Before going deeper into Sambong benefits, let us first learn a few facts about this amazing medicinal plant. Blumea balsamifera, more commonly known to us as “Sambong,” has a wide range of health benefits that are recognized by the Department of Health (DOH).
It is one of the 10 herbal medicines used in treating certain conditions. Called “subsob” in Ilocos and “bukadkad” in Visayas, this plant has green leaves and a hairy underside and stems that can grow up to 2.5 centimeters. The plant itself is tall, growing up to 3.5 meters.
Sambong Benefits as Herbal Medicine
Phytochemical and pharmacological reviews have long studied the full potential of Sambong benefits; but what exactly are these benefits?
Sambong is an effective treatment for kidney stones
In one study, it was found that Sambong extract decreases the size of calcium oxalate crystals. Calcium oxalate is one of the most common types of stones found in our kidneys. Not only did Sambong reduce the size of the crystals, but it also inhibited its aggregation. This means that aside from being used as kidney stone treatment, one of the other Sambong benefits is the prevention of stone formation.
Sambong helps in treating high blood pressure
When the extract of Sambong is injected, blood vessels become “loosened” or they expand. This significantly helps in relieving hypertension. Do not inject Sambong into your bloodstream. Always consult your doctor.
Sambong promotes diuresis
Diuresis means increased urination; this happens when our kidneys filter large volumes of fluid. While it sounds bothersome, diuresis helps in the removal of toxins.
Sambong reduces edema
Edema, or commonly called “manas,” happens when our tissues or cavities retain fluids, resulting in swelling. The frequent urination caused by Sambong helps to release those extra fluids, thus relieving the edema.
Sambong brings down fever
Another one of the unique Sambong is its ability to address high fever. Because Sambong has menthol, it helps cool down your body temperature.
Sambong aids in treating cough and cold
This unique medicinal plant has expectorant properties, one of the prized Sambong benefits. This means that it can help remove unwanted phlegm that accumulates in our respiratory tracts.
Sambong has antimicrobial properties that help in a lot of diseases. Perhaps one of the best Sambong benefits is its ability to destroy bacteria and other microbes. Coupled with its anti-inflammatory chemicals, Sambong can be used to help in the treatment of diarrhea and stomach-ache; skin problems, like worms and boils; sore throat; and rheumatism.
How does it work?
Sambong benefits are numerous and far-reaching, from relieving fevers to alleviating high blood pressure and preventing kidney stones. Its effectivity as a medicinal plant has been well-accepted, but its success is more anecdotal than based on science and studies.
Precautions & Warnings
What should I know before using Sambong?
Although there are a lot of Sambong benefits, there should still be considerations.
While uncommon, Sambong may cause allergic reactions, especially in people allergic to ragweed plants and other plants related to it. No trials have been conducted to study its safety and effectiveness when used by pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers.
Since it is a diuretic agent, you may suffer dehydration if you do not carefully replace your fluids.
How safe is Sambong?
One of the best things about Sambong is that it is generally safe to use. The DOH’s Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care even promotes the tablet form of powdered Sambong leaves.
Special precautions & warnings
There is not enough data to prove that it is safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, so it is best to avoid it if you are with child. Also, be very careful if you are allergic to ragweed plants and their relatives. Always consult your physician before taking Sambong – in tea or tablet form – if you have existing kidney conditions.
Side Effects & Interactions
What kind of side effects may I have from Sambong?
Fortunately, Sambong has no known side effects. But Sambong has been known to cause allergic reaction, particularly for those with sensitivity to ragweed plants and the like.
Other possible side effects are skin irritation and itching.
What interactions may I have with Sambong?
Sambong also has no drug or food interactions. Still, it is best to talk to your physician if you are under a certain diet. The same thing should be done if you are taking other medications.
What is the usual dose for Sambong?
Sambong benefits can be harnessed in various ways. A gentle reminder: the dosages and applications listed below are meant to help and should not be prioritized over a physician’s advice.
A commercially prepared medication, especially in tablet form, must always be taken according to the doctor’s advice. However, there are usual doses. If used as a diuretic agent, one should take 2 tablets 3 times a day. One tablet typically contains 250mg of powdered Sambong leaves. If it will be used to combat kidney stones, the ideal dose is 40-50 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. Divide the total into three equal doses.
Tea or Decoction
If you will consume Sambong as a tea or decoction, boil the leaves and drink one glass 3 to 4 times daily. The same decoction can also be used in a sponge bath if you want to relieve fever. Additionally, you can drink the tea made from boiling Sambong roots to decrease body temperature.
For pains, like headache, crush the leaves and press them onto the affected area.
What form does Sambong come in?
Based on your doctor’s advice and for whatever use, you may avail of Sambong in the following forms.
- Fresh leaves and stalk
- Paste/ poultice
A lot of studies and reviews have already proven various Sambong benefits. It is safe to say that on a practical level, it is a handy herb that can help treat many common illnesses like cough and colds, diarrhea, and sore throat. Moreover, people with hypertension will surely benefit from the use of this plant.
Learn more about Herbals & Alternatives here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.