Have you ever tried flicking your fingers at an unassuming small herb with pink flowers only to see it curl up immediately? Fondly called ‘Touch Me Not’ or ‘Chui Mui’, Lajvanti, a perennial flowering plant of the Fabaceae pea family is termed one of the most sensitive plants on the planet.

When touched or shaken, its pygmy-sized leaves rapidly fold inward and re-open a few minutes later, probably trying to defend themselves against any harm. Also called Sensitive plant, Sleepy plant, or Shame plant, Lajvanti goes by the scientific name Mimosa Pudica is native to Central and South America and wild throughout the world. While we wait for it to reopen wondering the reason for this activity, the herb not only responds to seismonastic movements; it also closes upon being heated.

When the plant is exposed to such stimuli, it undergoes a series of biochemical and bioelectrical change that allows it to bend inwards. This happens due to the Pulvini (thickened leaf stalks that act as joints for the plant) at the base of the leaf petiole in these plants. Pulvini forms a swollen area surrounding the vascular tissue which is why ‘Touch Me Not’ folds itself in any direction. Besides the fact that it reacts rapidly to external stimuli, Lajvanti is regarded as a plant of ornamental value and used for various medicinal purposes since times immemorial. Owing to its antioxidant diuretic, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory property, the leaves, seeds, flowers, and roots have various medicinal uses for treatments related to severe skin infection, eczema, and chronic inflammations.

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How To Identify Lajvanti Plant

Lajvanti is a bright and beautiful perennial plant that grows 1 to 2 feet tall bearing bright green leaves and a light brown bark. The stem is erect, slender, and branching. The leaves are bipinnate and the plant produces small baby pink flowers that look like fluffy balls and are about 2 cm in diameter. Lajvanti plant needs a bright sun and prefers soil that is moist and well-drained. Just like its cousin of other plant species, Lajvanti undergoes changes in leaf orientation termed ‘nyctinastic movement.’ The foliage tends to close during darkness and reopen in light. The plant can easily change the physicochemical properties of the soil it invades. It has been found that total nitrogen and potassium levels increase significantly in areas where Lajvanti is grown.

Synonyms Of Lajvanti

The botanical name Mimosa Pudica is derived from the Latin word Pudica which means ‘shy’ hence Lajvanti plant is called Mimosa Pudica. Besides it also goes by many other names such as tickle me plant, sensitive plant, humble plant, and sleeping plant. In India, Lajvanti herb goes by the following regional names:

Hindi: Chui Mui, Lajvanti

Sanskrit: Namaskari, Varakranta, Samanga

Bengali: Lajvanti, Lajak

Kannada:  Nachike Mullu, Nachike Gida

Punjabi: Lalvant

Marathi: Lajalu

Telugu: Attapatti

Tamil: Tottalavadi

Gujrati: Risamani

Chemical Constituents Of Lajvanti

The phytochemical analysis of the Lajvanti plant shows the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, saponins, tannins, cardiac glycosides, phenols, terpenoids, saponins, hexosamine, deoxyribonucleic acid, and nitric oxide. The root extract showed the presence of fatty acids, glycosides, essential oils, tannins, amino acids, phytosterol, and flavonoids. Some other important phytochemical compounds of this herb are mimosine, jasmonic acid, betulinic acid, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, dimethyl, ammonium salt, glutathione, and superoxide dismutase.

Uses Of Different Parts Of Lajvanti

Lajvanti majorly possesses antibacterial, antivenom, antifertility, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac qualities that aid in the treatment of several medical conditions. The following parts of this powerful plant are used to cure many health anomalies:

  • Roots- Roots of Lajvanti are utilized for treating snake bites, smallpox, fever, ulcer, jaundice, leucoderma, haemorrhoids, and asthma
  • Leaves- Leaves of Lajvanti can be used either as a decoction or as the paste for treating haemorrhoids, sleep disorders, wounds, rectovaginal fistula, and foot diseases
  • Seeds- The seeds of this plant are utilized for curing severe to chronic infections in the urinary tract. The seeds are also used to cure female reproductive health disorders
  • Roots- Roots of Lajvanti are used to treat leucoderma, angiopathy, dysentery, swellings, strangury, high fevers and bronchial asthma

Also Read: Asthma: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Ayurvedic Properties Of Lajvanti

Lajvanti plant has the following ayurvedic qualities which provide ample wellness benefits:

Rasa (taste): Kashaya (astringent), Tikta (Bitter)

Guna (qualities): Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dry)

Virya (potency): Sheeta (cold)

Healing Health Benefits Of Lajvanti Plant

A powerhouse of medicinal properties, Lajvanti offers the following medicinal benefits:

Cures Piles

An unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are the root causes of constipation leading to an impairment of Vata dosha due to a reduced digestive fire. Piles are also known as Arsh in Ayurveda and it happens due to swelling in the veins in the rectum area causing pain, itching, or burning. Lajvanti helps manage piles and reduces burning sensation and discomfort due to its cold potency as well as its Vata balancing property. The herb contains a powerful alkaloid called mimosin, which alleviates pain and reduces inflammation specifically related to piles.

Alleviates Skin Disorders

Lajvanti herb extracts are used in the treatment of several skin problems including rashes, fungal infections, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne. It has anti-bacterial properties which help the body to fight all kinds of skin infections. The roots of this plant are also used to treat vitiligo-a skin disease that causes loss of skin pigmentation.

Also Read: Vitiligo: Dietary Guidelines To Follow To Heal This Skin Condition

Combats Migraine

An aggravation in Pitta dosha leads to migraine and other severe forms of headaches. Lajvanti possesses Pitta balancing property that can alleviate chronic migraine pain and headaches. A thick paste of Lajvanti leaves is applied to the forehead to provide relief from head pains.

Treats Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. It occurs due to improper food, impure water, toxins, mental stress, and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire) which causes leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhoea.  It is due to an imbalance of Kapha dosha which results in the accumulation of Ama and causes flatulence, indigestion, diarrhoea, and dysentery. Lajvanti helps digest Ama and reduces the symptoms of diarrhoea and dysentery due to its Kapha balancing property.

Fights Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is a condition when there is a drastic and sudden falling of hair leading to bald patches appearing on the various parts of the scalp. Alopecia generally occurs due to an imbalanced Pitta dosha which makes the hair roots go extremely weak. Due to its Pitta balancing property, Lajvanti plant helps prevent the aggravation of pitta dosha thus reducing episodes of unnatural hair fall and baldness.

Improve Sexual potency In Men

Considered to be highly aphrodisiac, Lajvanti extracts impart fabulous results to treat erectile dysfunction in men. It is also helpful to cure various sexual weakness problems such as low sperm and premature ejaculation.

Also Read: Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatments

Treats Snake And Insect Bites

Touch-me-not or Lajvanti is laden with antivenom properties. Due to its anti-venomous activity, in ancient times this herb was used as an antidote for snake, cobra bites and scorpion bites. For minor insect bites, leaves and stem juice of this plant are applied to the affected area. For snake bites, roots are boiled, and decoction is given to remove severe to mild toxicity.

Effect On Doshas

According to Ayurveda, Lajvanti herb is one of the best herbs for pacifying Kapha and Pitta doshas in the body. Since it can reduce Kapha and pitta dosha in the body, severe health ailments related to the aggravation of these doshas can be prevented.

Recommended Dosage

An ayurvedic practitioner can prescribe the exact dosage as per the health condition of an individual, but in general, the general suggested dosage is:

Fresh Juice: 15 to 20 ml

Leaf Decoction: 50 to 75 ml

Tincture:1 to 3 ml per day

Capsules:1 to 2 capsules per day

Topical Application Of Extract: As per requirement

Side Effects

While there is no denying that Lajvanti plant has several health benefits, one must be mindful while consuming this herb. An overdose of Lajvanti can be fatal. The tannin present in the plant can be toxic if ingested in high doses. If one is already pregnant then you must avoid it completely.


It is advisable to consult a physician before taking Lajvanti. It can be skipped during breastfeeding and pregnancy. People who are planning to get pregnant should not use the plant as it is used to prevent pregnancy.


Lajvanti also known as the mimosa Pudica, is an unassuming modest plant that responds to the slightest touch. The leaves, when touched or blown, fold up or droop down. The plant and stems stay folded for many minutes before reopening and standing back up. Also called ‘Sensitive Plant, Shy Plant, or Humble Plant, a species in the kingdom Plantae, Lajvanti has widely known medicinal uses due to its antioxidant diuretic, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to treat cuts and wounds, cure piles, treat sagging breasts, filariasis, excessive bleeding during menstruation, diabetes, diarrhoea, jaundice, stomach pain, and intestinal worms besides treating insomnia, asthma, high blood pressure as well as severe hair loss problems.