The Story behind Mimosa Hostilis
Mimosa Hostilis ( Mimosa tenuiflora)
High quality fresh Mimosa Hostilis ( Mimosa tenuiflora) products for sale online at a cheaper price with free shipping both domestic and international. Mimosa hostilis (Mimosa tenuiflora), also known as jurema preta, calumbi (Brazil), tepezcohuite (México), carbonal, cabrera, jurema, black jurema, and binho de jurema, is a perennial tree or shrub native to the northeastern region of Brazil (Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Pernambuco, Bahia) and found as far north as southern Mexico (Oaxaca and coast of Chiapas). From the midst of the mountains of Southern Mexico to the tropical forests of Brazil, the Mimosa tenuiflora grows, embracing in its trunk and roots a long list of benefits and traditions. Mimosa Hostilis is an ethnobotanical tree that has anti-inflammatory properties in addition to other health benefits.
It can pass unnoticed like any other tree between bushes and resilient plants, but the regenerative properties of Mimosa hostilis have been well known since ancient times. Pre-Hispanic civilizations –Mayas, Nahuas, Amazonian indigenous people, among others—have used it to treat tissue damage, as a key ingredient in cosmetic treatments, and as an essential part of their rituals. We, at The Mimosa Hostilis Roots, want to share with you the knowledge and traditional uses that surround our beloved Mimosa tenuiflora.
It comes from northern Brazil, where it known as Jurema Preta and is used as traditional medicine. In Brazil people have been drinking mimosa hostilis root bark tea and other supplements for centuries given its many health properties. Moreover, it grows in southern Mexico in the state of Chiapas where it is known as Tepezcohuite, and The Tree of Life. Mexican Mimosa Tree is more widely used to treat many skin conditions especially burns. The Red Cross once used Tepezcohuite to treat burned patients from a fire that left more than 50,000 victims in Mexico City. Several Mimosa Hostilis Root Bark Extraction Methods are also applied to get tannins that are used to dye fabrics, skin, and other arts and beauty products.
Popularly, tribes from northeastern Brazil call it jurema or jurema-preta. The last one is to make a distinction from jurema-branca, another mimosa species.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, it is called tepezcohuite, but many traditional herbalists refer to it just as “skin tree”, for most of its uses are related to the treatment of ailments or injuries of the skin.
This amazing tree has many names. Its full scientific name is Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd) Poiret, but Mimosa hostilis is used as a synonym. However, there was a time scientists believed it was different from Mimosa nigra (Brazil) or Mimosa Cabrera (Colombia), lately, they realized the taxonomic descriptions were the same.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum or division: Tracheophyta
- Class: Magnoliopside
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Leguminosae
- Gender: Mimosa
- Species: Mimosa tenuiflora
- Scientific name: Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd.) Poiret.
The meaning of the word tepezcohuite –also written as tepescohuite or tepexcohuite—is unclear and still a matter of debates. However, historians and botanic researchers agree on two theories:
- The first one is related to the dictionary of Aztequisms, an early 20th-century attempt to understand and recover the Nahuatl, which is the original language of the Aztecs. In this book, we can find the words “tepecuitazote” (described as a medicinal plant) and, “tepehuiscle” (a hard tree). Both meanings suit the Mimosa tenuiflora exceptionally well.
The origin of these words comes from the sum of two other words in Nahuatl: Tepetl (hill) and, cuahuitl (tree).
- The second theory is related to the Nahuat language. This language is a variant of Nahualt, spoken by the indigenous people of the northeastern highlands of the State of Puebla, which is a couple of hours drive from Mexico City. In their dictionary, they use the word “teposkuouit” to describe a “tree hard as iron”, whose pronunciation sounds similar to tepezcohuite.
In this case, the word is the sum of: Tepos (iron) and, kuouit (tree, wood or log).
Although the origin of the word Tepezcohuite is uncertain, it is clear that none of the words in Nahuatl or Nahuat related to it mean “skin”. Nevertheless, the common definition for this tree in Mexico is related to its usage. For instance, in the Dictionary of Mexicanisms, a contemporary recompilation of Mexican terms, tepezcohuite is defined as “a medicinal plant of whose bark is used as an analgesic, fungicide, repairer and, stimulant for dermis regeneration”.
The strength of Mimosa Tenuiflora
The Mimosa hostilis grows in landscapes covered by bushes; typically, in an ecosystem known as a tropical deciduous forest. Life is not easy in these places: the dry seasons are long and harsh, while the rain period is always torrential. Despite such an extreme climate, our beloved tree grows, strong and resilient, ready to adapt to any circumstance. For this reason, it is common to find it throughout the Americas.
In Mexico, from early November until June, the Mimosa hostilis pleases us with small soft and hairy flowers which eventually become into fruity small pods. Being a tree that adapts to difficult conditions, it is easy for it to grow on the edges of roads and abandoned and hostile terrains. In its early life, up to nine trees can grow in one squared meter, although an adult tree can reach eight meters’ height.
Its small leaves and delicate flowers stand out among the undergrown bushes that surround its habitat, but it is the bark of the trunk and roots that hold its medicinal properties.
Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula clean wounds and pimples by applying the powder obtained from the Mimosa tenuiflora bark by roasting, grinding, and sifting it on the affected area. This method is not only useful for humans, but for domestic animals too! Herbalists mix the bark with water and boil it until it becomes a concentrate. They use that water in compresses on superficial wounds. They also gargle with it in the presence of abrasions in the mouth.
The traditional medical uses of Mimosa Tenuiflora
By grounding the tepezcohuite bark, traditional doctors in different indigenous communities produce infusions, balms, and soaps, specially designed to regenerate the skin, but also to treat stomach illnesses, vaginitis, and fungal infections on the skin.
In Brazil, the knowledge of the use of jurema was shared by the indigenous tribes of the amazons to afro-descendant groups, who use it to produce extracts to treat infections and inflammations, as well as in religious ceremonies
The well-known anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and wound healing properties of Mimosa tenuiflora are not the only reasons people trust it. The regenerative properties of the root bark powder have been a great ally in beauty routines. Since ancient times, grandmas share their little secret with their daughters and granddaughters: the use of tepezcohuite as a natural anti-aging treatment and key for maintaining their hair healthy.
The soaps and oils of tepezcohuite are used by indigenous women in their beauty treatments. These natural products help them to fight acne, avoid the appearance of wrinkles, spots and stretch marks from pregnancy. They rely on the Mimosa hostilis to take care of their long, thick and abundant hair, controlling dandruff and stimulating growth.
In 2015, during an interview with Elle magazine, Hollywood actress Salma Hayek, said she uses Mimosa tenuiflora as part of her beauty routine, preferring it over botox. She was surprised that the use of tepezcohuite was little known in the USA. In 2011 she launched a line of cosmetics, skincare and haircare products with Mimosa tenuiflora as a key ingredient.
What does science say about Mimosa hostilis?
It was not until a few years ago that the pharmacological and medical effectiveness of Mimosa hostilis started to be tested in experiments. There are reports confirming that extracts and by-products of this tree are useful for treating wounds, infections and skin illnesses like psoriasis.
In a study published in 2006, an extract of Mimosa tenuiflora was used to treat leg ulcers. Under controlled conditions, they found that the entire group that used the extract in a hydrogel reduced the wound by more than 90% by the eighth treatment, whereas only one person in the control group had achieved a similar recovery. Furthermore, no side effects were observed in the test group.
The bark of Mimosa hostilis contains tannins, saponins, polyphenols, an alkaloid fraction, lipids, phytosterols, glucosides, xylose, rhamnose, arabinose, lupeol, methoxychalcones, and kukulkanins. The healing properties of extracts obtained from the bark have been scientifically studied, attributing the main biological activity to its tannin and saponin Studies include clinical trials of phytodrugs based on Mimosa tenuiflora bark extracts for the treatment of venous leg ulcerations, like the one we previously described.
In different experiments, scientists found that extract of Mimosa tenuiflora, mainly its tannins, has helped to combat bacteria such as Micrococcus luteus and Bacillus subtilis and fungi like Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton rubrum, and Chaetomium indicum, and that a combination with ethanol was effective against Candida albicans.
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