July 6, 2017


We used to have a lot of Makahiya in our backyard when I was a young kid. But due to influx of people and construction of houses and buildings, I only get to see Makahiya when we go to provinces.

Yesterday, Juan was happy to announce, "Mom, it's evident that your garden is getting better because there are bees and Makahiya already". Well, I wasn't happy with the bees because I was once bitten. My face was swollen for a week and I wasn't able to go to school. I was excited with Makahiya because it was part of my playtime with friends. Nen and I can spend hours and hours just touching Makahiya, watch it close and open, and repeat the whole process until it was time for us to go home for snack.

Makahiya (mimosa pudica), it is also called bashful mimosabecause the leaflets fold together on touching, warming and shaking. When the leaflets fold together on touching, they reopen in about 10 minutes. The leaflets fold together in the early evening and reopens at sunrise. It is called bashful or sensitive  The phenomenon is called seismonastic movement due to a rapid change in turgor pressure and changes in membrane permeability in the pulvini cells in the leaf regions with rapid movement of calcium ions. At night, the leaves also fold and bend, termed nyctonastic movements (reaction to absence of light). 

Makahiya is a common weed in the Philippines and often found in open, moist, waste places, open grasslands and open thickets, at low and medium altitudes in settled areas. Its uses includes, roots as aphrodisiac, for bladder gravel and similar urinary complaints,.as diuretic, dysentery and dysmenorrhea. The  entire plant in decoction used as alterant and antiasthmatic, hypertension, menorrhagia, glandular swelling, sore throat and hoarseness, used in asthma and as expectorant. Leaves for glandular swellings, for piles and fistula, to cure bruises and diabetes.

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