Tepezcohuite: What Is It And What Are Its Properties?

Tepezcohuite, aka Mimosa hostilis, is a tree. It comes from Mexico and grows in South America. But why should you care? Well, because tepezcohuite has many skin, hair, and medicinal properties. Or at least there are claims that it has these properties.

Some of its alleged properties are that tepezcohuite is anti-aging. It’s good for reducing scars and stretch marks and strengthen your hair. Plus, it can smoothen your skin out. Some people even claim it has psychedelic properties. And some use it for religious ceremonies.

But how do you know how to use it for your specific problem, and if it works? Well, don’t worry. This extensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about tepezcohuite. It will tell you how you can use it and what properties this has.

Overview Of Tepezcohuite

Here’s a quick overview of tepezcohuite, so you know its origin and history.

Origin Of Tepezcohuite

Tepezcohuite is a tree that comes from both Central and South America. In particular, Mexico. Its scientific name is Mimosa hostilis or even Mimosa tenuiflora. The tepezcohuite comes from the Fabaceae family.

This tree has several names. For example, it’s called tepezcohuite in Mexico. While in Brazil it’s called jurema, jurema preta, or calumbi. It’s also called tepescohuite, vinho da jurema, black jurema, and yurema. In Spanish, this tree is also known as Carbón Colorado, Cabrera, and Carbonal.

This bark tree looks a bit like a fern. It’s a tree that can regenerate itself, even after a forest fire, for example. Some Mexicans even refer to it as the ‘skin tree.’ Isn’t that amazing?

History Of Tepezcohuite

The tepezcohuite tree has a really interesting history. Did you know, for example, that the Mayans were already using the tree for its alleged properties? Yes, it was already used that long ago and is still used today. Mayans even called it the ‘skin tree.’ So surely the properties work!

A while ago (think 1,000 years or so), Mayans used tepezcohuite to heal skin lesions, for example, burns. They would do that by grinding the bark of the tepezcohuite tree up, which would form a powder. And then, they would apply this powder to the wounded skin. And people still do that today.

Also, after a gas explosion in Mexico in 1984, the Red Cross treated the surviving patients. With tepezcohuite. There were about 5,000 people that had burn marks. Yes, you read that right. If the Red Cross used it, it’s probably because the claimed medical properties are actually working. Also, a lot of studies were made about this bark tree. And they do recognize that, as a powder, it has some cicatrizing and healing properties.

Apparently, the Red Cross found tepezcohuite powder so helpful that it was used again on patients the following year. This was after an earthquake caused fires and explosions.

Different Tepezcohuite Based Products You Can Buy

The products with tepezcohuite are made from the tree’s bark, which is then ground up in a powder or it can be an extract. Some of the claims for tepezcohuite are that it can soften your skin, regenerate it, prevent chafing, prevent hair loss and even thicken your hair.

Some people even use it as a sunscreen, as tepezcohuite has antioxidants, which could block ultraviolet lights. But there’s not too much research on it, so you should probably stick to your usual SPF.

As for which products you can find tepezcohuite in, you can find it in ointments to reduce skin blemishes. You can also find it in talc, which helps against chafing, sweating for treating rashes and can be used after shaving. Of course, you can find the tree’s bark in moisturizers, lotions, soaps, shampoos, and other hair-related products.

Different Companies That Use Tepezcohuite

Tepezcohuite is still not too popular, but beauty companies and brands use it more and more. So there are Mexican companies that have used the tree’s bark for many generations, as the tree’s properties are recognized over there. For example, there is Genomma Lab and Del Indio Papago.

But not only Mexican beauty companies use this natural ingredient. For example, the famous French company Clarins uses tepezcohuite in some of its skin repair and exfoliating products.

Also, you can use the powder alone without purchasing a specific product and use it for whatever you want. Or you can buy it from a brand like Nuance, as Salma Hayek does.

Pros Of Buying Products With Tepezcohuite

If you buy products with tepezcohuite, especially skincare products, there are several pros. One of them is that plant-based products, in general, are more natural. So, better for your skin and general health. Another pro is that natural products are usually cheaper than products with synthetics or parabens. These can cause hormonal problems.

Side Effects

Unknown psychedelic effects

As of now, there are no registered side effects of using tepezcohuite. Especially for topical use. There aren’t that many scientific studies about it. If you ingest it, it might have some psychoactive properties. That’s because the tree’s bark has DMT (dimethyltryptamine). So avoid ingesting tepezcohuite powder. There isn’t too much research about its effects.

In Brazil, in some religious ceremonies, like Jurema, some people use the roots and the bark of the tepezcohuite’s tree to make a psychedelic drink.

Other side effects

Some tests on animals also revealed that if they ingested fresh leaves and seeds of the tepezcohuite tree, they could have fetal or embryonic abnormalities. Or even embryonic death sometimes. So, as a precaution, don’t use tepezcohuite when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Also, as there is almost no research that was performed on humans, there might be some allergic reactions, or your skin might burn itch or even tingle. That could happen for some people if they use too much tepezcohuite. Traditional medicines and some religious ceremonies will recommend ingesting tepezcohuite. But you shouldn’t.

In general, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying health condition, or taking medication, avoid ingesting tepezcohuite, as we don’t know too much about it. More research needs to be done, especially human clinical studies.

Fun Fact

Did you know that Salma Hayek, the American, Lebanese and Mexican actress, uses tepezcohuite? She uses tepezcohuite instead of getting Botox, chemical peeling fillers, or taking pills, to keep her skin young. She shared that information in a 2015 Elle. So if you believe her, try it!

She claims it regenerates the skin and that Mexico uses it for burn victims, as mentioned above. And Salma Hayek looks amazing and has great skin, even if she’s in her 50’s. So if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for us!

Alledged Properties Of Tepezcohuite

Here are the alleged properties of tepezcohuite. So you know what they are and if you want to try the powder out and see if it works for you!


  • General Skin Properties

A lot of people say tepezcohuite is amazing for your skin. But doctors and skin experts say that there aren’t a lot of scientific studies to prove the alleged properties of tepezcohuite. But if you believe personal anecdotes, tepezcohuite can do wonders for your skin.

Naturalists, herbalists, and even beauty companies use it in their skincare products. It has a long history of use, especially in South America, particularly in Mexico. Over there, it is used to treat acne, spots, stretch marks, and wrinkles. It’s also believed over there that it can help reduce dandruff and grow and strengthen your hair.

First of all, tepezcohuite extract is used in anti-aging skincare products. It’s made from the tepezcohuite tree’s bark. There were no human clinical trials of tepezcohuite. And if it has anti-aging effects, so if you want, give it a try, but it might not work. But then, at the same time, if you believe Salma Hayek, tepezcohuite could do miracles to your skin.

  • Anti-aging properties

The bark of the tepezcohuite tree could be good for anti-aging. Even if there aren’t too many studies out there. It has flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants are great for your skin. Mainly to prevent aging, as they prevent natural cell damage and oxidative stress. Antioxidants also hydrate and moisturize the skin. So it’s worth a try!

But then, all plants contain natural antioxidants. What’s particularly good about the bark of the tepezcohuite tree is that it has both antioxidants and antiinflammatories. So it can soothe or calm your skin. Also, the lipids in the tree’s bark could improve your skin’s barrier function. As such, some people claim it could reduce stretch marks, scars, and even warts.

Not only does tepezcohuite have flavonoids, but it also has carotenoids and polyphenols. It sounds complicated. But they’re great for cell regeneration and have anti-aging properties. So if you’re looking for a good anti-aging product, consider trying a product that has this ingredient!

  • Other skin properties:

The bark of tepezcohuite can be ground into a powder and can then be used as a topical wash. You can also find tepezcohuite powder or extract in lotions and creams. But beauty and skincare companies often use tepezcohuite for its alleged anti-aging properties.


Some beauty blogs will claim that tepezcohuite can help fortify your hair. And it’s good against hair loss. The flavonoids in the tepezcohuite’s bark have micronutrients. These will repair your skin and hair, as well as regenerate cells. Just to tell you what micronutrients the tree’s bark has, it contains iron, zinc, manganese, and copper. These are vital for healthy skin and hair.

Tepezcohuite’s bark can help reduce dandruff but also can help you fight hair loss and thin hair. There are claims that this natural ingredient improves your general scalp’s health. So it doesn’t hurt to try and see for yourself!


There was some research about the tepezcohuite tree’s bark that showed it is antibacterial. It can be wound healing, as mentioned in the history of the tree. It is also regenerative, as the tree regenerates itself, and is analgesic.

In fact, when ground into a powder, the bark has a high amount of tannins. These are great for the treatment of wounds and burns. The tannins act as astringents, so they will help to stop bleeding and protect from infections.

There are other things the tree’s bark could help with. Sunburns, blotches, cough, ringworm, vaginal infections, acne scarring, psoriasis, bronchitis, stomach ulcers, scald, and ichthyosis. It could also be a natural painkiller. So yes, it can help a lot, but at the same time, there isn’t too much research to confirm all that.

Some research also proved that tepezcohuite could be helpful to treat leg ulcers. Although you can also get that effect with a hydrogel.  So more research needs to be done. But if South and Central America have used tepezcohuite for that long, the properties are probably there and worth it.

Final Thoughts

A lot of people on beauty blogs, or even Salma Hayek, will tell you that tepezcohuite is miraculous. Whether in a powder or in extract form. So if you believe these personal anecdotes, go for it! Be careful to try it topically first and not ingest it, as the effects aren’t too documented yet. If you have any questions, contact your local doctor.

There aren’t that many scientific studies out there about tepezcohuite. Especially clinical studies on humans. But it is established that it can have some antibacterial, wound healing, and anti-aging properties. The antibacterial properties are not all demonstrated yet.

Be careful and remember that there’s not much research done on this tree. Especially not much research on humans. That’s the problem with it. Otherwise, all the properties of the tepezcohuite tree sound amazing and even miraculous.

So if you wonder if tepezcohuite works for either your skin, hair, or general health, definitely give it a try. I mean, after all, Mayans already used it, and Salma Hayek swears by it. Life is too short not to try new things!

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