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MImosa pudica L.
mimos (Gr.): imitator, a mimic (which alludes to the sensitivity of the leaves)
pudica (Lat.): bashful, shy.
Eng: sensitive plant, shameplant, touch-me-not, humble plant
French: sensitive, mimeuse commune, mimeuse pudique
German: Sinnpflanze, Gemeine Mimose
Bengali: Laajak, Lajjavathi.
Danish: Almindelig mimose.
Hindi: Chuimui, Lajaalu, Lajjavanthi, Lajouni.
Italian: Sensitiva .
-The root and the flowers; by William Schwabe; Sankaran's proving (Julian)
- Whole flowering plant; specimen from France; potencies prepared by Nelson's; Raeside's proving (BHJ)
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Fabales; Mimosaceae - Sensitive Plants
Willmar Schwabe of Germany prepared the mother tincture for the proving. The Hahnemannian proving is the work of Sankaran (Bombay), who experimented with it on six young provers, for three weeks, using the potencies 3x and 6x, in 1968-69.
(acc to Julian's new remedies)
Sankaran, 1970. British Homeopathic Journal 1IX, 1, 42-3.;
Raeside, J. R. 1971. 'A Proving of Mimosa Pudica.' British Homoeop. Journal LX, 2, 97-104.
Paris, R. R. and Moyse, H. 1967. Matiére Médicale.
Masson.; Seror, R. 1970. '25th Revue de Presse Homoéop. de Langue Anglaise'. Cahiers de Biothérapie 28.;
Description of the substance
M. pudica was first described from Brazil and is probably native to most or all of the New World Tropics. Today, it is considered to be a pan tropical weed where it is common in rather moist waste ground, in lawns, in open plantations, and in weedy thickets. It forms a dense ground cover, preventing reproduction of other species. Being a member of the pea family, Leguminosae, it has the ability to fix nitrogen from the air and is therefore adaptable to most soil types, including those of poor quality.
Although a perennial, M. pudica is best treated as an annual, to be kept for one season only. This is because, as well as being difficult to over-winter, it tends to become rather unsightly as it ages. However, it should be repotted several times during that period. One should use a soil-based potting mixture and the plant should be moved to a larger pot whenever the roots have completely filled the current pot. Root ends appearing through the drainage holes will indicate when repotting is necessary. However, the plant flowers best and its foliage is at its most attractive when the roots are confined in a relatively small space.
The plants like a warm sunny position and a relatively humid atmosphere.
As it's such an adaptable plant, it may be put somewhere like the bathroom, where there are no draughts, and there's constant high humidity from showers and baths. Keep a mister close by and mist it with tepid water occasionally.
Mimosa pudica is a source of fascination to adults and children alike. When you gently touch the narrow fern-like leaflets they almost instantaneously fold together and the leaf stalk droops. This sometimes sets off a chain reaction, with several leaf stalks falling on top of one another, causing the collapse of a whole section of foliage, or perhaps the whole plant. When left to its own devices, the plant gradually returns to normal, this taking up to about half an hour. This touch-induced movement of leaves is known scientifically as thigmonasty, and is thought to be a defensive mechanism against grazers.
At night, the leaves will also fold and bend in movements known as nyctonastic movements (reaction to absence of light).
In temperate climates, the sensitive plant is grown mainly as an indoor plant, usually for its fascinating behaviour. It is a shrub-like plant, growing to a height of about 60cm. The stem is upright, much branching and sparsely coated with fine, white hairs; and thus the plant has a prickly feel.
The leaves are bipinnate, meaning that they are compound leaves consisting of many leaflets arranged on side-branches off the main axis. These leaflets are called pinnae, and these are sub-divided into many little leaflets called pinnules, thus giving the plant a fern-like appearance. The pinnae are 2.5 to 5cm long and are made up of elliptical, 0.5cm long pinnules arranged in rows of opposite pairs.
In the 19th Century, it was discovered that the plant movements are the result of a rapid loss of internal pressure (turgor pressure) in strategically situated cells in regions of the plant called 'pulvini'. Researchers have found that as the leaves are stimulated, there are changes in membrane permeability of the cells in the pulvini, which allow for the rapid movement of calcium ions. This has been related to increased cell wall pliability in the pulvini, which when coupled with decreased turgor pressure allows for movement.