- Blumea is a genus of flowering plants of the family Asteraceae. Plants of this genus are mostly relatively small weeds; some are ruderal (growing on waste ground or among refuse) species. (79)
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.
- Native to the Philippines.
Common in open fields, grasslands and waste areas at low and medium altitudes.
- Flowering from February to
- Propagation by cuttings and layering.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China, Christmas I., Himalaya, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
- Volatile oil,
0.1 - 0.4% - l-borneol, 25%, l-camphor, 75%, limonene, saponins, sesquiterpene
and limonene, tannins, sesquiterpene alcohol; palmitin; myristic acid.
- Yields flavonoids, terpenes (borneol, limonene, camphor, α-pinene,ß-pinene, 3-carene, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, triterpenes, and cryptomeridiol), lactones (blumealactone A, B, C).
- Fractionation of ethylacetate extract of leaves isolated nine flavonoids.
- Main essential oil components are 1,8-cineole (20.98%), borneol (11.99%), β-caryophyllene (10.38%), camphor (8.06%), 4-terpineol (6.49%), α-terpineol (5.91%), and caryophyllene oxide (5.35%).
- Study yielded two new sesquiterpenoid esters and nine known flavonoids. (see study below) (2)
- Studies have isolated more than 100 volatile or non-volatile constituents, including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, flavonoids, organic acids, esters, alcohols, dihydroflavone, and sterols. (23)
of volatile oil of B. balsamifera yielded 42 kinds of compounds. The volatile oil contains mainly sesquiterpenoids. (see study below) (24)
- Study of powdered dried leaves for quercetin collected from three different places in the Philippines yielded 0.2337 mg, 0.1350 mg, and 0.2940 mg per gram. (30)
- Study has yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, saponins and tannins with the absence of terpenoids and phlobotanins. (32)
- Study of aerial parts yielded twelve compounds identified as 3,3',5,5',7-pentahydroxyflavanone (1), 3,3',4',5-tetrahydroxy-7-methoxyflavanone (2), chrysoeriol(3),3',4',5-trihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyflavone (4), diosmetin (5), 3,3',4',5-tetrahydroxy-7-methoxyflavone (6), 3,5-dihydroxy-3',4',7-trimethoxyflavone (7), chrysosplenol C (8), 3,3',5-trihydroxy-4',7-dimethoxyflavanone (9), blumeatin (10), 3,3',5,7-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxyflavanone (11), and 3',5,5',7-tetrahydroxyflavanone (12). (35)
- Study of ethanol extract of aerial parts isolated ten new sesquiterpenoid esters, blumeaenes A-J. with 13 known flavonoids. (see study below) (40)
- Study of leaves yielded five new guaiane sesquiterpenes, blumeaenes E1, E2, K, L and M and one new eudesmane sesquiterpene, samboginone (6), along with three known compounds, cryptomeridiol, 3,3',5,7-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxyflavanone, and austroinulin. (42)
- Twenty-seven compounds were identified from 29 peaks of total flavonoids, including twenty-one flavonoid analogs, five CQA derivatives and one coumarin. (see study below) (46)
- Quantitative analysis of five naturally occurring flavonoids on addition to lyophilized powder and subsequent extraction showed average recoveries of pure flavonoids: dihydroquercetin-7,4'-dimethyl ether (DQDE) 100.6%, blumeatin (BL) 100%, quercetin (QN) 97.4%, 5,7,3',5'-tetrahydroxyflavanone (THFE) 99.9%, and dihydroquercetin-4'-methyl ether (DQME) 99.8%. (47)
- Phytochemical studies of the plant revealed four classes of flavonoids viz. flavonols, flavones, flavanones and dihydroflavonol derivatives. (see study below) (52)
- Leaves yield fatty acids including (11Z)-11-hexadecanoic acid, trans-2-undercenoic acid, 9-hexa-decenoic acid, capric acid, and palmitic acid. (53)
- Essential oil of leaves yield terpenoids: 1,8-cineole (20.98%), borneol (11.99%), ß-caryophyllene (10.38%), camphor (8.06%), 4-terpineol (6.49%), α-terpineol (5.91%), and caryophyllene oxide (5.35%). (53)
- Phytochemical study isolated five new sesquiterpenoids esters, balsamiferine N-R, along with ten known compounds (6-15) from the leaves of B. balsamifera. (see study below) (68)
- Considered anthelmintic, antidiarrheal,
antigastralgic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, stomachic, and vulnerary.
- Studies have suggested anticancer, urolithiatic, plasmin-inhibiitory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antifungal, wound healing,
antiplasmodial, hepatoprotective, xanthine-oxidase inhibitory, tyrosinase inhibitory, antiaging, fumigant, aldose-reductase inhibitory, gastroprotective, ace-inhibitory, antifertility, antidiabetic, antiobesity, antiviral properties.
- 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
- Leaves used a flavoring ingredient.
- In Indonesia, the Balinese people use it as a traditional drink called "Loloh Sembung", made by boiling and brewing fresh and dried leaves.
- The Bodos of Assam, India, use it as a flavoring herb, added to soups, curries, or as a side dish with chillies and native soda ash water called "kharwi."
- Leaves as poultice for abscesses.
- Decoction of roots and leaves for fevers, kidney stones, and cystitis.
- Decoction of leaves used to induced diuresis for purpose of treating kidney stones.
- Sitz-bath of boiled leaves, 500 gms to a gallon of water, for rheumatic
pains of waist and back.
- Used in upper and lower respiratory tract affections like sinusitis, asthmatic bronchitis, influenza.
- Applied while hot over the sinuses. Used for wounds and cuts.
Fresh juice of leaves to wounds and cuts.
- Poultice of leaves applied to the forehead for relief of headaches.
- In Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, the Subanens use leaf infusion for the treatment of cough. (51)
- Tea is used for colds and as an expectorant; likewise, has antispasmodic
and antidiarrheal benefits.
- Tea leaves use as emmenagogue, for treatment of menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea. As such, folklore advise against use during pregnancy or for women who want to get pregnant.
- In Vietnam, decoction of fresh leaves used for cough and influenza or as inhalation of vapour from boiling of leaves. Poultices of pounded leaves applied to hemorrhoids; an alcoholic maceration used as liniment for rheumatism.
- 3% ethanol solution used to soothe itching.
- Leaves used for the treatment of urolithiasis.
- In Thailand, dried leaves are chopped, made into cigarettes and smoked for treating sinusitis.
- For fever, leaves boiled and when lukewarm used as sponge bath.
- Decoction of roots used for fever.
- Decoction of leaves, 50 gms to a pint of boiling water, 4 glasses daily,
for stomach pains.
- In SE Asia widely used for various women problems. Postpartum, leaves are used in hot fomentation over the uterus to induce rapid involution. Also used for menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, functional uterine bleeding and leucorrhea.
- Roots used for menorrhagia.
- Decoction of roots and leaves used for rheumatism and arthritis; also used for treatment of postpartum joint pains.
- Poultice of fresh leaves applied to affected joint.
- In Chinese and Thai medicine, leaves used for treatment of septic wounds and other infections.
- A sitz-bath of boiled leaves used in the treatment of lumbago and sciatica.
- In Chinese medicine, used as carminative, stimulant, vermifuge, expectorant, and sudorific.
- In Mizoram, India, decoction or infusion of leaves and bark taken orally as expectorant. (32)
- Dayak people in Central Kalimantan use the plant for antifertility effect. (39)
- In Malaysia, the Temuan tribe of Ayer Hitam use leaf decoction for cough, distended stomach, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Lotion applied to the whole body after childbirth; applied to the head for headache. (52)
- in northeast India, the Maring tribe of Manipur drink a paste of crushed leaves mixed in water for burning sensation of the stomach. Chewing leaves followed with water used for the same purpose. (53)
- In Thailand, dried leaves used as cigarette to relieve sinusitis, colic pain, and cough. Combined with other plants as a bath ingredient after giving birth. (58)
- Pesticide: Roots and leaves used as natural pesticides against storage pests and leaf hoppers in rice.
- Repellent: Used by Ayta people of Porac, Pampanga as repellent against hematophagous insects. Dry or fresh leaves and stems are burned or hung inside the house. (41)
- Superstition: In Thai folklore, reputed to ward off spirits.
As a diuretic
and for dissolution of renal stones.
- As a diuretic in hypertension
and fluid retention. Also used for dissolution of kidney stones. Some
clinical studies, including double blind/placebo randomized studies,
have shown encouraging results for Sambong to be both safe and effective
in the treatment of kidney stones and hypertension. The National Kidney
and Transplant Institute has promoted the use of this herbal medicine
for many renal patients to avert or delay the need for dialysis or organ
- Being promoted by the Department of Health
(DOH) as a diuretic and for dissolution of renal stones. One of a few
herbs recently registered with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs as medicines.
- Possible benefits in use patients with elevated cholesterol and as an
analgesic for postoperative dental pain.
decoction of roots; boil 2 - 4 handfuls of the leaves. Use the lukewarm
decoction as a sponge bath.
apply pounded leaves on the forehead and temples. Hold in place with
a clean piece of cloth.
distention: boil 2 tsp of the chopped leaves in 1 cup of water for 5
minutes. Drink the decoction while warm. Also used for upset stomach.
• Postpartum, for mothers'
bath after childbirth.
• Boils: Apply pounded leaves as poultice daily.
Boil 2 tbsp chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Take
1/2 of the decoction after every meal, 3 times a day.
• Can be cultivated
as a source of camphor. Experiments in China produced 50,000 kilos of
leaves per hectare, with a possible borneol yield of 50-200 kilos per
hectare. L-borneol is easily oxidized to camphor. source
and Plasmin-Inhibitory Flavonoids: Study
yielded two new sesquiterpenoid esters 1 and 2. Compound 2 showed to
be weakly cytotoxic against Jurkat human T-cell leukemia cells. Nine known flavonoids were also isolated, two
of which showed plasmin-inhibitory activity. (2)
• Anticancer / Hepatoma: Study of methanolic extract of Blumea balsamifera induced growth inhibitory activity in rat and human hepatocellular cells without cytoxicity in rat hepatocytes used as cell model. suggest a possible therapeutic
potential in hepatoma cancer patients and the depletion of cellular APRIL (proliferation related ligand) may be an important mechanism in the growth inhibitory effect of the extract. (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)
• Chemolytic Effect / Urolithiasis / Calcium Stones: In vitro study shows sambong to be a promising chemolytic agent for
calcium stones. Results showed statistically significant stone dissolution of a 1 cm stone sample. A 40 mg/day dose showed maximum therapeutic effects. (3)
• Antispasmodic / Cryptomeridiol: Study isolated cryptomeridiol from the dried leaves. Results showed antispasmodic activity from various plant parts.
• Antifungal / Antibacterial: Phytochemical study of leaves yielded icthyothereol acetate, cyptomeridiol, lutein and ß-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%), dimethoxydurene (3.59%) and γ-eudesmol (3.18%). (11)
• 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 / Aerial Parts / Leaves: 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 α-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) - Essential oil of leaves yield terpenoids 1,8-cineole (20.98%), borneol (11.99%), ß-caryophyllene (10.38%), camphor (8.06%), 4-terpineol (6.49%), α-terpineol (5.91%), and caryophyllene oxide (5.35%). These compounds are largely used as fumigants or volatile agents to kill insect pests, nematodes, and other pests. (53)
• 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)
• Hepatoprotective / Blumeatin: Study showed oral blumeatin (5,3',5-trihydroxy-7-methoxydihydro-flavone) exhibited significant protective activity against liver injury cause by paracetamol and prednisolone. (Xu, S.B.; Hu, Y.; Lin, Y.C.; Yang, Z.B. Study on protection of blumeatin against experimental liver injury and aggregation of platelet. Suppl. J. Sun Yatsen Univer. 1994, 48–53) (23)
• Volatile Oil / Biologic Activities: Study of volatile oil from dried leaf powder yielded 42 kinds of compounds. Screening for biologic activity showed relatively strong antitumor activity and anti-plant pathogenic fungi and some antioxidation activity. (24)
• External Application of Volatile Oil / Safety Study: Study of volatile oil yielded 41 components. Damaging effects of BB oil diluted with olive oil on liver was assessed. Results confirm the safety of short term BB oil consumption, although high oil doses may lead to mild liver injury and the response might be weakened in the case of cutaneous wounds. (25)
• Anti-Arthritic / Antioxidative: Study evaluated the effect of an ethyl acetate fraction of BB residue on rats with adjuvant arthritis immunized through Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA). Results showed high dose BBE could significantly ameliorate joint swelling and arthritis index, effectively inhibit synovial hyperplasia, down-regulate the levels of MDA, NO, OH, ALP, AST, ALT, NAG, SA, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α and up-regulate serum levels of SOD and GSH. (26)
• Anti-Diabetic / Antioxidative: Study evaluated the antidiabetic and in vivo antioxidant property of hydro-ethanolic extract of leaves of B. balsamifera in streptozocin induced diabetic rats. Results showed significant reduction in blood glucose. There was also significant alteration in elevated lipid profile along with serum marker enzymes. Antioxidant potential was evidenced by significant increase in GSH and CAT measurements. (27)
• Wound Healing / Volatile Oil / Leaves: Study evaluated the effectiveness of volatile oil from Blumea balsamifera leaves on wound healing in mice. Results showed promotion of capillary regeneration, blood circulation, collagen deposition, granular tissue formation, epithelial deposition and wound contraction. Wound healing mechanism may be related to the induction of SP (neuropeptide substance P) secretion and the proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal cells. (28)
• Effect on Calcium Oxalate Crystallization: Study showed B. balsamifera extract increased the crystallization rate of calcium. The increased crystallization rate would favor the formation of smaller crystals that are easily eliminated from the urinary system. (29) Study evaluated the effect of BB extract on morphology of calcium oxalate crystals. Results showed decreased crystal size, shifted crystal phase from COM to COD and prevention of aggregation of calcium oxalate crystals. (43)
• Quercetin / Leaves: Quantitation study of powdered dried leaves for quercetin collected from three different places (Cotobato, Nueva Ecija, and Leyte) in the Philippines yielded 0.2337 mg, 0.1350 mg, and 0.2940 mg per gram. The variations may be due to various factors such as cultivation conditions (soil, temperature, moisture and agricultural practices (use of fertilizers and pesticides). (30) Study measured the amount of quercetin in DCM fraction of ethanolic extract of B. balsamifera powdered leaves macerated with 95% ethanol and subjected to liquid-liquid partitioning. All fractions that tested positive for DPPH test were pooled. Final quercetin concentration in the pooled fractions of HPLC was 2.022 mg/ml and 2.25 mg/ml in TLC-bioactography method. (44)
• Sambong Tea as Therapeutic Drink / Calcium Oxalate Stones: Sambong tea is believed to aid in the treatment of kidney stones. Study evaluated the effect of Blumea balsamifera tea in the nucleation of calcium oxalate crystals. Results showed decrease in induction time associated with increase nucleation rate with the formation of large number of smaller stones that are easier to eliminate by urination. (31)
• ACE Inhibition Activity of Dried Sambong Tea: ACE inhibition has been proven to be an effective strategy in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Study evaluated the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition activity of sambong tea in a rabbit lung ACE-induced hydrolysis of FAPGG. Results showed sambong tea possess inhibitory activity on rabbit lung ACE. Activity was attributed to flavonoids and terpenoids. (34)
• Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of B. balsamifera leaf decoction on wound healing in an experimental deep-wound mice model. Results showed wound healing ability. Betadine was used as positive control. The effect of sambong leaf decoction and betadine in the number of days, redness and swelling in mice was statistically insignificant. (36)
• Xanthine Oxidase Inhibition / Leaves: Xanthine oxidase is the enzyme responsible for catalyzing the oxidation of hypoxanthine and xanthine to form uric acid. Study of a methanol extract of leaves showed total flavonoid content of 72.7 mg/g dw, promising inhibition of xanthine oxidase activity with IC50 of 27.6 µg/mL, with a significant decrease in serum urate and reduced xanthine oxidase in the liver. (37)
• Extraction of (-)-Borneol, Camphor, and Isoborneol / Leaves: Study reports on an ultrasonic and microwave assisted GC-FID extraction of three target compounds (-) -borneol, camphor and isoborneol in leaves samples from 14 different harvest periods. Results showed (-)-borneol content was higher from mid-October to January. Study suggests a potential tool for quality assessment of leaves. (38)
• Antifertility Effect: Study evaluated extracts of B. balsamifera, C. tiglium, M. sagu, and F. racemosa for antifertility effects on Swiss Webster mice at dose of 0.26 mg/kbw for 8 days and mated with male SW mice. Results showed inhibition in estrous cycle, especially estrus and metestrus phases. Decrease in corpus luteum and fetuses suggests inhibition of folliculogenesis. Of the four extracts tested, B. balsamifera showed more potential antifertility activity. (39)
• Blumeaenes / Inhibitory Effect Against LPS-Induced NO Production: Study of ethanol extract of aerial parts isolated ten new sesquiterpenoid esters, blumeaenes A-J. with 13 known flavonoids. All sesquiterpenoid esters were tested for inhibitory activity against LPS-induced NO production in RAW264.7 macrophages. Compounds 1, 4, and 5 showed slight inhibitory effect on NO production with IC50 values of 40.06, 46.35, and 57.80 µg/mL, respectively. (40)
• Anti-Candidal: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of 19 medicinal plants using 21 solvents extracts (n-hexane, ethyl acetate and ethanol). Results showed the B. balsamifera, V. arborea and S. jamaicensis were the most active species to exhibit anticandidal activity with potential to be developed as natural anticandidal agents. (45)
• Effect of Total Flavonoids on Skin Wounds: Study evaluated the effects of total flavonoids from Blumea balsamifera on skin excisional wound on the back of Sprague-Dawley rats. Study postulates all the ingredients in the total flavonoid sample may exert a synergetic effect on wound curing and that the flavonoids were the main active constituents that contributed to the excisional wound healing. Mechanisms of wound healing were attributed to wound contraction, capillary regeneration, collagen deposition, and re-epithelialization. (see constituents above) (46)
• Gastroprotective /
Herbal Combination: Study evaluated the gastroprotective effect of hot water extracts combination of Sembung leaf (B. balsamifera), Pulasari stem bark (Alyxia reinwardtii) and Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) against aspirin-induced gastric ulcer model in rats. Results showed marked protective effects as evidenced by less number and smaller area of gastric ulcers, along with a smaller number of eosinophils and mast cells. (48)
• Wet Wipe Containing Blumea balsamifera Oil: Study/Invention reports of a utility model relating to a wet wipe containing B. balsamifera oil, comprised of two moisturizing layers and two medicinal layers. The wet wipe has the effects of resisting bacteria, relieving inflammation, stopping itching, accelerating wound healing, among others. The model has a simple preparation process, conveniences of use, with no report of skin damage with long-term use. (49)
• Effect of Climate Change: Study reports on the potential impact of climatic change on medicinal plants used in northern Thailand. Blumea balsamifera was one of eight plant species with forecasted future climatic change. It is also one of seven species listed as high extinction risk (critically endangered) due to the over 80% predicted loss of their suitable areas under AAA1B and A2 scenarios by 2080. (50)
• Accelerated Healing of Burn Injuries / Leaf Oil: Study evaluated the healing efficacy of leaf oil in deep second-degree burn model in rats. Results showed significantly reduced water content of tissue, scabs dropped time shortened, and healing accelerated after treatment with the oil. There was significantly increased expressions of growth factors and decreased levels of inflammatory factors on plasma. (51)
• Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitory / Radical Scavenging / Flavonoids / Leaves: Study evaluated the xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibitory activity and superoxide radical scavenging activity of various extracts and flavonoids from leaves. The methanol extract showed high XO inhibitory activity with IC50 of 9.111 mg/mL. IC50 values for scavenging of superoxide radicals decreased in the order of methanol > chloroform > pet ether. XO inhibitory activity of isolated flavonoids and reference compounds tested decreased in the order of allopurinol > luteolin > quercetin > tamarixetin 5,7,3',5'-tetrahydroxyflavanone > rhamnetin > luteolin-7-methyl ether > blumeatin > dihydroquercetin-4'-methyl ether > dihydroquercetin-7,4'-dimethyl ether ?> L-ascorbic acid. Results suggested the flavone derivatives were more active than the flavonol derivatives. The higher flavonoid content of the extracts contributed to their higher XO inhibitory activity. (52)
• Anti-Obesity / Effect on Preadipocytes and Adipocytes: Study evaluated the anti-obesity effect of B. balsamifera extract on adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and adipocytes. Results showed suppression of lipid accumulation and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) activity without affecting cell viability in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and adipocytes. There was also significant attenuation of expressions of key adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferative-activated receptor (PPAR)y, CCAAT element binding protein (C/EBPs) and leptin. Results suggest BB may block adipogenesis, at least in part, by decreasing key adipogenic transcription factors in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and may have antiatherogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic effects through upregulation of adiponectin in 3T3--L1 adipocytes. (54)
• Prevention of UV-B Radiation Induced Skin Photoaging / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the anti-photoaging effects of Blumea balsamifera essential oils (BBEOs) and Magnolia sieboldii essential oils (MSEOs) . GC-MS analysis yielded 35 and 33 components from the EOs. Blumea balsamifera showed dominant constituents of caryophyllene (18.54%) and borneol (18.33%). The application of the EOs to mice could effectively inhibit skin photoaging by down-regulating the expression of inflammatory factors including TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10. Both EOs showed potential as additives in cosmetics for anti-photoaging. (55)
• Potential Anti-Neuroinflammatory for AD / Nitric Oxide Inhibitory Constituents: Study in search for new nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory substances as anti-neuroinflammatory agents for AD isolated one new labdane diterpenoid and three new guaiane sesquiterpenoids, along with ten known compounds. All the compounds exhibited NO inhibitory effects. Molecular docking revealed interactions of the isolates with the iNOS protein, (56)
• Safety and Efficacy in Treatment of Urinary Tract Stones / A Review: Review evaluated the safety and efficacy of B. balsamifera for the treatment of urinary tract stones using online databases and unpublished clinical trials. Four of 20 studies met inclusion criteria. Patients who took sambong were 38.04 times more likely to pass stones compared to those who used placebo (p=0.0004). Patients taking sambong were 7.48 times more likely to have reduction or disappearance of signs and symptoms compared to placebo group (p=0.008). Review suggests sambong treatment is effective in treating patients with urolithiasis as evidenced by radiographic evidence, decrease in size and/or number of stones, passage of stone/s and/or disappearance or reduction of signs and symptoms with no serious adverse events. (57)
• Wound Healing / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of volatile oil from B. balsamifera leaves on wound healing in mice. Undiluted BB oil, diluted solutions with olive oil 1/5 and 1/10 as BB oil1/5 and BB oil1/10 were applied to wounded skin. BBoil1/5 and BBoil1/10 improved wound contraction and closure. Histopathology study confirmed desirable histological organization of wound tissues. Both reduced the number of inflammatory cells, increased wound healing rates, and significantly increased hydroxyproline content. Both BBoil1/5 and BBoil1/10 improved formation of collagen, and reduced the frequency of fibroblasts and markedly promoted SP (neuropeptide substance P) expression. However, undiluted BB oil may induced skin thickening and hardening, inhibit collagen synthesis and delay complete skin wound healing. (59)
• Acceleration of Healing of Burn Injuries / Oil: Study evaluated the healing efficacy of leaf oil in deep second-degree burn model in rats. Rats were treated with BBO for 21 consecutive days. Results showed the water content of tissue was significantly reduced, scabs dropped time shortened, and healing accelerated after treatment with BBO. Expressions of growth factors were significantly increased in the tissue. The levels of inflammatory factors on plasma decreased. Results confirm the efficacy of BBO consumption on burn injuries. (60)
• Antibacterial / Anticancer / Sequentially Extraction: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of sequentially extracted hexane (HE), ethyl acetate( HES) , and 50% aqueous methanol (HEMS) extracts of B. balsamifera. HE, HES, and HEMS showed significant inhibition (p<0.05) against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. HEMS significantly inhibited three bacterial strains: E. coli O157, P. aeruginosa, and B. cereus. On cytotoxicity assay, HES showed strong cytotoxicity against HeLa cell lines (IC50 24µg/ml) and moderate activity against MCF-7 cell lines (156 µg/mL). Both HS and HES extracts exhibited 98-99% proliferation inhibition on both cancer cell lines, respectively. (61)
• Copper Nanoparticles / Antioxidant / Cytotoxicity / Leaves: Study reports on an easy and green synthesis of copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) using B. balsamifera leaf extracts. Antioxidant testing showed that increased in concentration of CuNPs increased radical scavenging activity up to 69% at 100 µg/ml. Degree of lethality correlated with concentration of green synthesized CuNPs, which indicates cytotoxicity activity. Results suggest active compounds in B. balsamifera act as bioreductant in formation of CuNPs and has potential applications in biomedical, antibacterial, and nano-drug delivery systems. (62)
• Antiproliferative / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of n-hexane extract and fractionation products of B. balsamifera leaves using DPPH and brine shrimp lethality assays. None of the samples showed strong antioxidant activity. However, there was potent antiproliferative effect, especially fraction with LC50 of 2.00 ppm, with potential for proliferative disease therapy. (63)
• Antiplasmodial Activity / Root and Stem: Study screened seven Malaysian medicinal plants for antiplasmodial activities in vitro using pLDH assay to Plasmodium falcifarum D10 strain (sensitive strain) while cytotoxic activities were carried out towards Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDKB) cells using MTT assay. Blumea balsamifera root and stem showed an IC50 at 26.25 ± 2.47 µg/ml and 7.75 ± 0.35 µg/ml, respectively. (64)
• Antityrosinase / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant and antityrosinase potentials of flavonoid from Blumea balsamifera ethanol leaf extract. The content flavonoid of the leaf extract showed strong antioxidant activity by ABTS and DPPH assays with IC50 of 0.021 µg/ml and strong tyrosinase inhibition activity with IC50 of 398.16 µg/ml using commercial enzyme and DOPA as substrate. (65)
• Protective Effect on Leydig Cells on Induced-Hyperlipidemia / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of orally administered sembung leaf extract on the morphology of Leydig cells in hyperlipidemic male wistar rats. Results showed higher number of Leydig cells in the treatment group. Results suggest that sembung leaf extract provides a protective effect against damage to Leydig cells due to hyperlipidemia. (66)
• Anti-Inflammatory Mechanisms / Leaf Essential Oil: Study evaluated the underlying mechanisms of essential oil in wound healing areas of skin through evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity. GC-MS analysis yielded 39 compounds, with main compounds of (-)-borneol (25.382%), trans-caryophyllene (24.439%), camphor (8.991%), caryophyllene oxide (5.843%), xanthoxylin (3.968%), and alloaromadendrene (3.321%). Results showed the EO can significantly reduce the LPS-induced pro-inflammatory elements TNF-α, IL-1ß, IL-6, and inflammatory mediator COX-2 in RAW264.7 cells (p<0.01). The EO can significantly inhibit expression of proteins in the NF-kB signaling pathway, such as CD14, TLR4, MyD88, TAK-1, p-IkBα, and NLRP3 inflammasone (p<0.05, p<0.01). The outcomes show the anti-inflammatory roles of EO in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells by decreasing activity of TLR4-NF-kB signaling pathway and inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome activation, suggest potential for the EO as natural source for treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases. (67)
• Anti-Influenza Virus Activity / Sesquiterpenoid Esters / Leaves: Phytochemical study isolated five new sesquiterpenoids esters, balsamiferine N-R, along with ten known compounds (6-15) from the leaves of B. balsamifera. Compounds 3 and 4 showed significant inhibitory effects on influenza A virus (H3N2) with IC50s of 46.23 µg/mL and 38.49 µg/mL, respectively. (68)
• Anti-Urolithiatic / Leaves: Study in rats evaluated if Blumea balsamifera inhibits calcium oxalate stone formation in the kidneys through determination of number of calcium oxalate stones in the renal cortex and the percent mass of calcium oxalate. Urolithiasis was induced by ethylene glycol and ammonium chloride. Results showed the 100% sambong treatment showed the least mean number of stones while the positive control and 50% sambong treatment exhibited the highest antiurolithiatic activity in terms of oxalate content of kidney homogenate. (69)
• Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities in Mature and Immature Leaves / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the volatiles and antioxidant capacities from fresh immature and mature leaves of B. balsamifera. Leaf extracts yielded seven major terpenoid, including 2 monoterpenes of camphor and L-borneol, and 5 sesquiterpenes of silphiperfol-5-ene, 7-epi-silphiperfol-5-ene, ß-caryophyllene,
γ-eudesmol, and α-eudesmol. Yield of EOs from immature leaves was 1.4 times higher than mature ones, with 75% of yield collected from first 6 h of hydrodistillation. ß-caryophyllene, γ-eudesmol, and
α-eudesmol were higher in mature leaf EO. Antioxidant capacities IN EO were positively related to terpenoid contents. On antibacterial testing, although EOs from hydrodistillation period of 12-18 h contained fewer terpenoid compositions, it showed same MICs and MBCs on E. coli and P. aeruginosa, compared to 0-6 h EOs. (70)
• Potential SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitor: The therapeutic potential for Blumea balsamifera was demonstrated through an in silico assessment utilizing B. balsamifera phytochemicals and targeting the main protease enzyme (SARS-CoV-2 Mpro), which plays an important role in the infection process. Study yielded a total of 331 phytochemicals, 113 of which were promising SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors, and 23 of which were re-discovered antiviral drugs from the plant. Analysis of the promising phytochemicals and their interactions with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro hints at the phenylpropanoid moiety (Ph-C3-) as a potential pharmacophore of the target enzyme. Study suggests utility of PM-VS in the preliminary stages of drug discovery and development. (71)
• Cytotoxicity Against Cancer Cell Lines / Branches and Leaves: Photochemical study of branches and leaves isolated ten secondary metabolites, including three new compounds, namely, balsamiferin K (1), and balsamiferosides A and B (2 and 3). Compound 4, blumeaene J, exhibited moderate cytotoxicity against LNCaP (IC50 44.53 µM) and SK-Mel2 (IC50 46.49) cell lines. Compound 6, (-)-angelicoidenol 2-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside showed weak activity on all five tested cancer cell lines, with IC50s ranging from 61.60-98.73 µM. (72)
• Antibacterial Against S. aureus / Essential Oil: Study evaluated the antibacterial mechanisms of Blumea balsamifera essential oil against proteome of Staphylococcus aureus. Results showed BB essential oil can destroy the permeability of cell membrane, and inhibit synthesis of bacterial nucleic acid and protein. Proteomics showed that BBO affects disorder of amino acid metabolism and affects activity of various enzymes and transport of substances. (73)
• Anti-Inflammatory Diterpenoids / Aerial Parts: Study of aerial parts isolated six new diterpenoids, blusamiferoids A-F (1-6), including four pimarane-type diterpenoids, one rosane-type diterpenoid (3), and one rearranged abietane-type diterpenoid (6). Compounds 5-6 showed dose-dependent inhibition of production of TNF-α, IL-6, and nitrite oxide. Compound 5 also downregulated NF-kB phosphorylation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 cells. (74)
• Effect on Ureterolithiasis / Pilot Randomized Study: Study evaluated the safety and efficacy of B. balsamifera compared with a terpene combination drug (Rowatinex®) as treatment for ureterolithiasis in patients with clinically stable kidney function and ureteral stone of ≤ 5 mm. After 6 weeks, five patients in the sambong group and six in the terpene group were stone free (p=0.90). Results suggest B. balsamifera is comparable with a terpene combination in the dissolution of urolithiasis and is well tolerated and safe. (75)
• Anti-Influenza Virus Activity: Study evaluated the antiviral activity of B. balsamifera extract in vitro. The extract inhibited Madin-Darby canine kidney cells lesions induced by influenza A subtypes (H1N1, H3N2), influenza B subtypes, and two Victoria lines. Blumea balsamifera showed varying inhibitory concentration values against the viruses. According to time-of-drug-addition assay results, B. balsamifera extract inhibited the H1N1 adsorption and early steps of influenza replication. Results suggest BB extract has antiviral effect in vitro, and its effect in vivo should be further studied. (76)
• Antioxidant Synergism with Coccinia grandis / Leaves: Study evaluated the combination of and B. balsamifera for antioxidant and synergistic properties, measuring total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) and using molybdenum reducing power, DPPH and ABTS methods. Blumea balsamifera showed much greater TPC and TFC than the C. grandis extract. B. balsamifera extract demonstrated higher antioxidant activity than C. grandis (p<0.05). In combination, the leaf extracts exhibited synergistic antioxidant properties. (77)
• Haem Polymerization Inhibitory Activity / Antimalarial / Leaves: The plasmodium parasite degrades hemoglobin into amino acid and free haem as part of its life cycle. The haem is toxic to the parasite, and to neutralize its toxicity, the parasite converts the free haem into hemeozoin through haem polymerization. Hence, it can be targeted by antimalarial drugs. The study evaluated the haem polymerization inhibitory activity of B. balsamifera leaf extracts and the chemical compounds with the highest inhibitory activity. All extracts showed haem polymerization inhibitory activity. The 70% ethanol extract gave highest inhibitory activity. (78)
- Tablets and extracts in the cybermarket.
- Sambong tablet/capsules formulation for kidney stones.