- External wounds and burns (a poultice or powder of the bark protects against germs, soothes the pain, and helps stop the bleeding)
- Bacterial infections (The antibacterial properties of the bark help protect against Strep, Salmonella, and more)
- Toothaches and other mouth sores (the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help heal and protect you from various mouth issues)
- Skin and hair problems (the bark is full of flavonoids and hyaluronic acid, which promotes growth and regeneration of skin cells. Using a decoction of the bark as a face wash or hair treatment may prevent signs of aging)
- Anxiety and Depression (the flowers of the Mimosa tree contain sedative properties that help inhibit barbituates and relax the mind. This is useful in treating anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia)
One of my favorite scents in the world comes from the delicate, pink flowers of the Mimosa tree. I grew up with these trees (my grandmother's yard is full of them), so it's no surprise that their scent takes me right back to my childhood. I used to climb them and contemplate life from within the blooms, and they've always held a special place in my heart. Then, I learned they were edible! The Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) is also known as the Silk Tree or the Powder-Puff tree and has been revered by healers in Europe, Asia, India, and South America. It was introduced to the US around the 1700s and has quickly become a beloved tree in this land as well. The flowers, leaves, and bark are all edible and used medicinally. There's some dispute on whether the seed pods are edible or toxic, and since I can't confirm either side, I'm going to suggest that you stay away from them unless you're 110% sure they're safe. Traditionally, the Mimosa tree can help with:
If you want to take a more spiritual approach to the Mimosa's benefits, you could think of it like this: The bark and flowers calm the Shen (spirit) by promoting healthy mental and physical function. This, in turn, relieves constrained Qi (Chi), which is the energy of life that flows around us. Both of these benefits help keep us spiritually grounded as we face the challenges of life.
Mimosa bark and flowers can often be purchased through a herbalist or health food store, or you could try harvesting them yourself. Just be sure to wash everything before you use it...ants and other bugs love the flowers as much as we do, and I promise that you'll be harvesting them as well. Also, it may take a lot of flowers to make a proper tea. I tried with the few I harvested today, and it did not turn out like I thought it would.
To learn more about this uplifting tree, check out Global Healing Center, Drugs.com, Hearthside Healing, Eat the Weeds, Chinese Herbs Healing, Wellness Library, and Bella Vista Farm.
The photos are my own.