Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mimosa Season!

 The little mimosa grove in the lot next to the house is flowering.  I can stand on the deck and see exactly when it's time to go out and pluck the blossoms.  It's easy to see when storms knock down branches, so that I can get out there and peel the bark before it gets too dry.

A lush St John's Wort plant popped up in the middle of the grove!

Several years ago while writing one of my books, there were a lot of remedies using mimosa tincture, and several tea blends using mimosa.  It's one of my top 10 favorite herbs  I talked to a representative of a large herb house about carrying mimosa, but it didn't seem likely. That's when I asked my brother in law about putting in a grove.  I went around the property with some hot pink marking tape, and chose a dozen young trees.  He cleared the spot for them and put them in.  The following spring they took off and even gave me lots of flowers and bark.  At a certain point they'll get too big to ensure that I can manage the flowers and keep them from becoming seeds. I'll cut them down and let them start over. 

First little crop of this year.

 Mimosa is a very good friend of mine.

Latin Name: Albizia julibrissin
Nicknames: Tree of Happiness, silk tree, albizzia
Family: Leguminosae

Qualities: cooling, moistening
Therapeutic Actions:
Flowers: carminative, digestive, sedative and tonic, cheering and lightening.
Bark: anodyne, carminative, diuretic, grounding, sedative, stimulant, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary

The flowers are heady and their effect is a little spacey for me.  Perhaps because that's where I tend to "live" anyway?  The bark keeps me anchored while still helping to chase the blues away. 
Mimosa is good medicine for anxiety, depression, grief, sleep problems (insomnia), sore throat, blue or unstable moods, SAD, and nervous stomachs (flatulence).

This was probably one of the first batches of the flowers and bark together - for me.

One of my very favorite preparations is what I call the Holy Grail.  It is a blended tincture with half of a bark/flower tincture and half holy basil.  Both can be purchased separately.  The blend takes whatever I'm struggling to deal with and sets it off to the side.  Instead of my head being buried in a dark cloud, the cloud moves off and I can look at it objectively,
While picking flowers the other day, a branch broke off.  I immediately stripped the bark and added it to the basket.  The branch looks like a bone, and the bark is fresh and cooling with light sap.

without feeling it so intensely.  The holy basil helps, and supports my body as it deals with the stress of the situation. Many people include rose in a formula if dealing specifically with grief or heartbreak.

Mimosa bark can be chopped fine and included in tea blends.  It has a mild, pleasant taste that blends well with almost anything.  I use young bark that hasn't gotten a hard outer bark yet, so it's basically all inner bark.  The outer paper bark falls away.  This makes it more easily steeped along with more fragile herbs.

The bark was torn into thin strips while wet.  I later broke them into 2" pieces.

If you have this tree growing around you, I hope you get the opportunity to try some of the fresh flowers in tea, and experience the intoxicating fragrance.  If you find a fallen branch (or since everyone seems to consider them invasive, cut one) peel the bark.  Feel the silky, smooth, moist inner bark.  It will dry pretty quickly, and you can chop it into the size you'd like.  You'll be glad you did!

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