Mimosa pudica Family: Fabaceae Kichwa: Puñui panga
The leaves of Mimosa pudica close at the slightest touch. Then, after a prudent period of time, they reopen unharmed. Puñui panga seems to fall asleep at the slightest touch and then wakes up again refreshed. Amazonian Kichwa use the plant to help babies fall asleep more quickly, to cure more difficult sleep disorders like insomnia, or even heartbreak. The idea is to heighten the affinity between the patient and the plant so that, to various degrees, the plant's sleeping behavior is shared flowing from the body of the plant into the body of the patient inducing sleep.
This is done by increasing the intensity of contact or by removing barriers between the plant's body and the body of the patient. Greater intimacy of contact increases the degree to which the plant's skill at sleeping flows into the human body . Getting babies to sleep requires only a small increase in affinity so the leaves are merely placed under the babies pillow. Curing adult insomnia requires a greater increase of affinity. This achieved by bathing the body of the patient in a tea made from the steeping the leaves in hot water.
Curing heartbreak requires a much stronger connection. When someone has been witched with love medicine they become obsessed with the person they long for. They are not able to focus on their work. Sometimes they become so obsessed that they stop sleeping or eating and may even commit suicide. To put this longing to sleep the plant is steeped in hot water and ingested by the patient as a tea. Subsequently the longing wilts like the leaves of the puñui panga and the patient no longer remembers their obsessive love.
"Sleeping leaf cure for insomnia and heartbreak." Tod D. Swanson interview with Bélgica Dagua. YouTube video. 3:10. December 31, 2018.