The ‘Sensitive Plant’ (Touch-me-not) ‘thotta chinungi’ in Tamil and ‘thotta vaadi’ in Malayalam has been the subject of extensive studies over the recent years for its medicinal properties.
This plant is effective in treating a wide range of disease conditions ranging from allergy, asthma, menstrual problems, hemorrhoids, premature ejaculation, to hypertension, cholesterol, snake bite and more. Research has shown the plant to be effective in treating cancer, especially of the mouth and lungs. One of its compound mimocin is found to inhibit DNA replication in cancer cells.
The botanical name of ‘touch-me-not’ is Mimosa pudica. Though native to South and Central America, this plant is found in the tropical regions the world over. It is also called ‘humble plant’, ‘shameful plant’ because of the tendency of the leaves to fold inward when touched or shaken.
The thotta vaadi plant is an Ayurvedic home remedy for diabetes and hypertension. People suffering from diabetes can take 30 ml juice of thotaa vaadi plant in the mornings and evenings to bring down elevated glucose to normal levels. This remedy can also be used to keep diabetes at bay.
For those suffering from hypertension the remedy would be to take 15 ml of juice obtained from the leaves of this plant. This can be taken in the mornings and evenings to the keep blood pressure levels normal.
One Ayurvedic home remedy for arsas (hemorrhoids) is taking 8 gm of the dried and powdered root of thotta vaadi. This powder is added to warm milk and taken at nights for a period of two to three months. This is found to cure hemorrhoids or piles.
Some of the chemical compounds found in thotta vaadi are mimocin, galactose, mannose etc. These are more potent than the tricyclic anti-depressants and hence can be used in treating depression and other related disorders.
The plant has a tendency to bring down swellings and vata pain in the joints. The thick paste obtained from grinding the whole plant is taken in a piece of cloth and placed over the painful joint swellings and tied with a piece of cloth to hold it in place. This is done a couple of times. This relieves and pain and reduces the swelling. Similarly the paste can be used to treat delayed wound healing. The paste is applied over the wound to help in rapid healing.
The plant is a herbal natural remedy for asthma and asthmatic conditions. For this purpose 15 ml juice from thotta vaadi leaves is collected. Hot water is added to this juice and taken every two hours for quick relief from asthmatic troubles.
One of the problems of old age is insomnia. One excellent natural remedy for insomnia is the thotta vaadi plant. For this 5 gm of leaves is taken and boiled in a glass of water and taken at night before going to bed. Repeating this for a couple of days will help in curing insomnia.
Wheat congee made with thottavaadi juice, guava leaf, curry leaf and horse gram broth is a well known preparation for lowering elevated cholesterol levels.