Mimosa pudica (kruidtjie-roer-my-nie, sensitive plant) is not indigenous to southern Africa but it is nevertheless used in traditional medicine for children’s disorders, insomnia and nervousness.
Ethno Medicinal Uses of Mimosa pudica
Administered to people: The Zulus use whole plants as traditional medicine. Unspecified parts are used for children’s convulsions, dysmenorrhoea and as a vermifuge in Madagascar. In Mauritius, decoctions of young leaves and stems are given to children with teething problems and also used for heart palpitations, insomnia and nervousness. Leaves are also used for insomnia in Ecuador. Such usage may be associated mimetically with the habit of the leaves of closing up when touched.
Caution: Mimosine, a compound found in Mimosa pudica was shown to be toxic to stock animals.
This monograph contains details of Mimosa pudica as per the references cited below. If you can provide any additional information, photos or reliable use records, or spot any errors, please leave a comment below or in The Muthi Flora of southern Africa Facebook group
Arnold, T.H., Prentice, C.A., Hawker, L.C., Snyman, E.E., Tomalin, M., Crouch, N.R. and Pottas-Bircher, C. (2002). Medicinal and magical plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 13. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
Hutchings, A., Scott, A.H., Lewis, G., Cunnigham, A.B., (1996). Zulu Medicinal Plants: an inventory. University of Natal