Mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) is an unmistakable beauty, with its frond leaves, otherworldly pink flowers, and long seed pods. Each element appears to dance weightlessly on the breeze. When Mimosa is in flower, its delicate scent, reminiscent of gardenia and fruit, fills the air. Learning of Mimosa’s foremost herbal indication as a mood balancer and spirit lightener, then, is no surprise—this tree just seems happy!


The Mimosa tree is a deciduous tree that typically grows in a vase shape, reaching heights of about 20-40 feet. Though it’s native to Asia and The Middle East, it has been widely naturalized throughout the U.S. as an ornamental and landscaping tree, especially in the southeast and California. Mimosa is prolific, and can be seen growing in vacant lots, waste areas, fields and along roadsides. In certain states, it’s considered invasive, which makes it a great candidate for herbal foraging. 2

Mimosa has dark green fern-like compound leaves, each with 10-25 pinnae, with each pinnae producing 40-60 tiny leaflets. The sensitive leaflets close up when touched, and through the night. Fragrant, fluffy, pink and white, silk tassel-esque flowerheads bloom from mid/late summer till fall. The flowers give way to flat bean-like seed pods which persist into winter, even after the leaves have fallen with the first frost. 4


The name “Mimosa” is derived from the Greek word “mimos”, which means “mimic”, and refers to the sensitive movements of the tree, which seem to mimic embodied life. Albizia, the genus name, is after Filippo degli Albizzia, an 18th century Italian naturalist who introduced Mimosa to Italy in 1749. Julibrissin comes from the Persian word ‘gul-ebruschin’ meaning “floss silk” in reference to Mimosa’s flowers. 6

Traditional Uses

All parts of the mimosa tree have been used for medicine, sustenance, and material, cross-culturally and throughout millennia, by people, animals, insects, and fungi. The following is a brief overview of Mimosa’s recorded roots and recent history.


Mimosa tree is native to Asia and The Middle East, with a range from Iran to Japan. It was first brought to the U.S. in 1785 by the French botanist Andre Michaux. Michaux planted Mimosa in his extensive botanic garden in Charleston, South Carolina, where it grew quickly into a 30 foot, vase-shaped tree with a flat, umbrella-like top. It rapidly gained popularity throughout the colonial southeast due to its prolific growth, lovely scent, and beautiful flowers, which attracted pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.2


The first written documentation of Mimosa’s medicinal properties appeared in “The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica,” or “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing,” believed to be a compilation of Chinese oral medicinal traditions, written around 200 AD. This record describes Mimosa flower, or “He huan,” as having a “sweet and balanced” taste, with beneficial effects that “harmonize the heart and will [i.e., the emotions], and make one happy and worry-free. Protracted taking may make the body light, brighten the eyes, and [put one in a contented frame of mind as if one had] acquired whatever one desired.” 3

Mimosa bark, called “He Huan Pi,” was described as treating injuries from bruises, sprains, and broken bones. Mimosa bark moves stagnant blood, acts as an analgesic, inflammation, and swelling. 6 Traditional Chinese Medicine has used and continues to use Mimosa flower and bark in these ways for thousands of years, and western herbalism currently employs it in a similar fashion.

Herbal Actions

Mimosa is sweet, sour, drying, and aromatic in taste; the bark is more acrid than the flowers. It works on the heart and liver organ systems and is mood stabilizing, calming, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic in action.

Spirit Tonic

Since its first mention in written history, Mimosa tree has been a wonderful remedy for low mood and depression. “[Mimosa] was traditionally used to ‘calm the spirit’ and relieve emotional constraint when associated with bad temper, bad mood, sadness, occasional sleeplessness, irritability and poor memory. It was believed to be especially useful for anyone experiencing profound heart-breaking loss.” 3 On a physiological level, Mimosa is thought to enhance all aspects of mood-balancing neurotransmitter secretion and regulation in the brain; in addition, it will not interact with any mood stabilizing or antidepressant pharmaceuticals. 1 The flowers will tend to have a more uplifting effect, whereas the bark is grounding to the spirit.

Antioxidant Effects & Skin Support

Studies show that Mimosa, especially Mimosa bark, has antioxidant and anti-aging compounds. In one study, a methanolic extract of the stem bark of Mimosa was also found to have significant potential in scavenging destructive free radicals. The extract also inhibited the formation of future free radicals, reduced the total free radical species, and scavenged particularly prolific free radical compounds. 6 Furthermore, Mimosa extract has both preventive and reparative effects against glycation, an aging process of the skin. It can neutralize or detoxify free radicals in the skin which lead to glycation, and also support a process called “de-glycation,” leading to the repair of collagen structures in the skin. 1

Wound Healing & Circulatory Support

Similarly, Mimosa bark has long been regarded as one of the most important herbs in the pharmacopoeia of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of external trauma and injuries. Taking the bark internally and applying it externally promotes blood circulation, reduces pain and swelling, and aids in the regeneration of flesh and bone in the case of fractures and breaks. 5 The high concentration of the organic compounds saponines, polyphenols, and tannins in Mimosa bark make it anti-microbial and wound healing, with a marked curing effect on second and third degree burns. 6

Contraindications of Mimosa

Mimosa is considered a safe and well-tolerated herb; there are no current contraindications. As with any herb or supplement, consult an informed herbalist and primary healthcare practitioner before use.

Methods of Medicinal Use

Mimosa flower and bark may be used in many forms by the skillful herbalist; the following preparation suggestions are the most widely used and accessible to obtain.

Mimosa Tea

Mimosa Tea can be made from either the flowers or the bark; both preparations are lovely, with a natural sweet taste. To make a tea of Mimosa blooms, pour 12 oz of just boiled water over 1 tablespoon of dried flowers, cover, and step for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy! To make a tea of Mimosa bark, add 2 tablespoons to 16 oz of water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain, and enjoy. Add a little raw honey for some extra sweetness in your cup. Making mimosa tea is a great way to enjoy its mood elevating benefits while carving out a little quiet time for yourself.

Mimosa Flower Essence

This can be used to lift the spirit, calm the heart, and increase feelings of tenderness, sensibility and sensitivity. It also helps to literally expand your life, opening both the mind and heart to the joys of existence.

Flower essences are best made early in the morning on a clear day. To make a Mimosa flower essence:

  1. Add pure spring water to an unmarked glass bowl or vessel.
  2. Calmly and intentionally harvest Mimosa blossoms in full bloom (asking permission of the plant first!).
  3. Using a Mimosa stem and/or leaf (not your fingers) place the flowers on the surface of the water so they float.
  4. Place the glass vessel on the ground in a peaceful place that gets full sun. Let the sun fix the vibrational qualities of the flowers into the water for several hours (meditating nearby is recommended).
  5. Strain the flowers out of the water and add an equal part of Brandy or alcohol preservative of choice. This mixture is the “mother essence” (do not dose directly from this mixture! First make a stock, then a dosage bottle).
  6. To make a stock bottle
    Add 10 drops of the mother essence to a 60 mL bottle filled with 50:50 spring water and alcohol.
  7. To make a dosage bottle
    Add one drop of essence from the stock bottle to a 15 mL bottle filled with 50:50 water and alcohol. Take a few drops from the dosage bottle to experience the mood-boosting, vibrational medicine of Mimosa.

Mimosa Tincture

A tincture of Mimosa is the most portable, quickest way to ingest the herb, perfect for multiple daily doses. I recommend starting with just 3 drops, 2-3 times per day, and working your way up to no more than 20 drops at a time if desired. When taking tinctures, I recommend allowing yourself even just 1 or 2 minutes to sit quietly and experience the herb. Make it a little personal ritual.

Tinctures are usually an alcohol (80 proof vodka, grain alcohol, or other clear booze) extraction of a plant, however, vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar can be used in place of alcohol. To prepare a Mimosa tincture, pour menstruum of choice over dried bark or flower (1:5 herb to liquid ratio), keep in a sealed, preferably glass, a container for at least 6 weeks, shaking every day until straining. Consult an informed herbalist for dosage recommendations, as it depends on the ailment.

Sourcing Mimosa

It grows in many areas around the U.S., Europe, Asia, and The Middle East. See if you can find some growing in your yard, park, or on the wooded borders of local, organic farms. When harvesting Mimosa bark, take care to cut only from limbs that need to be pruned or have already fallen off. If you can’t find a tree growing near you, or if it isn’t in season, it’s best to enjoy herbal preparations made with Mimosa.

These can be ordered from reputable sources on the internet or, ideally, purchased from small, local makers and businesses, like a neighborhood herb store or health food co-op. Carefully selected, small batch herbal products with Mimosa can be found at The Alchemist’s Kitchen. Some of my favorites are this super delightful Rose Colored Glasses Mood Elevator glycerine tincture by Wooden Spoon Herbals and this awesome, calming Run the World supplement by WTHN.


Herbal Aids for Spring



  1. Bailey, Dana Tate. “Mimosa, “Silk Tree”, Albizia julibrissin”
  2. Bender, Steve. “Mimosa – The Wonderful, Awful Weed”
  3. Kasting, Mel. “The Tree of Collective Happiness”
  4. Missouri Botanical Garden. “Albizia julibrissin”
  5. Strouss, Cameron. “Mimosa – The Queen of Productivity?”
  6. Tierra, Michael. “Albizia: The Tree of Happiness”

Micaela Foley

Micaela Foley is a certified herbalist with an educational background in energetic and clinical herbalism, alchemy, & medical astrology. She completed the clinical practitioner course at Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine in Northern California and the foundational year program at ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City. Her herbal writings can be found through wellness resources like mindbodygreen, Shape magazine, & The Alchemist’s Kitchen, where she previously managed the herbal program. Currently, she lives and farms in Rhode Island. Micaela's herbal practice is committed to social activism, accessibility, & empowerment through education and mutual aid. She is available for private sessions, clinical work, & as a teacher, writer, and consultant.

  1. I live in the northwestern part of Kentucky and I have many of these growing in my acreage. Spread quickly and hard to kill. Even those I’ve cut down, stay green forever. Now that I know of its uses, not cutting any more!

    Thank you for this information. I am a firm believer in herbal/natural remedies. Essential oils and teas preferably. Somehow the uses of Mimosa have escaped me.

    I make no apologies for being a Christian, and I openly admit to practicing Wiccan philosophy in the use of oils and teas. My belief is, God put these things on Earth for us to use, and the Children of Nature knew these things to help, not to hurt.

    Question: How do I harvest the trees I have for the best uses? When is the best time? What is the best way to dry and store the blooms and bark? Would a sealed Ziploc bag work?

    Question: Something of natural power such as Mimosa, does it have any addictive properties? Cocoa leaves, tobacco leaves, even marijuana; all grow naturally and have altering attributes, but do they from nature or from man’s altering of their natural properties?

    My daughter suffers from anxiety attacks and although some oils work well to calm her (I have a diffuser, Chamomile, Lavender, and Jasmine seem to work well), will Mimosa work equally (or better) as well?

    I thank you for your time and look forward to your response.


  2. Thank you for this wonderful information!
    David, I harvest from my backyard Mimosa and can share a few tips for what works for me.

    Flowers: as with most harvesting, pick the flowers in the morning. I dry them in my oven on the lowest heat to more quickly save the flavor and healing properties. I’ve found leaving them outside to dry creates a lack of flavor, and they lose their color. Before drying I separate the flower from it’s thin stem by gently grasping the pink filament and pull it away from it’s base. I dry the filament separate from the stem because they dry at different speeds. It takes about 10 min, and then I gently toss the dried flowers to test for doneness. Make sure they are completely dry before storing them in a air tight jar.

    Bark: When I need to prune my tree, I prune the young suckers first, and peel them with a vegetable peeler. You want to get down to the white part of the tree (like the pith of an orange) save the green strips you peeled and let those dry over night. The bark dries fairly quickly. Once dry it should easily crush into smaller parts (small enough to fit into a tea ball).

    You can make tea from both the fresh flower and bark AND the dried flowers and bark. I make a 4 cup batch of tea with the fresh blooms after every harvest, make sure to let it steep until the water is yellow-greenish in tint. And then enjoy it as an iced tea. I find the flowers have a natural sweetness so I don’t add honey.

    There are studies that suggest that Mimosa flowers and bark have DMT in them, but it is not habit forming and the amounts seem to be minuscule.

    Personally, I think that the application of Mimosa is better as a drink then as a body oil or diffuser oil, but that is only a personal observation. Mimosa has an very mild scent.

    I wish I had property that I could grow a Mimosa orchard on, so many wonderful things about this tree! It’s naturally a Legume variety, so it’s a nitrogen fixer. So good for poor soil and surrounding trees. It’s a natural nurturer.

  3. I’m sorry I didn’t know this incredible information about the Mimosa tree before now, as I do have some on my property, naturally! I’m going to put this to good use 👌👏😊

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