Shama macka (Mimosa Pudica) medicinal herb is a traditional creeping plant that was used as herbal medicine. It is a perennial or annual medicinal herb. It is native to Central and South America as well as Jamaica. It loves to strive under shrubs and trees and it is from the Mimosaceae family. This is a very unique plant to all those who come in contact with it.
The main parts used as herbal medicine are the roots, flower heads as well as the leaves. The medicinal properties are vulnerary, alternative, bitter, resolvent, and anti-inflammatory. The common names are Makahiya, Sensitive plant, Shame A Macka, Shame O Macka, Shame mi lady, Humble plant, Shane O Lady, shame plant, shameful plant, touch me not, Tickle me plant, Sleeping grass, Mimosa and Mimosa pudica.
Due to the uniqueness of this medicinal herb, there are other common names which were given by individuals who are were so charmed by it.
As a child, growing up in the country was a pleasure for me. The beautiful hills that were so green with lush trees, plants and medicinal herbs were always my greatest attractions. There were many plants that were parts of my upbringing because I would take pleasure in not only using them as medicine for various ailments which were administered by my grandmother, but my friends and I took delight in playing with some of them and this beautiful herb was one of them.
It brings back fond memories every time I see it and it also brought to my attention how today’s children are missing out on nature because of the countless gadgets that they have around them. This is one of the reasons they lack energy and exercise which can aid in healthy living.
As children, growing
up in Jamaica, we enjoyed touching the shama macka leaves and watched
them closing up as if there were ashamed to be touched and then few
minutes later they were wide opened again. Just the blowing of the
breeze or even a simple shake can cause the leaves to close up or droop.
Such an action would bring so much delight to us as children that we would torment the lives of these plants.
It was also amazing to us just to be told by our elders that it had many health benefits and was used as such.
The health benefits include the herbal treatment for dysentery, asthma, vagina ailments, biliousness, indigestion, jaundice, piles, and bile. It is primarily used to treat colds, flu and coughs. Shame mi lady can also be used to treat diarrhea as well as mumps.
Some persons eat a few leaves to remedy the various ailments while a decoction can be made for those who prefer not to eat the shama macka leaves.
To treat diarrhea, boil one cup of chopped leaves in approximately two glasses of water for about ten minutes, then consume one cup three times per day after passing loose stool.
After using ice pack on swollen glands for approximately thirty minutes, apply crushed leaves to mumps and used a bandage to keep shama macka paste in place for about thirty minute three times per day.
Updated January 4, 2020