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How mimosa can cure chronic coughing

February 1, 2012

Yesterday evening Dokmai Garden received 14 mm of rain. Curious! The overcast resulted in a warm night and today is a pleasant day for garden work. Our new garden school student Matthias from Skåne in Sweden is currently busy with caring for the palm trees. The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera, Arecaceae) has just began making flowers.

In this dry season the spiny branches of Mimosa diplotricha (syn. M. invisa) may constitute an obstacle. This is a weed from Brazil which effectively wraps the Thai landscape in a living ‘barbed wire’. About a month ago a whip-like branch tried to trip me and I got some bloody cuts on both legs. Some of the senescent spines of this annual plant was embedded in my flesh. I did not care too much and let the body heal its wounds. It did not work! The areas around the penetrated skin got really red and itchy and after three weeks I went to hospital thinking I got an infection. The physician took a quick look and concluded I had an allergic reaction. I had never heard of such a reaction before but was happy I was not invaded by alien organisms. I ate my medicine (Atarax (hydroxyzine) 10mg, Xyzal (levocetirizine) 5 mg) and applied Dermovate cream 0.05% (clobetasol propionate) and the rash disappeared quickly.

An unforeseen side effect was that my chronic morning coughing disappeared too. Apparently I had an inflammation in my respiratory tracts which was cured by the same medicines! In an odd way, that weed cured my coughing!

Beware of the hooked spines – they are most unpleasant!

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2012 9:56 PM

    These spines often cause a rash and itching. A good way to extract them is to place any sticky tape, masking tape will do, on the affected area and when pulled off the spines stick to it.

    • February 2, 2012 7:16 AM

      Very useful advice – and thanks for confirming that this is a common phenomenon.


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