Asthma is an inflammatory airway disease. The pathogenic mechanisms of asthma include the infiltration of leukocytes and release of cytokines. Mimosa pudica (Mp) has been used traditionally for the treatment of insomnia, diarrhea and inflammatory diseases. Although Mp extract has various therapeutic properties, the effect of this extract on asthma has not yet been reported. This study investigated the suppressive effects of Mp extract on asthmatic responses both in vitro and in vivo. Mp extract was acquired from dried and powdered whole plants of M. pudica using 80% ethanol. BALB/c mice were used for the mouse model of asthma induced by ovalbumin. Mp extract significantly inhibited the HMC-1 cell migration induced by stem cell factor and blocked the release of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in EoL-1 cells. Leukocytosis, eosinophilia and mucus hypersecretion in asthmatic lung were significantly suppressed by Mp extract. The release of ovalbumin-specific IgE in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and serum was also decreased. Mp extract treatment resulted in no liver cytotoxicity. The Mp extract has inhibitory properties on asthma and may be used as a potent therapeutic agent for allergic lung inflammation. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.