Mimosa hostilis (also known as Mimosa tenuiflora, Jurema and Tepezcohuite) is a perennial evergreen tree or shrub native to the northeastern region of Brazil. It is most often found in lower altitudes, but it can be found as high as 1000 m.
The fern-like branches have leaves that are finely pinnate, growing to 5 cm long. Each compound leaf contains 15-33 pairs of bright green leaflets 5-6 mm long. The tree itself grows up to 8 m tall and it can reach 4-5 m tall in less than 5 years. The white, fragrant flowers occur in loosely cylindrical spikes 4-8 cm long. In the Northern Hemisphere it blossoms and produces fruit from November to June or July. In the Southern Hemisphere it blooms primarily from September to January. The fruit is brittle and averages 2.5–5 cm long. Each pod contains 4–6 seeds that are oval, flat, light brown and 3–4 mm in diameter. There are about 145 seeds/g. In the Southern Hemisphere, the fruit ripens from February to April
Mimosa hostilis is an entheogen known as Jurema, Jurema Preta, Black Jurema, and Vinho de Jurema. Dried purple pink Mimosa hostilis root bark (MHRB) has been recently shown to have a DMT content of between 1-2%. The bark is the part of the tree traditionally used in northeastern Brazil in a psychoactive decoction also called Jurema or Yurema. Analogously, the traditional Western Amazonian sacrament Ayahuasca is brewed from indigenous ayahuasca vines. However, to date no β-carbolines such as harmala alkaloids have been detected in Mimosa hostilis decoctions, yet the root bark is consistently used without added MAOI.
The Mayans of Mexico have used roasted Mimosa tenuiflora "tepezcohuite" bark to treat lesions of the skin for over a thousand years. Powdered tepezcohuite bark contains large amounts (16%) of tannins, which act as an astringent, making the skin stop bleeding. This helps protect the body from infection, while the skin builds new protective tissue. Tannins in Mimosa tenuiflora bark help protect it from microorganisms. Tannins in the bark diminish capillary permeability. The bark provides important micronutrients such as ions of zinc, copper, manganese, iron and magnesium, which play an important role in cellular repair and protection. It also contains antioxidant flavonoids.
Mimosa tenuiflora proved vital in the treatment of some of the 5000 burn victims in the aftermath of a series of explosions at large liquid petroleum gas explosion at a huge facility located near Mexico City in San Juan Ixhuatepec, 19 November 1984. It was also used to treat victims of a large 1985 earthquake in Mexico. Powder from the bark has a 2-3 hour pain killing effect on the skin. Bark powder causes skin to regenerate fully in a matter of weeks. The results and some mechanisms thereof have been confirmed in the laboratory. Tepezcohuite is used to treat acne, psoriasis and herpes.
Extensive research has been performed in labs in Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. It is now used in commercial hair and skin products for rejuvenating skin. The bark is known to be rich in tannins, saponins, alkaloids, lipids, phytosterols, glucosides, xylose, rhamnose, arabinose, lupeol, methoxychalcones and kukulkanins. In vitro studies have shown three times more bacteriocidal activity on bacterial cultures than streptomycin, and it works to some degree in vivo.
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