An aspect of history hardly ever told, is that the miracle plant Mimosa served as an indigenous alarm system for fugitives in the slave trade hub on the former Gold Coast (present-day Ghana). The Mimosa gave ‘signals’ to the natives, who could recognize danger from afar by the status of the leaves, as slave hunters scoured through the dense forests.
Mimosa is a remarkably sensitive plant. It has an unusual habit of responding quickly to touch or other stimuli. Startled by movement, its natural response is to rapidly close the leaves and drooping, making the plant appear lifeless. This exceptional phenomenon is due to rapid release of water from special cells at the base of leaves and petioles, causing the leaves to promptly close – they reopen after several minutes. It is believed that this adaptation is a natural defence mechanism against wandering herbivores, although leaf closure is at the expense of the resources available to the plant. Due to frequent folding, mimosa does not bloom and deficiency diseases can develop.
Besides the physical stimuli, some mimosa species are sensitive to temperature, or to light and dark – leaves fold into “sleepy mode” when it gets dark and open again in daylight.
Mimosa Origin & Characteristics
The stout, shrubby mimosa plant produces delicate, fern-like leaves and fluffy pompoms of effervescent yellow or purple flowers. The upright stem becomes creeping on older plants. Mimosa belongs to the legume family (Leguminosae or Fabaceae) and is native to tropical South America. It is also found in Indonesia and Malaysia where mimosa is known by the name “putri malu” – meaning shy princess. Sleepy plant, humble plant or touch-me-not are a few other nicknames for the Mimosa Pudica, its Latin name – “pudica” means shy, bashful or shrinking.
Mimosa is much loved in the perfume industry. With its long lingering base notes – ranging from gently sweet and floral at times to woody and musty. Its fragrance is truly warming, calming and pleasing.
Mimosa Oil & Benefits
From the mimosa flowers and branches, the essential oil is extracted. Mimosa oil has an intensely sweet and floral scent with woody notes.
Mimosa oil is cleansing, nourishing and emollient to the skin, has soothing, warming and relaxing properties, and can assist to soothe inflamed, oily or sensitive skin. This oil can be especially powerful before bed as it helps you to fall asleep easily and promotes deep sleep. Mimosa also has a reputation for its aphrodisiac properties.
Mimosa Oil for Skin
Mimosa essential oil is a fantastic all-rounder for most skin types and can actively refresh dull skin. This oil is a particularly beneficial agent for both oily and sensitive skin, and can be of great help with irritated skin. One of the main ingredients of mimosa oil is lupeol, which has an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, mimosa oil is also known as an emollient.
Mimosa essential oil is a wonderful oil to dilute with your favourite bath and skin care products such as body lotions or butter. In fact, little is needed to enjoy the wonderful scent. The astringent and antiseptic properties of mimosa oil make it a useful agent in the ageing process of the skin, it stimulates cell regeneration, eliminates wrinkles, and regulates the sebaceous glands.
Mimosa oil also is a powerful immunomodulator. It increases the body’s natural defence, stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes and improves intestinal motility.
As a nourishing addition to your regular shampoo, mimosa oil promotes strong and shiny hair, and can prevent premature hair loss.
Mimosa Oil & Aromatherapy
Mimosa oil is a delicious pampering oil with a seductive spring-like scent. Mimosa essence is ideal for those who are too hard on themselves. This essential oil is a popular remedy that helps you enjoy the little things in life better. In case of emotional problems, the evaporation of mimosa oil can bring mental peace.
In aromatherapy, mimosa oil is a relaxing agent that reduces the negative effects of stress, eliminates fatigue and promotes a good night’s sleep. Mimosa oil is a natural antidepressant that helps relieve anxiety and deal with mind overload. Additionally, mimosa oil helps with headaches and muscle pain and effectively fights other pain syndromes and improves general wellbeing.
A few drops of mimosa oil added to a preferred bath product can make having a bath more enjoyable due to its calming and harmonizing effect.
The tantalizing aroma of mimosa acts as a natural aphrodisiac, and it eliminates frigidity. In addition, it facilitates the course of premenstrual syndrome and menopause.