Sambong or Blumea Balsamifera, a medicinal herb, is widely distributed in Eastern and Southeastern Asia. It has been used in folk medicine for its many health benefits that include the treatment of kidney stones, respiratory infections, septic wounds and stomach pains.
Sambong is widely used in the Philippines as herbal medicine. Sambong leaves are known for its Blumea camphor or Ngai that is used as their herbal medicine to treat anti-diarrhea, anti-spasms, colds and coughs, hypertension, kidney stones, rheumatism, wounds and cuts.
Sambong is also an aromatic shrub that grows from 1 to 4 meters in height. It is considered as a weed in some countries and it is difficult to eradicate. Sambong has yellow flowering heads that is about 6 mm long. Sambong leaves are green obloid that will spreads in a pyramidal pattern. Sambong fruit has 1 seed and sambong bears fruits that are ribbed and hairy on top.
Sambong | Bulme Balsamifera Medicinal Uses
· Poultice Sambong tea are also used as herbal medicine for colds and coughs.
· Sambong is also used to treat headache, sambong leaves are pounded and applied as a poultice over the forehead.
· Sambong juice are also used for treatment of cuts and wounds.
· Sambong leaves and roots 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 forehead, nape, underarms and other body parts to bring down the body temperature.
· Sambong leaves and roots are also used as herbal medicine treatment for rheumatism. Sambong leaves and roots are pounded and applied as poultice on the affected body part. Sambong leaves and roots may also be boiled and are applied as warm compress onto affected area
· Sambong tea are also used for herbal treatment of diarrhea and stomach spasms.
Science Based Health Benefits from Sambong | Blumea Balsamifera Herbal Medicine
Sambong Mechanism of Action in Disease Prevention
Sambong as Anti-bacterial and Antifungal: A Phytochemical study indicates that sambong leaves contains the chemicals icthyothereol acetate, cyptomeridiol, lutein and ß-carotene that has been found to have positive activity against microbes such as A Niger, C Albicans and T Mentagrophytes. Results also showed activity against B Subtilis, E Coli, P Aeruginosa and S Aureus.
Sambong as Anti-cancer: Sambong contains such methanolic extract that has been found to have therapeutic activity against hepatocellular carcinoma cells. A study of sambong extract inhibits the activity in human and rat hepatocellular carcinoma cells without cytotoxicity. This study suggest a possible therapeutic effect of sambong extracts in the treatment of hepatoma cancer patients.
Sambong as diuretic for fluid retention and hypertension. 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. Some studies have shown that high levels of sodium in the blood is a major cause of hypertension.
Sambong averts or delay 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 avert or delay dialysis or even the 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 a medicine.
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.
· Gather fresh leaves and roots.
· Wash with fresh clean water.
· Pound in a mortar.
· Grounded leaves may be applied or a juice extract may be used.
Sambong Warnings and Side Effects:
· Use of topical Sambong is not associated with significant side effects.
· Sambong even when taken internally is generally considered safe.
· Special Precautions and Warnings: Breast-feeding and pregnancy are not enough is known about the use of sambong during breast-feeding and pregnancy. 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 or skin irritation.
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