The term mimosa is commonly used to indicate a shrub belonging to the genus of acacias. In particular, this term is usually referred to as acacia dealbata, characterized by small yellow flowers that give off a good scent and which are given to women on 8 March.
However, mimosas are not only these. These are actually large shrubs or small trees belonging to the fabaceae family, now widespread everywhere, including Italy. Let’s find out what are the main characteristics, properties and benefits they can have on health.
Mimosa: main features
What is commonly referred to as mimosa is acacia dealbata, a tree now present and widespread in our territory, both in cultivation and spontaneously, also thanks to the mild climate that favors its growth.
I mimosa flowersinflorescences with a spherical shape that collect very small canary yellow flowers, are used every year with mainly decorative purposes, also thanks to the intense perfume they are able to emanate.
The flowering of this beautiful and delicate plant can last several weeks and usually begins on the hottest days of January, and lasts until the first days of March.
However, there are several types of mimosa, or of plants belonging to the subfamily of Mimosoideae. There are over 700 different species, both herbaceous and shrubby, and many of them boast different colors than those we commonly know. Pink or fuchsia mimosas, such as mimosa pudica, are not uncommon, for example.
How to grow and care for a mimosa
Mimosa plants can be a beautiful addition to any garden, and are relatively easy to grow and care for. First, you need to find the best place to place the pot, bearing in mind that the mimosas need a lot of sun and well-drained soil.
They do not tolerate frosts, so let’s be sure to plant them in a place that guarantees always mild temperatures. If necessary, they can also be grown in a greenhouse.
Once the location has been selected, we need to prepare the soil, which must be well drained but not stony or sandy. A rich soil mixed with organic fertilizer is recommended,
Once planted in a not too small sized pot, let’s remember prune the shrub frequently, especially after flowering. In nature, it is good to keep this in mind, this plant can reach 4-5 meters in size. We therefore try not to allow it to grow beyond the space available.
Mimosas need a lot of water: for this reason, they must be watered regularly, especially in the hottest months of the year, while during the winter it will be possible to reduce watering, almost to cancel it.
Beneficial properties of mimosa
Despite being a flower mainly used for ornamental purposes, mimosa can also have beneficial properties for our health. It is a natural pain reliever and can:
- reduce inflammation of the tissues of the body,
- improve circulation,
Also for this reason, in ancient times it was used as soothing plantto heal wounds and skin trauma.
However, many of mimosa’s best properties come from the bark, do not give flowers. An extract obtained from the hard part of the mimosa stem is used to create herbal teas, ointments and oils with numerous beneficial properties.
Herbal teas based on mimosa are used above all to counteract water retention and reduce blemishes, as well as to slow down skin aging. Its anti-inflammatory effect is also useful in calming stomach pains.
Ointments and oils are used instead to heal wounds. They are able to help heal small sores and burns thanks to the active ingredients of the plant. Furthermore, even these can be used, on an aesthetic level, to slow down the formation of wrinkles and the aging of the skin. Thanks to their ability to relax the nerves and fight anxiety and stress, they are also often used by professional massage therapists.
There are no particular food uses of these plants, nor specific contraindications. Only those who have developed allergies or hypersensitivity should refrain from using creams, ointments and herbal teas based on this splendid plant.
The meaning of mimosa
Flower used par excellence during the International Women’s Day, over the years it has taken on an increasingly defined meaning. Today it expresses innocence, freedom, sensitivity but also autonomy.
In the past, the Native Americans had given a meaning to this plant. A sprig of acacia was in fact given by men to every young girl they fell in love with.
Only later, with the arrival in Europe and the birth of feminist movements, did it become par excellence one of the plants most linked to a certain ideology.
In the twentieth century it was in fact chosen as a symbolic plant of the International Women’s Day, an anniversary that today falls on March 8. At the basis of this decision there was precisely the connection with the original meaning given by the American Indians, which they believed mimosa symbol of strength and femininity.
Source: GreenStyle by www.greenstyle.it.
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