Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Wonder Plant (Sabungai – Gynura Procumbens)

High Cholesterol? High level of blood sugar? Are you looking for a natural treatment? Try the Ganura Procumbens. It is also known as the wonder plant, anti-cholesterol plant and longevity spinach. It is used as anti-hypertensive, glucose lowering, anti-inflammatory and source of proteins and peroxidase. 

As I searched for natural treatment for hypertension and high blood sugar level,  I've found Sabungai  (Gynura Procumbens).  This plant is widely recognized

 for its medicinal value. Research shows that it is an efficient regulator of blood sugar and protects the kidney and retinas from damage caused by high blood sugar. It also lowers blood cholesterol and triglycerides, lowers blood pressure,and has anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity.

The leaves of this plant can be eaten raw or can be used as vegetable. Most recommends 3-6 leaves to be eaten daily.  I have this plant in my garden, and it grows fast.  It likes moist soil always.  It is easily propagated by cutting stems.

Please be aware, however,  that there are many sellers of this plant who call it Ashitaba.  Based on my research, the plant shown on the picture is Sabungai (gynura procumbens) and NOT Ashitaba and the two plants have different medicinal properties.

Sabungai is generally accepted as safe.  There is no warning or evidence of interaction with drugs.

General Studies as published in Philippine Alternative Medicine

Anti-Inflammatory: Study of ethanol extract showed anti-inflammatory activity.

Antihypertensive: Study showed the oral administration of aqueous extract significantly lowered blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Results suggest GPE may be useful for prevention and treatment of hypertension through increasing NO (nitric oxide) production in blood vessels.

Glucose Lowering: Ethanolic extract of leaves significantly suppressed elevated serum glucose levels in diabetic rats. The extract did not significantly suppress glucose levels in normal rats. Results conclude the leaves of GP may be biguanide-like activity.

Abundant Leaf Proteins / Peroxidase: Study found few abundant proteins from the leaves of GP; among these, peroxidase was found the most abundant of the extracted proteins. Results suggest a natural source for peroxidase for use in the cosmetic and skin care industry.

Nutritive / Antioxidative Properties: Ethanolic Gynura extract exhibited the highest antioxidative properties in every assay. Nutritive evaluation suggests the extract is a good protein source and may have positive effects on free radical scavenging and iron chelating.

Gynura procumbens Medical Toothpaste: A Gynura procumbens toothpaste invention consists of" gynura procumbens (Lour.) extractant of 1-20%, glycerol of 20-55%, diglycol of 10-15%, abradant of 20-45%, carboxymethyl cellulose of 0.5-1.5%, sodium dodecyl sulfate of 0.5-2%, additive of 1-4%, essence of 1-2% and saccharin of 0.1-1%.

Anti-Ulcerogenic: Study results suggest the ethanolic leaf extract of Gynura procumbens promotes ulcer protection as shown by significant reduction of ulcer area, histologic decreases in ulcer areas, with absence or reduction of edema and leucocyte infiltration of submucosal layer.

Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study evaluating the water extract of G. procumbens in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed a hypoglycemic effect by promoting glucose uptake by muscles. (2) Study results suggest the antidiabetic effect may be mediated through the stimulation of glucose uptake and the potentiation of insulin action.

Toxicological Evaluation: Administration of a methanol extract of G. procumbens did not produce mortality or significant changes in various parameters in both acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies.

Be healthy and enjoy life!

Reference: Philippine Medicinal Plants, http://www.stuartxchange.com/Sabungai.html

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  1. Tnx for d info.im eating five leaves of gynura everyday i still cnt feel d reaction of my body

    1. Herbs don't have instant effect, it takes a while to feel the effect.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Herbal plants like gynura don't produce instant effect. It takes longer to feel its effect unlike synthetic medicines. If the purpose of eating gynura leaves is to treat cholesterol, the following will also help:

     regular exercise
     minimize eating fatty and oily foods
     limit your carbohydrates to quantity needed by your body
     do what your doctor advised

    Gynura won't make magic but it will surely help in due time. When necessary, see your doctor.

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    1. Yes, i totally agree with you there. Moringa is really a very nutritious and very beneficial plant.

  11. Thanks for the article. I didn't know it was also called Sambungai. Lately I've been growing Moringa Oleifera, or malungay, which is also really nutritious and beneficial for people. :)

    1. Sorry for this late reply. I haven't visit my blog for a while.

      It's true, malungay is very nutritious. I also grow it myself in our home.

  12. I have been growing it aquaponically outdoors in Ottawa Canada.
    It seems that every insect known to man loves to eat this plant. I grow a variety of edible herbs and nothing gets eaten like Gynura.
    Being aquaponic I am very restricted on what I apply as a deterrent to insects, any suggestions. I have tried Pyrethrum, tangle foot, insecticidal soap, and manual removal.

  13. i also been eating this plant..its very nice

  14. sir nag bebenta po ba kayo ng sabungai plants? thank you

    1. Hindi po. Pero marami pong nagbebenta nitong mga gardeners. Ang iba tinatawag nila itong Ashitaba. Kung gusto mo, contact mo ako sa FB, through "Our Little Garden"Page. Bibigyan kitang pantanim ng libre.

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