#Sambong – contains methanolic extract that has been found to have therapeutic activity against hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Also contains the chemicals icthyothereol acetate, cyptomeridiol, lutein and B-carotene that has been found to have positive activity against microbes such as A niger, T mentagrophytes and C albicans.

Sambong / Blumea Balsamifera Herbal Medicine

Sambong uses, Health Benefits, Side Effects

Sambong is a Perennial herb of the Asteraceae Family, growing from 30cms to 100cm Sambong needs staking as the leaves weigh the plant down. Flowers are orange and Thistle-Like. Plant may be propagated by seeds or cuttings.

Sambong /Blumea balsamifera DC, a medicinal herb, is widely distributed in Eastern and Southeastern Asia. It has been used in folk medicine for its many benefits that include the treatment of septic wounds, respiratory infections, stomaach pains and kidney stones.

Scientific Name: Blumea balsamifera L. DC

Also know as : Alibum, Lakad-bulan, Alimon, Lalakdan, Sambong (Tag.) Dalapot, Sob-sob, Gabuen, Subusub, Blumea camphor (Engl.), Kambibon, Ngai camphor (Engl.).

Sambong is used as herbal medicine and is a shrub that grows wild in the tropical climate countries such as Philippines, India, Africa and found even in eastern Himalayas. Sambong is widely used in the Philippines as herbal medicine. Sambong leaves are known for its ngai or Blumea camphor that is used as herbal medicine to treat Kidney Stones, wound and cuts, rheumatism, anti-diarrhea, anti spasms, colds and coughs and hypertension. The Philippines Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) has develop the technology for a sambong herbal medicine tablet.

Sambong has many medicinal uses including being useful for regulating blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and to treat high blood pressure as well as inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. It is also a useful forage plant for poultry.

Sambong is an aromatic shrub, that grows from 1 to 4 meters in height. It is considered as a weed in some countries and is diffecult to eradicate. Sambong has yellow flowering heads that is 6 mm long. Sambong leaves are green obloid that spreads in a pyramidial pattern. Sambong bears fruits that are ribbed and hairy on top . Sambong fruit has 1 seed.

Sambung may be used in Cooking and the leaves are said to have the flavour of Green Peas or Spinach. The leaves can be added to Stir Fries, Savoury Meals, Soups, Frittatas and Omelettes, or anywhere you would use Spinach.

Sambong has long been regarded in South East Asia as a valuable Medical Herb.

Many people just make it “a way of life” to eat 2-3 leaves a day, for the many benefits to health the plant may provide.

Leaves can be made as a herbal tea using 5-10 cut up leaves to 1 cup of boiling water, stir and leave to steep 5 minutes, drink hot or cool. The flavour is quite pleasant. Other herbs can be added to the tea if desired, like peppermint, lemon myrtle, citronella grass, etc. Leaves (bruised or placed in boiling water to soften them) are applied externally as a poultice, or made into a salve for numerous skin conditions.

To relieve fever, crushed Sambong leaves must be soaked in cold water, wrung out and placed between sheets of clean cloth. The cloth plaster may then be placed on the patient’s forehead or armpit to lower the body temperature and prevent convulsions.

The herb has been noted for anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-pyretic, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-allergy properties, and also actions as a blood cleanser, tonic, and diuretic and pain keller. Some of its uses include: treating migraines, dyspepsia, constipation, arthritis, rheumatism, diabetes, dysentery, fevers, malaria, varicose veins, kidney stones, joint and back pain, knitting broken bones and strengthening ligaments, stroke and cardiovascular conditions, high cholesterol, lymphatic diseases, cancers, leukaemia, hepatitis, detoxifier, coughs, cold, sore throats, halitosis, laryngitis, flue, sinusitis, depression, urinary infections, renal failure, varicose veins, and as a “skin-care-elixir” for skin diseases, skin care and toning, acne, boils, bites. It supports male reproductive health and performance, including prostate function. Females have taken the herb for breast firming, menstrual cycle problems, and vagina contraction.

Research has shown that it is an efficient regulator of blood sugar, and that the herb is also found to protect the kidneys, and also retinas, from damage caused by high blood sugar. It also lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral action. Diabetics who use the herb have experienced very satisfying results in lowering glucose levels, and normalising the blood sugar.

Now for non-diabetics, it is said, the herb does not have this lowering glucose level effect, and it is interesting, that, non-diabetics are able to get the other therapeutic benefits of Sambong without the danger of having their blood sugar levels manipulated below normal levels.

☆ Sambong in Traditional and Folkloric Medicine

● Sambong roots and leaves are used as herbal treatment for fevers, Sambong leaves and roots are pounded then dissolved in cold water. Applied with a soft cloth over the nape, forehead, underarms and other body parts to bring down the body temperature.

Sambong may also be used to relieve arthritis, cold and cough. To prepare, crush or grind the leaves into a paste and apply directly into the affected part.

● Sambong roots and leaves are also used as herbal medicine treatment for rheumatism. Sambong roots and leaves are pounded and applied as poultice on the affected bodypart. Sambong roots and leaves may also be boiled and are applied as warm compress onto affectec area.

● Sambong is also used to treat headache, sambong leaves are pounded and applied as a poultice over the forehead.

● Sambong tea are also used as herbal medicine for colda and coughs.

● Sambong tea are also used for herbal treatment of diarrhea and stomach spasms.

● sambong juice are also used for treatment of cuts and wounds.

Science Based Health Benefits from Sambong / Blumea balsamifera Herbal Medicine

~ Sambong Mechanism of action in disease prevention

Sambong as diuretic for hypertension and fluid retention.

~ Sambong herbal tea is used as a diuretic for fluid retention and hypertension conditions. Sambong herbal tea incites the body to urinate thereby removing excess body fluids and sodium. Clinical studies have shown that high levels of sodium in the blood is a major cause of hypertension.

Sambong Delay or Averts Renal Failure

~ The Philippine National Kidney and Transplant Institute recommends taking sambong herbal medicine for patients with renal problems. Favorable results were noted that sambong may help to delay or avert dialysis or even kidney transplant.

Sambong for the Dissolution of Kidney Stones.

~ The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has been promoting Sambong herbal tea and tablets as a diuretic and for the dissolution of kidney stones. Sambong has been recently registered in the Bureau of Foods and Drugs as medicine.

Sambong as Anticancer

~ Sambong contains methanolic extract that has been found to have therapeutic activity agaìnst hepatocellular carcinoma cells. A study of sambong (balsamifera) extract inhibits the activity in rat and human hepatocellular carcinoma cells without cytotoxicity. This study suggest a possible therapeutic effect of sambong extracts (balsamifera) in the treatment of hepatoma cancer patients.

Sambong as Antibacterial and antifungi

~ A phytochemical study indicates that sambong leaves contains the chemicals icthyothereol acetate, cyptomeridiol, lutein and B-carotene that has been found to have positive activity against microbes such as A niger, T mentagrophytes and C albicans . Results also showed activity against P aeruginosa, S aureus, B subtilis ans E coli.

Sambong Preparations, Usage and Side Effects

~ Sambong Preparation and Usage

~ Sambong tea preparation

● gather fresh sambong leaves, cut in small pieces

● wash with fresh water

● boil 50 grams of sambong leaves to a liter of water

● let it seep for 10 minutes

● remove from heat

● drink while warm 4 glasses a day for best results.

Sambong poultice

Sambong leaves are generally boiled and taken as a tea. You may gather fresh leaves and chop them into small pieces then wash under running water thoroughly. Toss the chopped leaves into a liter of boiling water. Steep the leaves for 10 minutes then let the tea cool. The tea may be taken four times a day.

● gather fresh leaves and roots

● wash with fresh clean water

● pound in a mortal

● grounded leaves may be applied or a juice extract may be used

Sambong Warning and Side Effects

● Use of topical Sambong is not associated with significant side effects.

● Sambong even when taken internally is generally considered safe.

● Special Precausions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast feeding: Not enough is known about the use of sambong during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

● Sambong can cause allergic reaction for people sensitive to ragweed plants and its relatives. Side effects may include itching and skin irritation.

References: brisbanelocalfood.ning.com / medical healthguide.com / news.abs-cbn.com

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