The Longevity Herb – Gynura procumbens
Also known as Sambung Nyawa, Gynura procumbens is sometimes called the Longevity Herb.
A number of medical claims are made, it is said to assist those that suffer from diabetes and help prolong life. It is also said to assist with a wide range of ailments including many cardiovascular conditions such as high cholesterol.
It is the high concentrations of flavonoids and glycosides that are said to give the plant its health benefits
Originally used in south East Asia and China Gynura procumbens is also used a leafy green vegetable. Both the stems and the leaves are used is stir fries, salads and stews. So this versatile leafy green can make a great addition to the veggie garden, you can also grow to in the chook pen, poultry seem to love it.
Other Common Names
- Mollucan Spinach
- Leaves of the Gods.
- Sambung Nyawa – From the Malay and translated as “continuing or extending life”
- Bai Bing Cao – From Chinese which translates as “100 ailments”
It is also promoted as the “Diabetes Plant”, however it is not to be mistaken for ‘Ashitaba’ a plant from Japan commonly called “Tomorrow Leaves”
Care and Growth Habit
This is a very easy o grow plant, once you manage to find a plant or some seeds.
It is fast growing, and you could grow it indoors or on a balcony in a container. It is a plant that thrives in warmer climates where it is grown as a perennial.In cooler zones it is treated as an annual or overwinters indoors or in a greenhouse.
Best grown in a humus rich moist yet well drained soil. As the plant will spread, especially in warmer climates, consider growing it in a container.
Use lots of well rotted compost dug through the soil, or use a high quality potting mix.
Fertilise regularly with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
You may need to stake these plants as they have a lax growth habit and tend to fall over as they get a little heavy.
Gynura procumbens will flower with small yellow daisy like flowers, and it is from the same family.
Gynura procumbens can be found for sale at farmers markets in Queensland And New South Wales.