Mimosa pudica L.

Last updated: 26 July 2016

Scientific Name

Mimosa pudica L.


Mimosa hispidula Kunth [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Semalu, puteri malu, malu-malu, memalu, kemunchup, keman, kembang gajah, rumput rimau [2], daun sopan, rumput malu, rumput malu-malu [3]
English Sensitive plant, touch me not [2], action plant, humble plant, live-and-die, shame weed, shy-plant, sleeping grass, sweet heart grass [3]
China Han xiu cao [3]
India Anjalikarika, bap-tharak, budhi, chui mui, chhuimui, durim junum, laaj kudi, lajakuli, lajalu, lajamani, lajjalu, lajkui, lajkulilata, lajkuni, lajkuri, lajosag, lajuli, lajuri, lajwanti, lazaabati, lazaoni, lazomori, menganha, mudata madaaku, nachkuli, naun-mek-jang, neelajibon, nidi-kumba, nidrakanti, peddanidrakanti, sharminda, tattal vadi, thotal sinungi, thottalchinungi, thottalvaadi, thottasurungi, thottavadi, total-vadi, tottalvadi, tottavati [3]
Thailand Mai yarap, ran gap [2], yaa pan yot [3]
Bangladesh Lajjabati [3]
Vietnam C[aa]y m[aws]c c[owr], c[aa]y x[aas]u h[oor], c[aa]y trinh n[uwx], co then, ham tu thao [3]
Japan Ojigi-so [3]
South Africa Kruidjie-roer-my-nie [3]
Hawaii Pua hilahila [3]
South and central America Adormidera, Cierra tus puertas, cierrate, corona de cristo, dorme-dorme, dormideira, dormidera, dormidillo, dormilona, ix mutz, juquiri, juquiri-rasteiro, malicia, malicia-de-mulher, meze mawi, morivivi, morre-joao, puta vieja, sensitiva, sinverguenza, ten verguenza, vergonha, vergonhosa, xmuts, zarza dormilona, zarza mora, zarzavira [3].

Geographical Distributions

No documentation

Botanical Description

Mimosa pudica is a member of the Fabaceae family. It is diffusely spreading, slightly woody annual or perennial herb. The stems branched, up to 1 m high, sparingly prickly and with numerous bristle hairs bent downward. [4]

The leaves alternate and bipinnate, very sensitive, both the pinnae and leaflets falling when touched. Pinnae usually 4, subdigitate at apex of bristly petiole. Two lance-shaped stipules at base of petiole. The leaflets narrowly oblong in shape, sharply pointed, sides straight, measuring 1-1.5 cm long, sessile, covered with fine bristles. [4]

The flowers numerously arranged in heads nearly 1 cm in diametre, long peduncled, solitary or 2 or 3 in each axil. The flowers pink in colour while the stamens 4 in number. [4]

The pods flat, slightly curved outward or backward, numerous, measure 1-2 cm long, made up of 3  to 5-seeded joints that open at maturity and fall away from the persistent armed sutures with hairs numerous, weak, spreading and yellow-white bristles. [4]

The seeds are obovate in shape, measuring 2 x 1.5 mm and brown in colour. [4]

The seedlings emerge as a single stem bearing cotyledons and the once-pinnate first true leaf; subsequent leaves bipinnate. [4]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

M. pudica has been reported to contain 7, 8, 3', 4'-tetrahydroxyl-6-C-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1 --> 2)]-β-D-glucopyranosyl flavone), 5, 7, 4'-trihydroxyl-8-C-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-( --> 2)]-β-D-glucopyranosyl flavone, 5, 7, 3', 4'-tetrahydroxyl-6-C-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1 --> 2)]-β-D-glucopyranosyl flavone, ascorbic acid, β-carotene, crocetin, crocetin-dimenthyl-ether, catcher, mimosine, norepinephrine, and thiamine. [5][6]

Plant Part Used

Whole plant, leaves, root [7][8][9]

Traditional Use

M. pudica can be used to treat haemorrhoids, diarrhea and persistent dysentery. For haemorrhoids it is incorporated in an ointment preparation [5][10]. M. pudica is a popular herb for treating diseases of the female genital tract. In Trinidad and Tobago, the plant is used to ease childbirth and also to render the women infertile. As a post-partum treatment, M. pudica is prescribed by the midwives of Malaysia to help cleanse the external genitalia and causes the shrinkage of the vaginal canal. The Nicaraguan and Mexicans make use of the plant to stop excessive menstrual bleeding [5][8][10][11]. A bath of the decoction of the whole plant relieves insomnia. The drug is also used to treat convulsions and neurasthenia [7][8][11].

Decoction of the leaves can relieve diarrhea, acute conjunctivitis, high fever in children, coryza and bad effects of cold including influenza and acute otitis [5][8][9][10][11]. The Mexicans and the Vietnamese use the decoction of the dried leaves to alleviate depression [7][8][11]. The leaves have great value in inflammatory diseases. A paste of the leaves is rubbed over glandular swellings, applied over cuts and wound, sores, ulcers and herpes zoster [8][9][12].

The roots of M. pudica are used to treat bronchitis, asthma and productive cough [9]. The roots in the form of a decoction are used to treat various renal and urinary tract diseases including gonorrhea, dysuria, lithiasis and haematuria. It is also used in the treatment of hydrocele [5][7][9][12][13][14]. The roots are mixed with other ingredients to make a tonic for maintaining health and vitality. Decoction of the roots helps relieve giddiness, headache and fever. Restless children are bathed with a decoction of the plant. To firm up the breast the Malay community made use of the plant pounded with two Areca catechu fruit and some salt. This is applied nightly [13][15].

A decoction of leaves or roots acts as a diuretic and is used to treat stones in the urinary tract. [5][7][9][13][14]

Preclinical Data


Contraceptive activity

One of the traditional uses of M. pudica is as an antifertility medicine. In Assam the roots of M. pudica is used as a temporary birth control medicine [16]. Study observed that the oestrus cycle pattern in female rats were altered. This was evidenced by the absent of nucleated and cornified cells, smear was chacterized by leucocytes only as in dioetrus and there was significant reduction in the number of normal ova and a significant increase in the number of degenerated ova [17]. Study confirmed this effects when they found that the methanol extract of dried roots could prolong the oestrus cycle, disturbs the secretion of gonadotropin hormones and decrease FSH level in proestrus and oestrus stages [18].

Anthelmintic activity

In the screening study of six Jamaican medicinal plants against filiariform larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis, Study found extracts of M. pudica could inhibit the larvae within 1 hour of exposure. [19]

Antivenom activity

It was found that the aqueous extract of the roots of M. pudica had significant inhibitory effect on the lethality, myotonicity and tested enzyme activities of venom of Naja kaouthia [20]. Another study found that amongst the enzymes inhibited by the aqueous extract of M. pudica root included hyaluronidase and protease from Indian snake venoms (Naja naja, Vipera russelii and Echis carinatus) [21].

Anticonvulsant activity

Decoction of the leaves of M. pudica was able to inhibit convulsions induced by pentylentetetrazol and strychnine but not against picrotoxin-induced ones. It also antagonized N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced turning behavior. [22]

Antidepressant activity

Study found that aqueous extracts of dried leaves of M. pudica was able to reduce the immobility in the forced swimming test and increased the rate of reinforcers received in the DRL-72s test. These results is suggestive of the presence of antidepressant effects in rats. [23]

Antidiabetic activity

Study found that by giving the ethanolic extract of leaves of M. pudica at a dose of 250mg/kg to mice they could produce a significant hypogylcaemic effects. [24]

Wound healing activity

Study on the wound healing activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of roots of M. pudica. They found that these extracts possesses significant wound healing properties probably due to the high phenol content in them. [25]

Anti-asthmatic activity

The ethanol extract of the whole plant of M. pudica showed inhibitory activity on asthmatic attack induced by ovalbumin in BALB/c mice. It was found to inhibit HMC-1 cell migration induced by stem cell factor and blocked the release of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in EoL-1 cells. There was also suppression of Leukocytosis, eosinophilia and mucous hypersecretion, features common in asthma. [26]

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Mimosa pudica L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2016 Jul 26] Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-118
  2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p. 143.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 158-159.
  4. Galinato MI, Moody K, Piggin CM. Upland rice weeds of South and Southeast Asia. Makati City, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute, 1999; p. 53.
  5. Lans C. Creole remedies of Trinidad and Tobago. Canada: Cheryl Lans, 2007; p. 83-116.
  6. Yuan K, Lü JL, Yin MW. [Chemical constituents of C-glycosylflavones from Mimosa pudica] Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2006;41(5):435-438. Chinese.
  7. Tietze H, Stepanovs J, Hobert I. Love remedies. New South Wales, Australia: Harald W. Tietze Publishing,  2000; p. 68.
  8. Koh HL, Kian CT, Tan KH. A guide to medicinal plants: An illustrated, scientific and medicinal approach. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2009; p. 99-100.
  9. Dalimartha S. Atlas tumbuhan obat Indonesia Jilid 2. Jakarta: Trubus Agriwidya, 2000; p. 157-159
  10. Khare CP. Indian herbal remedies: Rational western therapy, ayurvedic, and other traditional usage, botany. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2004; p. 313.
  11. Desa N, editor. 1001 misteri alam: Menyingkap rahsia khasiat sumber alam semula jadi. Shah Alam, Selangor: Buku Prima, 2008; p. 155-156.
  12. Kumar B.  Electropathy homeophatic philosophy (hindi). Uttar Pradesh, India: B Jain Publishers, 2002; p. 1690
  13. Mat-Salleh K, Latif A. Tumbuhan ubatan Malaysia. Selangor, Malaysia: Pusat Pengurusan Penyelidikan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2002; p. 381-382.
  14. Herbs cultivation and medicinal uses. New Delhi: National Institute of Industrial Research, 2000; p. 355.
  15. Zakaria M, Mohd MA. Traditional Malay medicinal plants. Kuala Lumpur: Institute Terjemahan Negara Malaysia, 2010; p. 101.
  16. Tiwari KC, Majumder R, Bhattacharjee S. Folklore information from Assam for family planning and birth control. Int J Crude Drug Res. 1982;20(3):133-137.
  17. Valsala S, Karpagaganapathy PR. Effect of Mimosa pudica root powder on oestrous cycle and ovulation in cycling female albino rat, Rattus norvegicus. Phytother Res. 2002;16(2):190-192.
  18. Ganguly M, Devi N, Mahanta R. Effect of Mimosa pudica root extract on vaginal estrous and serum hormones for screening of antifertility activity in albino mice. Contraception. 2007;76(6):482-485.
  19. Robinson RD, Williams LA, Lindo JF. Inactivation of Strongyloides stercoralis filariform larvae in vitro by six Jamaican plant extracts and three commercial anthelmintics. West Indian Med J. 1990;39(4):213-217.
  20. Mahanta M, Mukherjee AK. Neutralisation of lethality, myotoxicity and toxic enzymes of Naja kaouthia venom by Mimosa pudica root extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;75(1):55-60.
  21. Girish KS, Mohanakumari HP, Nagaraju S. Hyaluronidase and protease activities from Indian snake venoms: Neutralization by Mimosa pudica root extract. Fitoterapia. 2004;75(3-4):378-380.
  22. Ngo Bum E, Dawack DL, Schmutz M. Anticonvulsant activity of Mimosa pudica decoction. Fitoterapia. 2004;75(3-4):309-314.
  23. Molina M, Contreras CM, Tellez-Alcantara P. Mimosa pudica may possess antidepressant actions in the rat. Phytomedicine. 1999;6(5):319-323.
  24. Amalraj T, Ignacimuthu S. Hyperglycemic effect of leaves of Mimosa pudica Linn. Fitoterapia. 2002;73(4):351-352.
  25. Kokane DD, More RY, Kale MB, Nehete MN, Mehendale PC, Gadgoli CH. Evaluation of wound healing activity of root of Mimosa pudica. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;124(2):311-315.
  26. Yang EJ, Lee JS, Yun CY. Suppression of ovalbumin-induced airway inflammatory responses in a mouse model of asthma by Mimosa pudica extract. Phytother Res. 2011;25(1):59-66.