Mimosa hostilis, also known as Mimosa tenuiflora, is a member of the Mimosa genus, which has over 400 species. Native to the northeastern part of Brazil, this perennial evergreen shrub can be found in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela. Mimos hostilis has beautiful spikes of fragrant white flowers and fern-like branches. It is valued for its root bark due to the high concentration of tryptamines (DMT and various phytoindoles), and its high concentration of tannins and micronutrients.
Mimosa hostilis root bark has been used by indigenous groups in South America for shamanic/spiritual purposes for hundreds of years. The mimosa hostilis plant grows wild in South America and the bark is used to make a psychoactive drink.
Skin Care Products
Powderized bark of this plant are used in skin care products. The bark contains 16 percent tannins, which act as an astringent. (Astringents are used to stop the skin from bleeding.) The bark also contains ions of zinc, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese, which are important in cell regeneration and protection. Other uses are in the treatment of psoriasis, acne and burns, and as an analgesic.
Psychoactive Sacramental Beverage
In northeast areas of Brazil, Mimosa hostilis root bark is used in the psychoactive sacramental beverage "ayahuasca." Pharmacological studies have been done to try to understand how the DMT works in these uses, but no definitive explanations have been found.
Mimosa hostilis can be purchased in the United States. But using it for the DMT that it contains it is illegal in the U.S. as well as other countries. Mimosa hostilis cannot be used for its psychoactive effects.
Consult with Your Physician
Before using mimosa hostilis in any form, consult your physician. Of concern is any possible drug interaction between any medications you are currently taking as well as any side effects. Someone who is pregnant or nursing should be aware of the dangers of taking a psychoactive beverage. Be aware of the illegality of its use as a psychoactive beverage in the United States.