Pharmacological Evaluation of an Ethnomedicinal and Endangered
Desert Plant: Mimosa hamata
Nakuleshwar Dut Jasuja,
Plant derived medicinal products have been used for centuries
in every culture throughout the world. Mimosa hamata possesses a vast
ethnomedicinal history of heuristic medical value. Ethnomedicinal use of Mimosa
hamata has been known since time immemorial and this plant were used to
cure diseases and to maintain good health. M. hamata whole plant are
used in traditional systems of medicine for treating various diseases. M.
hamata exhibited higher antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral
activities. Some bioactive constituents of this plant were thoroughly reviewed
and discussed based on literatures. M. hamata has been claimed as folk
medicinal plant but little is known about the phytochemicals and pharmacognostical
information. There is a need to review this plant in order to provide scientific
information for its application in traditonal and biological medicinal system.
Received: May 27, 2013;
Accepted: September 18, 2013;
Published: January 11, 2014
Plants are important source of phytochemicals and phytopharmaceuticals, used
to prepare various herbal drugs. The numbers of plants are used as folk remedies
in different countries and are source of many potent and powerful drugs or natural
product medicines (Srivastava et al., 1996; Raja
et al., 2010).
A variety of secondary metabolites are found in plants which may have useful
effect for mankind (Kamboj, 2000). The present study
was focused to evaluate the bioactive compounds and beneficial uses of M.
hamata. Plants play important role in Indian traditional system of medicines
(Iwu et al., 1999). However, several secondary
metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, phenolics, terpenes, volatile
oils etc., are usually present in plants and some phytocompounds are responsible
for the pharmacological effects (Vyas et al., 2012).
Herbal products have proved to be reliable source of large amount of drugs which
are used in the treatment of numerous diseases. Synthetic drugs are effective
but they fall behind the undesired properties and may generate frequent side
effects. So, herbal drugs have no side effect, affordable and easily accessible
than synthetic drugs (Jasuja et al., 2012a,
b). However, the clinical study is mandatory to herbal
drugs before being recommended for human being. According to the evaluation
of WHO (2003), 80% people of the world still depend on
traditional medication system for primary health care (Santos
et al., 1995; Bizimenyera et al., 2007).
Recently, researchers are emphasizing on valuation and description of phytoconstituents
of plant against various diseases based on their traditional claim given in
ayurveda. Isolation and identification of the bioactive compounds of plants
have always been a challenging task for researchers (Bairwa
et al., 2011). Mimosa hamata is an Ayurvedic plant which belongs
to family Mimosaceae (Touch me not) which is used in several traditional medicines
to cure various diseases. In Hindi, the plant is commonly known as chilati,
Jinjani, jijni, ali, alaili, korindum, gulabi babul, liptti, bander ki rakhi
and hooked Mimosa. The herb is a largely shrub and small tree distributed throughout
the region of India. The genus of M. hamata has about 400 species distributated
in the world (Barneby, 1992). The whole plant of M.
hamata is very useful for various pharmacological and biological activities.
A paste of leaf powder are applied to burn, over glandular swelling and also
used in dressing for sinus, sores and piles (Nadkarni and
Nadkarni, 1954). The whole plant of M. hamata are generally used
for urinary complaints and used as a tonic against general weakness (Jain
et al., 1997a; Katewa and Galav, 2005).
Keeping in view the tremendous pharmacological activities and wealth of literature
available, M. hamata plant may be utilized to alleviate the symptoms
of variety of diseases. Moreover, crude extract of M. hamata has several
medicinal application, herbal drugs can be developed after extensive exploration
of its bioactivity, mechanism of action and pharmacotherapeutics. Now-a-days
M. hamata has become a rare species in aravalli and semi arid zones of
Rajasthan. This plant was commonly found earlier but now it became an endangered
species in Delhi and other regions of India. For the protection of plant, it
is necessary that seeds of rare, endemic and endangered plant M. hamata
must be collected in proper season and implant in nursery for germination. Healthy
plantlets will be then transferred in to the field for better plantation. The
literature and availability of M. hamata especially in Rajasthan (India),
makes it an attractive plant for further research.
Mimosa hamata willd
Taxonomy: Mimosa hamata falls under the scientific classification
||Habitat: Moist deciduous forest
||Ecological status: Rare
||Distribution: It is found in open sandy places throughout the area,
often gregarious and abundant. Mimosa hamata mainly distributed in
the arid zones of Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, Central and South India (Fig.
||Location map of M. hamata distribution in India. M.
hamata plant was collected from Sariska National Park located at East
Longitude -76°26'13", North Latitude-27°19'3", 450-500 m above sea
level, weather: Temp. 5-28°C in winter, Alwar District, Rajasthan, India
|| Different parts of M. hamata
Morphology: A much branched, small size tree, armed shrub; branches
downy with numerous; straw coloured, curved or straight prickles. Leaves 2-pinnate,
1.5-5 cm long; main rachis pubescent, sometimes prickly; stipules 3 mm long,
hairy; pinnae 3-6 pairs, 0.6-2.5 cm long, leaflets 12-24, leaflets acute, mucronate,
more or less glabrous rounded at base; petiolules very short. Calyx 2.5 mm long,
shortly toothed. Corolla pink, 3 mm long, divided nearly half way down; lobes
ovate-oblong, stamens 8. Ovary stalked, pubescent. Pods 5-7x1.5 cm, falcate,
consisting of 4-8, one-seeded joints, pubescent joints falling off the persistent,
prickly sutures. Seeds 6x4 mm, chestnut-brown (Fig. 2). Flowering
and fruiting time period of M. hamata plant are August to November and
December to February according to Indian conditions. M. hamata have
botanical variations among other species of Mimosa such as M. pudica
and M. himalayana Syn. M. rubicaulis (Caius,
1980; Bhandari, 1990; Agharkar,
1991; Verma et al., 1993; Singh
et al., 1996; Paranjpe, 1999).
Constituents: The tremendous potential of medicinally important plant
contain a broad range of bioactive compounds such as some bioactive constituents
have been reported in the different parts of M. hamata. It contains an
alkaloid mimosine, tannin, ash, calcium oxalate crystals, nitrogen, phosphorus,
potash and calcium. Leaf powder of this plant also has albuminoids, carbohydrates,
fiber, ash, mimonoside A-C (Fig. 3), gallic acid (Fig.
4) and ethyl gallate (Fig. 5).
4-Ethylgallic acid has been identified from the flowers of M. hamata and
M. rubicaulis and bark contains tannin (Hussain
et al., 1979; Mehta et al., 1988;
Jain et al., 1997a). Hydroxy-and polyhydroxybenzoic
acid are also found in seeds of M. hamata (Khadem
and Marles, 2010). A new triterpenic saponin A and B isolated from the roots
of the Mimosa hamata willd. has been assigned a partial structure 3-O-L-arabinosyl-D-glucosyl
morolic acid (Fig. 6) (Jain and Arora,
1997) and 3-O-D-glucosyl-L-rhamnosyl marolic acid (Fig. 7)
(Jain et al., 1997b) on the basis of chemical
and spectral studies. Phytochemical compound saponins are isolated from methanolic
extract of roots of M. hamata have antimicrobial activity against bacteria
and fungi and also active against viruses.
Ethnomedicinal uses: Mimosa hamata (Fig. 8)
is one of the indispensable medicinal plant used in the Indian system of medicine
(Ayurveda) for the treatment of diverse diseases such as fever, diarrhea, coagulant,
dysentery, jaundice, wounds, piles, tonic in urinary complaints, blood-purifier
and paste of leaves is applied over glandular swellings and paste of roots with
linum oil and gugul is unguent (Gupta et al., 2010).
Seed powder and leaf juice of M. hamata boiled in buffalo milk is given
as a tonic in general weakness and also sexual debility in males.
||Mimosa hamata (Photo: Richa Saxena, Sariska National
Park; Alwar 22- 9-2012)
Fresh leaf extract is applied to check bleeding from the wound and ulcer (Singh
and Pandey, 1998; Katewa and Galav, 2005). Some
study reported that oral admnistarion of root juice (10-12 mL) twice a day for
three days may be cure in diarrhea. M. hamata plant is used in different
areas especially in Maharashtra as a ritual attached with child birth. On the
5th day of child birth, a diety is worshipped using leafy twig of M. hamata
(Arati) and Ziziphus mauritiana (Borati) (Pawar
and Patil, 2008). On the basis of ethnomedicinal evidence, different parts
of this plant are used in the treatment of various diseases (Table
Antimicrobial activity: Medicinal plants are rich source of therapeutically
useful phytochemical constituents that have the potential of being developed
in to potent antibacterial and antifungal agents (Bessong
et al., 2006; Obafemi et al., 2006).
|| Benificial uses of M.hamata
|| Antimicrobial Activity of M. hamata
Several phytocompounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic compounds,
steroids, saponins and triterpenoids may also be used as antimicrobial activity
which may be attributed to the beneficial properties of the plant (Rabe
and van Stadin, 1997; Ramasamy, 2000; Santhi
et al., 2006). Moreover, a crude ethanolic extract of arial part
of Mimosa hamata and deproteinized leaf extract showed their inhibitory
effect against microorganism such as bacteria and fungi (Attia
et al., 1972; Mukadam et al., 1976;
Umalkar et al., 1977; Hussain
et al., 1979; Ali et al., 2001) (Table
2). Jain et al. (2004) previously reported
that medicinal plant such as Mimosa hamata (wild.) callus and leaf extracts
showed considerable antimicrobial activity (Jain et
al., 2004). Earlier study suggested that some other medicinal plants
such as Nerium oleandaner and Baliospermum axillare leaf and callus
extracts also showed antimicrobial activity (Singh and
Sudharshana, 2003; Hussain and Gorsi, 2004).
Antiviral activity: According to Jain et al.
(2004), ethanolic extract of M. hamata are found active agent against
Herpes simplex, Poliomylitis and Vesicular stomatitis.
Petroleum ether and chloroform extracts were also exhibited potential effect
against V. stomatitis and H. simplex. Earlier study revealed that
in the bioefficacy of the extracts of whole plant were most effective than the
fractions obtained from callus tissues. Methanolic extract of roots were also
reported for their antiviral activities against Measles, Semliki forest,
Herpes simplex and Vesicular stomatitis (Jain
and Arora, 1997; Jain et al., 1997a) (Table
Antioxidant activity: Antioxidant activity has been proposed to play
a vital role in various pharmacological activities such as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory
and antiatherosclerotic activity. An effective therapeutic strategy is used
for the inhibition of free radical induced damage by the supplementation of
herbal antioxidant drugs. Herbal products with their antioxidant activity have
therapeutical potential as they can serve the purpose without any side effects
that are often associated with synthetic antioxidants (Agharkar,
1991; Jain et al., 2009a; Bairwa
et al., 2011). Methanolic extracts of this plant exhibited higher
antioxidant activity with 6.5 μg mL-1 RC value as compared to
the dichloromethane extracts (Singh et al., 2009;
Jain et al., 2009b). Singh
and Jain (2012) also revealed that extract of leaves, stem, root and seeds
of M. hamata have the antioxidant potential. Antioxidant activity was
determined by 2, 2-Di phenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and total phenolic
content was estimated by using Folin-Ciocalteus reagent of this plant.
All tested extracts of different part of the plant possessed appreciable antioxidant
activity but n-butanol extract of roots was significantly higher in total phenolic
content (73.16±0.19 mg GAE/g Extract) and in antioxidant assay (IC50
= 5 μg mL-1). Moreover, n-butanol extract of roots have higher
yield (85.6%) in comparision to all other tested extracts (Singh
and Jain, 2012).
Aphrodisiac activity: Recently, modern life style and various environmental
exposures affect male infertility. Sexual weakness in male or male infertility
is increasing in all over the world. A modern medicine provides beneficial and
effective treatment but some are produces negative effect on physiological processes.
Plant derived drugs provides a safer way to solved various problems associated
with male infertility. On the basis of traditional knowledge, Mimosa hamata
are also used as a herbal aphrodisiac for providing ameliorating effect
on sexual dysfunction. But M. hamata has not been clinically evaluated
for their aphrodisiac activities. Many herbal aphrodisiac plants have 28.12%
gap between traditional knowledge and pharmacological evidence (Mathur,
The whole plant of Mimosa hamata is very useful for various biological
activities. Mostly leaves and seeds of M. hamata are used in the treatment
of various human health problems in the form of traditional medicine system.
This study insight the better understanding of this plant and provide beneficial
health effects for consumption which may use as preliminary information and
could be further studies for use in medicine. Further work is required to find
out the bioactive compounds from this plant to exploit its maximum potential
in the field of medicinal and pharmaceutical sciences for novel and fruitful
M. hamata is regarded as the good shrub for the medicinal purpose. This
wild plant is entirely useful in various conditions. But, according to the review
done, it is not spreaded all over the world. It may be found only some selected
areas of the India and its pharmacological activities are not much explored.
Only on the basis of traditional beliefs of ancient times, it is considered
as medicinal plant. Therefore, in the coming future, this plant can be further
explored for its activities to be proved and also attempts should be made to
secure and cultivate this miraculous plant which will be beneficial to the society.
Authors are thankful to Jayoti Vidyapeeth Womens University, Jaipur for
providing a platform to carry out this study.
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