Sandhaniya – Group of herbs useful in quick wound / fracture healing
Purisha sangrahaneeya – Group of herbs that increase the bulk of feces
Sushruta- Priyangvadi gana, Ambashtadi gana
Vagbhata- Priyangvadi gana
Bhavaprakasha- Guduchyadi varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu- Oushadi varga
Raja Nighantu- Parpatadi varga 

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Lajjalu – Sensitive plant and leaves close on touch
Samanga – The plant is symmetrical
Sankochani, Namaskari – The leaves fold like folding of hand on touch.
Khadira patrika – Resembles the leaf of Khadira (Acacia cathechu) plant.
Raktapada, Raktamoola, Tamramoola  – Coppery red colored root
Gandhakari – Has an aroma
Khadirikaruna,
Prarochani – improves taste, relieves anorexia.
Shamipatra – leaves resemble to those of Shami plant.
Jalakarika
Prasarini – grows and spreads quickly

Author:
Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D | E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com


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Comments

  1. Hello Dr.Hebbar! Thanks for all your teachings. I am learning a lot. Can you talk about what you mean by controlling childbirth?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, it means, it is a potential contraceptive herb. 🙂

      • Ah, the hint is in the name ‘touch me not’ 🙂 Historically, have women used it to try and prevent pregnancy (I wouldn’t want to rely on this alone of course), or is it just something you want to avoid if you want to get pregnant?

        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

          It is not contra-indicated in pre- pregnancy time, as it is indicated in Raktapitta and Yoniroga – menorrhagia.
          But excess consumption of its Kashaya or usage during pregnancy is best avoided.

  2. Read that this plant is very good for incontinence. Is it correct and in what form should a person take the medicine

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes. For urinary incontinence, its whole plant is dried, made into coarse powder. A tablespoon of this coarse powder is added to a cup of water, boiled for 5 minutes, filtered and the liquid is consumed, once or twice a day.

  3. Did touch me not is used to lose weight?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      As per a research report – the root is useful in obesity.
      Reference: . Balamurugan R. Smilax chinensis Linn. (Liliaceae) root attenuates insulin resistance and ameliorate obesity in high diet induced obese rat. South Indian Journal of Biological Sciences. 2015; 1(1):47–51.

  4. Has Mimosa Pudica been found to be helpful for Interstitial Cystitis? Specifically the associated capillary engorgement and ulcers associated with the condition in the bladder, vaginal tissue and urethra? Per the research report it seems as though a poultice applied to the exterior conditions of this matter could be helpful? It also appears that by killing parasitic infections with Mimosa Pudica this could indirectly also help an IC condition?

  5. ramesh ramesh2276 says:

    Is it poisonous by using raw and 200no quantity at a time

  6. Would you recommend mimosa pudica for a first degree prolapsed uterus? If so, how much should be taken and for how long?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes. 5 grams powder – added to 1 cup of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup, filtered and consumed – repeated twice a day after food for 2 months time.
      For further advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      For email advice, please write to our health experts here (paid service) – http://easyayurveda.com/consult/

  7. What about taking this solution when having piles occurred due to pregnancy, constipation?

  8. chinmay kumar dash says:

    Thank you for your information about lajwati seeds

  9. Ako Sylvester says:

    Hi Doctor, can you tell me how to use the stems in particular externally and internally?

  10. Please, can anyone tell me whether mimosa pudica, being a broad spectrum antimictobial, is safe fpr the beneficial bacteria in the gut?

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