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Sambong

Blumea balsamifera (Linn.) DC.




Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae
Genus: Blumea
Species: B. balsamifera

Botany
-Sambong is a half woody, strongly aromatic shrub, densely and softly hairy, 1 to 4 meters high.
Stems grow up to 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Leaves are simple, alternate, elliptic- to oblong-
lanceolate, 7 to 20 centimeters long, toothed at the margins, pointed or blunt at the tip, narrowing to a
short petiole which are often auricled or appendaged. Flowering heads are stalked, yellow and
numerous, 6 to 7 millimeters long, and borne on branches of a terminal, spreading or pyramidal leafy
panicle. Discoid flowers are of two types: peripheral ones tiny, more numerous, with tubular corolla;
central flowers few, large with campanulate corolla. Involucral bracts are green, narrow and hairy.
Anther cells tailed at base. Fruits are achenes, dry, 1-seeded, 10-ribbed, hairy at top.
Properties
- Considered anthelmintic, antidiarrheal, antigastralgic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative,
emmenagogue, expectorant, stomachic, and vulnerary.
Parts utilized
-Leaves (fresh or dried) and young roots before flowering.Mature, healthy, fully expanded
leaves are harvested while senescent leaves are discarded. Air-dry until they crumble when crushed with
the fingers. Store in amber colored bottles in a cool, dry place.
Studies
Sesquiterpenoids and Plasmin-Inhibitory Flavonoids: Study yielded two new sesquiterpenoid
esters 1 and 2. Compound 2 showed to be slightly cytotoxic. Nine known flavonoids were also isolated,
two of which showed plasmin-inhibitory activity. (2)
Anticancer / Hepatoma: Study of methanolic extract of BB suggest a possible therapeutic
potential in hepatoma cancer patients. (1)
Anticancer / Growth Inhibitory Effect / Hepatoma: Study of B balsamifera extract induced
growth-inhibitory activity in rat and human hepatocellular carcinoma cells without cytotoxicity. Findings
suggest a possible therapeutic role for the B balsamifera methanol extract in treatment of hepatoma
cancer patients. (6)
Urolithiasis / Calcium Stones: Study shows sambong to be a promising chemolytic agent for
calcium stones. (3)
Antispasmodic / Cryptomeridiol: Study isolated cryptomeridio from the dried leaves. Results
showed antispasmodic activity from various plant parts.
Antifungal / Antibacterial: Phytochemical study of leaves yielded icthyothereol acetate,
cyptomeridiol, lutein and -carotene. Antimicrobial tests showed activity against A niger, T
mentagrophytes and C albicans. Results also showed activity against P aeruginosa, S aureus, B subtilis
and E coli. (7)
Dihydroflavonol / Abrogation of TRAIL Resistance in Leukemia Cells: Study shows combined
treatment with a dihydroflavonol extracted from Blumea balsamifera exhibited the most striking
synergism with TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) and suggests a
new strategy for cancer therapy. (8)
Antibacterial: Study of 12 crude alcoholic and aqueous extracts from 5 medicinal plants,
including B balsamifera, showed potential antibacterial effect against S aureus.
Radical Scavenging: Study of Blumea balsamifera extracts and flavonoids showed the
methanol extract exhibiting higher radical scavenging activity than the chloroform extract.
Leaf Volatile Oil Components: Analysis of leaf essential oil revealed 50 components
contributing to 99.07 % of the oil: borneol (33.22%), caryophyllene (8.24%), ledol (7.12%),
tetracyclo[6,3,2,0,(2.5).0(1,8) tridecan-9-ol, 4,4-dimethyl (5.18%), with phytol(4.63%), caryophyllene
oxide(4.07%), guaiol (3.44%), thujopsene-13 (4.42%), dimethoxy- durene (3.59%) and -eudesmol
(3.18%). (11)
Antiplasmodial Activity: Study of roots and stem showed significant antiplasmodial activity.
Hepatoprotective Activity: Study isolated blumeatin (Blu, 5,3,5'-trihydroxy-7-methoxy-dihydro-
flavone and showed hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and thioacetamide. It
also shortened the pentobarbital sleeping time in CCl4-intoxicated mice.
Antimicrobial Activity / Essential Oil: In a study of various extracts and essential oil for
antibacterial and antifungal activities, results showed the essential oil to be most potent. The oil showed
significant activity against B. cereus, S. aureus and C. albicans; a hexane extract, against E. cloacae and S
aureus. Results showed B. balsamifera extracts have activity against various infections and toxin-
producing microorganisms. (13)
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory Activity: Study of aerial parts yielded a new dihydroflavonol,
(2R,3S)-()-4-O-methyldihydroquercetin, together with seven known compounds. Most of the
compounds showed significant concentration-dependent xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity.
Compounds 1, 6, and 8 showed more potent inhibitory activity than control allopurinol. (14)
Urinary Stone Dissolution: Sambong used in-vitro showed dissolution of urinary stones, with a
faster activity on uric acid stones. No significant effect was noted with struvite and calcium stones. (15)
Anti-Tyrosinase / Anti-Cancer Activities: An ethylacetate extract of leaves yielded nine
flavonoids. The anti-tyrosinase activity of dihydroflavonols (1,2) and flavonols (5,6,7) were stronger than
arbutin. In cytotoxicity evaluation, compounds 2,4 and 9 were active against KB cells. Compound 9
showed strong cytotoxicity against human lung cancer cell lines and moderate toxicity against oral cavity
(KB) cancer cell lines. (18)
Fumigant Compounds / Essential Oil: Essential oil was found to have fumigant toxicity against
maize weevils, Sitophilus zeamais. Essential oil components 1,8-Cineole, 4-terpineol, and -terpineol
showed pronounced fumigant toxicity against S. zeamais adults, more toxic than camphor. The crude
essential oil also possessed strong fumigant toxicity against S. zeamais adults. (19)
Apigenin / Aldose Reductase (AR) Inhibitory Agent: Study evaluated fractions of Blumea
balsamifera for their ability to inhibit aldose reductase activity in rat lenses. Apigenin, identified from
the active EtOAc fraction, exhibited high AR inhibitory activity. Results suggest a useful natural source
for a novel AR inhibitory agent against diabetic complications. (20)
Insect-Repellent Potential: Study evaluated 54 species of plants from 49 genera and 26
families for insect-repellent activity. Blumea balsamifera (UV=0.09) was one of 7 species with insect
repellency based on their UVs (useful value). The leaves and stems, dried and burned, is said to drive
insects away. (21)