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, wounds and cuts, rheumatism, anti-diarrhea, anti spasms, colds and coughs and hypertension.
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 against 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 ß-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 and E coli.
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 & 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.