Mimosa pudica L.
Makahiya is common throughout the Philippines in open, waste places at low and medium altitude. It was introduced originally from South America and has become a pantropic weed.
The whole plant has hydrocyanic acid as bioactive ingredients whereas the leaves and stems contain alkaloid mimosides and memosides (glycoside), resins, saponins, and tannins.
The root is diuretic and used against dysentery and dysmenorrhea, as anti-asthmatic and aphrodisiac and for urinary complaints. It is also useful for diseases arising from corrupt blood and bile. The leaves and roots in the powdered form are given with milk in cases of pilos and fistula and are also recommended for diarrhea and dysentery. The leaves rubbed into a paste are applied to hydrocele (inflammation of testicles) and as a bath for pains of the hips and kidneys.
‘Makahiya’ plant is a spreading, half-woody herb, with stems up to 1 m long, armed with prickles and numerous deflexed, bristly hairs. The leaves are very sensitive to touch, hence they fold and petioles loose turgidity when touched. The pinnae are usually 4, digitately arranged at the end of each petiole, and 4 to 9 cm long. The leaflets are narrowly oblong, inequilateral, 1 to 1.5 cm long, sessile and sparingly bristly, with pointed tip. The inflorescences are long-peduncled heads that are solitary or 2 or 3 in each axil, to 1 cm in diameter. The flowers are pink, very numerous. The pods are flat, slightly recurved, 1 to 2 cm long, and made up of 3 to 5 one-seeded joints that fall away at maturity.