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Lajwanti

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Mimosa pudica is also called Sensitive Plant ( Touch me not), is a creeping annual or perennial herb often grown for its curiosity value. It belongs to the family Mimoseae and genus. The stem is erect in young plants, but becomes creeping or trailing with age. The leaves of the mimosa pudica are compound leaves. The leaves are bipinnately compound, with one or two pinnae pairs, and 10-26 leaflets per pinna. Pedunculate pale pink or purple flower heads arise from the leaf axils. The fruit consists of clusters of 2-8 pods from 1–2 cm long each, these prickly on the margins. The species is native to South America and Central America, but is now a pantropical weed.
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Botanical Names
Mimosa pudica
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Lajwanti Hindi : Lajwanti Marathi : Lazalu Tamil : Thotta-siningi Urdu : CHui-Mui. Bengali : Lojjaboti Malayalam : Thottavaadi
Chemical Constituents
Mimosa pudica contains mimosine which is an alkaloid. Mimosa pudica leaves, stems and roots give positive tests for alkaloids, but the total quantity present is small. Adrenalin like substance has been identified in the extract of its leaves. Some scientists have reported the presence of Crocetin dimethyl ester in the extract of the Mimosa pudica plant. Roots contain tannin up to 10 per cent. Seeds contain a mucilage which is composed of d-xylose and d-glucuronic acid. The plant extract contains green yellow fatty oil. A new class phytohormone turgorines is found to be active in the plant. The periodic leaf movement factors are reportedly the derivatives of 4-o-(b-D-glucopyranosyl-6-sulphate) gallic acid. It contains an alkaloid called mimosine, which has been found to have potent antiproliferative and apoptotic effects .
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Mimosa pudica is called a sensitive plant but it possesses beneficial medicinal activities. Ancient Indian Medical Systems such as Ayurved and Unani therapies has mentioned the beneficial properties of Mimosa pudica. It has been found to have antiasthmatic, aphrodisiac, analgesic and antidepressant properties (2). Ayurveda has declared that its root is bitter, acrid, cooling, vulnerary, alexipharmic, and used in the treatment of leprosy, dysentery, vaginal and uterine complaints, inflammations, burning sensation, asthma, leucoderma, fatigue and blood diseases. Mimosa pudica also said to be diuretic, depress duodenal contractions similar to atropine sulphone, promote regeneration of nerves, and reduce menorrhagia (3). Anti depressant activity of Mimosa pudica has been demonstrated in humans. Root extracts are reported to be a strong emetic. Mimosine, an alkaloid obtained from Mimosa pudica, acts as a potent iron chelator. It possesses anticancer activity. Scientific studies has revealed that mimosine have significant dose-dependent anti proliferate effects on vulvar and cervical cancer cell lines and only a minimal effect on endometrial and colorectal cells. Mimosine is a naturally occurring plant alkaloid known to arrest cell-cycle progression at the G1-S border in cultured cells. Mimosine demonstrated dose dependent anti-proliferative effects on all the ovarian cancer cells tested. In addition, mimosine induced apoptosis. DNA fragmentation analysis confirmed apoptosis (4).
Health Benefits
Unani Healthcare System describes medicinal benefits of Mimosa pudica. Its root is resolvent, alternative, and useful in the treatment of diseases arising from blood impurities and bile, bilious fevers, piles, jaundice, and leprosy etc. Decoction of root can also be used with water to gargle to reduce toothache. It is also very useful in diarrhea, amoebic dysentery, and urinary infections. It has been said to have medicinal properties to cure skin diseases. It is also used in conditions like bronchitis, general weakness and impotence. It is also used to treat neurological problems. It is also used in herbal preparations of gynecological disorders. Its extract can cure skin diseases (5). According to different researches done so far, Mimosa pudica bark is used to relieve depression, mental distress, irritability, severe palpitations, and amnesia. In Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, Mimosa pudica root is used to treat bilious fevers, piles, jaundice, leprosy, dysentery, inflammations, burning sensation, fatigue, asthma, leucoderma, and blood diseases. It has been observed that in rats with experimental injury of the sciatic nerve, the process of regeneration of the nerve was 30-40 per cent higher in rats treated with M. pudica extract, as compared to hydrocortisone treated group. Aqueous extracts of the roots of the plant have shown significant neutralizing effects in the lethality of the venom of the monocled cobra (Naja Kaouthia). Thus it also acts as anti venom. It appears to inhibit the myotoxicity and enzyme activity of cobra venom (6).
Research References
1. Dnyaneshwar D. K., Rahul Y. M., Mandar B. K., Minakshi N. N., Prachi C. M. and Chhaya H. G. Evaluation of wound healing activity of root of Mimosa pudica Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2009 124(2):311-315 2. Milind P., Anupam P. PRELIMINARY PHARMACOGNOSTIC EVALUATIONS AND PHYTOCHEMICAL STUDIES ON ROOTS OF MIMOSA PUDICA (LAJVANTI) International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research 2010 50 1(1): 50-52 3. N. Gandhiraja, S. Sriram, V. Meenaa, J. Kavitha Srilakshmi, C. Sasikumar and R. Rajeswari Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of the Plant Extracts of Mimosa pudica L. Against Selected Microbes Ethnobotanical Leaflets 2009 13:618-24, 4. A. Restivo, L. Brard, C. O. Granai and N. Swamy Antiproliferative effect of mimosine in ovarian cancer Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2005 ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings. 23(16) 5. Ramar P. S., Maung M. T., Ponnampalam G. and Savarimuthu I. Ethnobotanical survey of folk plants for the treatment of snakebites in Southern part of Tamilnadu, India Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2008 115(2):302-312 6. Monimala M. and Ashis Kumar M. Neutralisation of lethality, myotoxicity and toxic enzymes of Naja kaouthia venom by Mimosa pudica root extracts 2001 Journal of Ethnopharmacology 75(1):55-60 7. Robinson R. D., Williams L. A., Lindo J. F., Terry S. I., Mansingh A. Inactivation of strongyloides stercoralis filariform larvae in vitro by six Jamaican plant extracts and three commercial anthelmintics. West Indian Med J. 1990, 39(4):213-217.