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Useful Invasives: Mimosa Tree

Times are weird, friends. And with the weird comes stress, anxiety, depression and general worry. Let's get to know our friend, the Mimosa. No, not the drink, this Mimosa comes without the hangover! But, how do we collect her medicine? And what does it do? Mimosa is said to be a spirit tonic, in short, she lifts the mood and helps the broken hearted.

Mimosa is entirely useful in her full form. Leaves, bark, flowers, roots, all. In addition to her mood support, Mimosa is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial. And yes. Its invasive, and who cares? Invasive species almost never fall short on their medicinal, damn good for you properties. So let's dive in to the two most accessible and sustainable parts of the plant, and their uses.

The flowers can be collected and used to make a tincture, flower essence, tea, or powder.

Flowers also make a lovely decoration for cakes and salads.

Bark can be harvested without doing real damage to the tree. Do not take from the main trunk. Take bark only from limb trimmings. Dry the bark for use in tea and tincture.

For Tincture:

Always start with dry matter. Harvest flowers or bark, and dry using a solar dryer, or your preferred method. Using a 1:5 dried herb to alcohol ratio, pour an 80 proof or higher clear alcohol of your choice over the dried herbs in a sealable glass container. Allow this to sit, shaking when you think about it, for 6 or more weeks (I let it go much longer in much stronger alcohol.)

For Tea:

I use mason jars for nearly everything, so that's what we're using here. Quart jars specifically.

Add about a tablespoon, no need to be exact, of dried flowers to a mason jar. Boil some water and pour it right over the flowers, let it steep for about 10-15 minutes, and enjoy. I really like straining this tea and freezing it as ice cubes to add to anything I drink throughout the day, or chill this mix and make a floral lemonade!

For bark tea, double the dried matter and let it steep for the same amount of time. The bark tea tends to be earthier, so it's best enjoyed hot with a squeeze of lemon and honey.

Now, Mimosa technically cannot be over harvested no matter how much you take, but I like to keep her around, however frowned upon that is, and if you feel the same, just make sure you're only taking what you need from a plant.

If you found this useful, consider tossing a dollar to my tip jar so I can keep writing fun blogs on free medicine: Venmo Username: @rainbowrockfarmstead

And thank you.

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