Nutritional qualities and Benefits
Sambong is a source of the flavonoids blumeatin, flavone and quercetin. Flavonoids or bioflavonoids are plant pigments which act like antioxidants, protecting our cells and DNA from being damaged by free radicals. Initial findings show that the blumeatin extracted from sambong leaves may protect our liver from damage. Still other studies show that extracts from sambong tend to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, whether the cells be from mice or people. Investigations further opened up the possibility that the quercetin from sambong may be a strong antioxidant and inflammatory, and have other anti-aging health benefits such as keeping skin supple and looking young and healthy. Lastly, the actions of the antioxidant flavones may prevent the development of cancer and heart disease.
Sambong extracts also display antifungal, antibacterial and antihistamine activities. It is an astringent that can be used for the faster healing of cuts and wounds, for post-partum baths and for bathing sensitive and painful areas affected by rheumatism. It is an expectorant and sambong leaves can be prepared as a herbal tea that helps relieve the symptoms of a cold by expelling mucus and phlegm from the respiratory system.
Like coffee and tea, sambong is a diuretic that facilitates the removal of excess salt and water from our bodies and helps to dissolve kidney stones Findings from clinical studies conducted by the Philippine Department of Health support the potential of sambong as a safe and effective way to treat kidney stones. The Philippine National Kidney and Transplant Institute has already approved the use of the herb for patients with kidney problems in preventing or delaying dialysis and kidney transplants. Sambong is one of the 10 herbs approved as alternative medicine for specific conditions by the Philippine department of Health.
Further clinical studies must be conducted to unveil and validate the full potential of this valued Asian medicinal herb and how it can best contribute to the well being of the human body, mind and spirit.