Mimosa tenuiflora

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Mimosa tenuiflora
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Fabales
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Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
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Genus: Mimosa
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Species: M. tenuiflora
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Binomial name
Mimosa tenuiflora
(Willd.) Poir.[1]
Trinomial name
Type Species
* Acacia hostilis Mart.



Mimosa tenuiflora is a perennial evergreen shrub native to the northeastern region of Brazil, and is found as far north as southern Mexico. It is one of many Mimosa species.

The white, fragrant flowers occur in loosely cylindrical spikes. The fern-like branches have leaves that are finely pinnate, growing to 5 cm long. The brittle fruits average 3 cm long. The plant itself grows to 4 meters in height.


Entheogenic uses

The root bark is often the most desired part of the plant; it contains the highest recorded concentration of tryptamines, such as DMT and other phytoindoles, and is traditionally used in the preparation of psychoactive sacramental beverage (ayahuasca) in the north eastern parts of Brazil.

Traditionally, the root bark is used without any MAOI to render the DMT orally active, presenting some confusion to the modern pharmacological study of this plant's usage by indigenous groups in Brazil for religious purposes. In other words, it has been difficult to understand how DMT from this plant can be orally active in the sacramantal beverage Jurema (also Yurema). Without an MAOI, or another mechanism to allow orally ingested DMT to enter the brain, DMT is destroyed by this liver enzyme before it affects the central nervous system. To date, no harmala alkaloids or other beta-carbolines have been detected in M. hostilis.

Recently, however, a new class of phytoindoles has been reported from M. hostilis, which may help explain the apparent oral activity of DMT in Jurema.[2]

The root bark comes from the tree locally known as Jurema, Jurema Preta, Black Jurema, and Vinho de Jurema; the traditional tea brewed from M. hostilis is also known as Jurema or Yurema.

Medicinal uses

Another completely unrelated use for this plant comes from Mexico, where the bark of the tree is used under the name tepezcohuite as a remedy for skin problems and injuries such as burns, and it is now used in commercial skin and hair products which are promoted as being able to rejuvenite skin. Research has shown that it has some useful activities which support the traditional uses. The bark is rich in tannins, saponins, alkaloids, lipids, phytosterols, glucosides, xylose, rhamnose, arabinose, lupeol, methoxychalcones, and kukulkanins. In vitro studies on bacterial cultures have shown it is three times more effective as a bacteriocide than streptomycin, although in vivo studies have not been as positive.

Other uses

The wood of the tree is also used in fence construction and for other purposes, such as a source for the plant growth hormone, gibberellic acid(C19H22O6), which is known to cause exponential growth in plants and some flowering bodies of fungi.


  1. ILDIS LegumeWeb
  2. Vepsäläinen, J. J.; Auriola, S.; Tukiainen, M.; Ropponen, N. & Callaway, J. (2005). "Isolation and characterization of Yuremamine, a new phytoindole". Planta Medica 71(11): 1049-1053.

See also

External links

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