Welcome to OrganicMotion, your trusted source for organic gardening tips and inspiration. In this blog post, we’ll explore the wonders of Sambung (Gynura procumbens), a versatile and resilient plant with a rich history in traditional medicine. Also known as Moluccan Spinach or Leaves of the Gods, Sambung offers a host of benefits as a ground cover, a source of nutritious greens, and a plant with remarkable healing properties. Join us as we delve into the description, uses, growing details, and culinary applications of this remarkable plant.
Description and Noteworthy Traits:
Sambung is a sprawling perennial bush that reaches a height of 40-100cm. Its oval-shaped, fleshy green leaves, measuring 5-10cm in length, give it a lush appearance. The stems are predominantly green, with some older stems displaying a captivating purple and green stipple effect. The flowers, resembling yellowish-orange thistles, add a touch of vibrancy to the plant. Sambung is closely related to Okinawa Spinach, sharing similar characteristics and benefits.
Versatile Uses and Functions:
As a hardy ground cover, Sambung plays a vital role in protecting the soil and preventing erosion. Its abundant growth during summer provides a bountiful harvest of edible leaves and stems, making it a valuable addition to any organic garden. Additionally, Sambung serves as an excellent option for chicken fodder, ensuring your feathered friends have access to nutritious greens.
Nutritional Value and Medicinal Uses:
Traditionally known as the “Leaves of the Gods,” Sambung has a storied history in traditional medicine. It is reputed to have various medicinal uses and is believed to promote longevity. Packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, K, as well as calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, Sambung offers a powerhouse of nutrients that support overall health and well-being.
Growing Details and Care:
While Sambung can be challenging to grow from seed, it is easily propagated from cuttings. Simply place the cuttings in water until roots form, or plant them in small pots with loose soil in a shady spot, ensuring the soil remains moist. Regular trimming and harvesting of the leaves will help maintain the plant’s compact and tidy growth habit.
Best Time to Grow:
Sambung can be grown at any time in subtropical and tropical regions, where it thrives in favorable conditions.
Soil, Sun, and Water Requirements:
Sambung prefers moderately rich loam soil, which provides the ideal growing environment. It thrives in shaded areas, making it a suitable choice for part-shade locations in your garden. As for water requirements, Sambung appreciates consistently moist soil, so regular watering is necessary to keep it healthy and thriving.
The leaves of Sambung have a mild flavor that is reminiscent of green beans. They can be enjoyed raw in salads or added to various culinary creations such as soups, stir-fries, casseroles, condiments, sauces, rice dishes, and other savory meals. The leaves make an excellent filler food, adding both nutritional value and a unique taste to any dish. To preserve the flavor and nutrients, add Sambung leaves to cooked dishes at the last minute to avoid overcooking. Additionally, Sambung can be incorporated into green smoothies, and it is often cooked with taro or other starches in coconut milk with fish, creating a delightful combination of flavors.
Valuable Addition to any Organic Garden
Sambung, with its resilience, nutritional value, and healing properties, is a valuable addition to any organic garden. As a versatile ground cover, it protects the soil and prevents erosion while offering an abundant harvest of nutritious leaves and stems. Its traditional medicinal uses add to its appeal, making it a fascinating plant to cultivate. Embrace the benefits of Sambung in your garden and culinary creations, and experience the flavors and nourishment it provides. Happy gardening and bon appétit!