Brisbane Local Food

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

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

Medical Benefits:

Extract Shipards Herb Farm Newsletter April ‘10

Sambung 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.

The herb has been noted for anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-pyretic, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-ageing, anti-allergy properties, and also actions as a blood cleanser, tonic, and diuretic and pain killer. 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, colds, sore throats, halitosis, laryngitis, flu, 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 antiviral 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 affect, and it is interesting, that, non-diabetics are able to get the other therapeutic benefits of Sambung without the danger of having their blood sugar levels manipulated below normal levels.

I do have plants growing if anyone would like a cutting. I can bring them along to a GV.

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Replies to This Discussion

I'll give it another whirl, Dianne. I'll be at Rob's GV.

I would like to have a cutting, thanks Dianne.

I will have cuttings for both Elaine and Rob (already had you down for one Rob, I didn't forget.) Anyone else wants one just let me know before Rob's GV.

I'm interested too Dianne as well as the longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens) if you have enough cuttings to spare. You certainly are a collector of unusual health promoting herbs. Are there any you don't have which we may be able to find for you?

I am sorry it was very remiss of me but Sambung (is an alternative name and Gynura procumbens is the Scientific Name. Same Plant.

Common Name: SPINACH - MOLLUCAN
Scientific Name: Gynura procumbens
Alternative Names: Sambung Nyawa 'extending life' (Malays), Daun Dewa, Akar Sebiak, Kelemai Merah, Bai Bing Ca (Chinese)

Yes Phil, I will certainly bring you a cutting.

You will be sorry you asked what I may like, well I am after Australian Native Herbs cuttings, Lemon Myrtle cuttings, Bush Tomato cuttings , Snowberries cuttings, Sea Parsley (Apium Prostratum) cuttings, Really anything edible that is not going to take over my yard. I only have a few Mints, Vanilla Grass & Samphire so far.

I shouldn't apologise but I am one of those people who have useless Grass in front of their home but I have changed my thinking a bit since joining BLF and have now got Fruit Trees in my front garden beds now and am making room for my Aussie Dinner Garden as well.

Like your plan to replace your lawn with native edible plants Dianne. I don't have many native bush tucker plants yet but I'm pretty sure that Rob has a Lemon Myrtle tree. I've tried several times to grow the tree from cuttings without succeeding but hopefully you will have more success.

The Burmese (I think) ferment Sambung leaf using the water from rice rinses. I had a recipe but cannot now locate it online.

I'm still looking.

I hope to ferment some of its purple cousin -- Gynura crepioides/Okinawan spinach -- to see what the end result may be like. Sure to be a tad gunky. I have a prickly pear ferment -- and that should be slimy -- but it is tasty and appealing.

I do now have Sambung growing. 

The advantage of fermenting for health reasons is that often the medicinal properties as well as the absorption is enhanced by the fermentation. This is true of turmeric fermented with pepper (LINK) for instance.

Leaves of Sambung are also dried  and often powdered for medicinal uses. 

Gynura crepioides should have similar attributes but the research has not been done --although it is a mainstay in Okinawan cuisine and they live long time on purple sweet potatoes & Gynura c.

Pleased to hear your Sambung is growing Dave. I hope everyone else has had success with their cuttings as well.

I have plenty of Gynura crepioides/Okinawan Spinach growing, it is like a weed here, if anyone is wanting any cuttings let me know, as I badly needing to cut it back.

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