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Ground powdered mimosa hostilis root bark in wooden bowl, Visionary plant compound. Ayahuasca.

What is Mimosa hostilis?

 

By Camila Franco  •  24 February 2023

 

Mimosa hostilis is one of those plants that you come across by chance and end up turning into a generous and fine ally. It holds great potential for skin health and spiritual growth 

 

Mimosa hostilis is a genus of tropical and subtropical plants that are commonly known for their pinnate compound leaves. In certain species the leaves close themselves when being touched as a defense mechanism. 

The Mimosa tenuiflora or Mimosa hostilis – also known as jurema, catinga, or tepezcohuite – grows in South and Central America and it’s highly valued for its medicinal benefits. All parts of the plant roots, bark, leaves, and seeds – are commonly used in various native cultures of Brazil and Mexico. 

 

In some cases, the approach may be immersed in a complex system of spiritual beliefs, but its usage for skin and hair issues has been spreading widely in the last few years. Mostly, after the famous Mexican movie star Salma Hayek shared that her secret to ageless skin was using tepezcohuite natural face cream.    

 

Mimosa hostilis root bark isolated on white background.

The Mimosa tenuiflora or Mimosa hostilis – also known as jurema, catinga, or tepezcohuite – grows in South and Central America and it’s highly valued for its medicinal benefits. All parts of the plant roots, bark, leaves, and seeds – are commonly used in various native cultures of Brazil and Mexico. 

 

In some cases, the approach may be immersed in a complex system of spiritual beliefs, but its usage for skin and hair issues has been spreading widely in the last few years. Mostly, after the famous Mexican movie star Salma Hayek shared that her secret to ageless skin was using tepezcohuite natural face cream.    

 

The truth is that in Mexico, the Mimosa hostilis root bark powder has been used for centuries for treating wounds, burns, and inflammation. I learned about it when living in Mexico during the pandemic, where I started an online herbalism course with an amazing local curandera.

Mimosa hostilis root bark isolated on white background.

The truth is that in Mexico, the Mimosa hostilis root bark powder has been used for centuries for treating wounds, burns, and inflammation. I learned about it when living in Mexico during the pandemic, where I started an online herbalism course with an amazing local curandera. She mentioned the benefits of the tepezcohuite powder. With an interest in treating a serious acne burst, I was excited to try it out in some of the products I was learning to make. 

 

It not only helped to improve my skin problems, but I was amazed at the immediate results it provided in healing a skin burn on my hand. Just by spreading an oily substance over the woundsuch as vaseline or olive, coconut, or almond oiland then sprinkling the powder over it so that it stuck, the burning heat increased for just a few seconds and then it totally faded away and there was no scar. Since then, I decided to have it as an essential product in my first aid kit, and I even gave a sample to each of my family members.

 

But the medicinal properties of this tree are also used for healing our bodies from the inside. 

 

The most solid theory regarding the original Mexican name of the plant, explains that it derives from the Nahuatl term tepoz-cuahuitl, or thetree with the metal wood”, due to the hardness of the trunk. It has been traditionally used as a body tonic both in Mexico and Brazil, and it’s now been proven that the bark has antibiotic and smooth muscle stimulant properties 

 

Mimosa hostilis tree showing roots

However, Brazil is another story. In the Amazon rainforest of the biggest country of South America, the syncretism between the traditions of indigenous and afro descendants has turned into a complex religion in which Jurema is the Rainha da Mata, or “Queen of the Jungle”. The locals believe that after dying, the queen assumed the form of the Mimosa hostilis tree to continue healing and guiding her people forever. 

 

Jurema is the goddess they sing to, pray to, and honor through different rituals that usually involve the consumption of the tree in its different forms. Mimosa hostilis root is prepared in a decoction that is considered sacred and highly valued for its aphrodisiac properties 

 

Another ritualistic way is to add the pulverized leaves, trunk, inner root bark or seeds to different rapé blends. Generally this shamanic snuff is said to straighten the body and mind, provide an energy boost, and call on the energy of Jurema for guidance and clarity. 

 

In my experience, Mimosa hostilisbenefits as an adjuvant for skin problems are guaranteed.  Exploring it as an aphrodisiac or for calling on the spirit of the Rainha da Mata, is something you better discover yourself.   

 
Mimosa hostilis tree showing roots

However, Brazil is another story. In the Amazon rainforest of the biggest country of South America, the syncretism between the traditions of indigenous and afro descendants has turned into a complex religion in which Jurema is the Rainha da Mata, or “Queen of the Jungle”. The locals believe that after dying, the queen assumed the form of the Mimosa hostilis tree to continue healing and guiding her people forever. 

 

Jurema is the goddess they sing to, pray to, and honor through different rituals that usually involve the consumption of the tree in its different forms. Mimosa hostilis root is prepared in a decoction that is considered sacred and highly valued for its aphrodisiac properties 

 

Another ritualistic way is to add the pulverized leaves, trunk, inner root bark or seeds to different rapé blends. Generally this shamanic snuff is said to straighten the body and mind, provide an energy boost, and call on the energy of Jurema for guidance and clarity. 

 

In my experience, Mimosa hostilisbenefits as an adjuvant for skin problems are guaranteed.  Exploring it as an aphrodisiac or for calling on the spirit of the Rainha da Mata, is something you better discover yourself.   

 

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