Makahiya is found throughout the Philippines and is found wild everywhere on Mt. Banahaw. It is not cultivated, and is considered a weed. The Tagalog name, and suggested by the scientific name, means “sensitive.”
The reason it is given this name is that upon human touch the leaves contract and appear to wilt, but then open up again a short time later. Makahiya is known as a diuretic, and is considered alterant and anti asthmatic. It is used for urinary complaints, and is useful in diseases arising from corrupt blood and bile.