Sambung – the longevity herb
This robust green delight deserves a special mention for a few reasons. It is delicious, easy to grow, and has potent medicinal benefits.
It also has a few alias names such as, ‘the longevity herb’, ‘life extender’ and ‘leaves of the Gods’.
I listed Sambung as one of my top ten easiest foods to grow because it is true. Once it gets going, it doesn’t stop. Another perennial herb that when looked after well will nourish you forever. It grows especially abundantly in summer.
This fleshy perennial plant grows to about 50 to 100cm tall, with yellow/orange thistle like flowers. The branches can be trimmed to make the plant bushy or you can stake the stems.
The young leaves and shoots can be eaten fresh in salads, smoothies, or added to raw kelp noodle dishes.
Sambung has many medicinal uses including regulating blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, as well as inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. It is also a useful forage plant for poultry.
I often pick three or four leaves whist walking through my garden and start munching. They have a lovely crunch and texture to eat raw. I’m sure that if I do this everyday I will live to be over 100 years young!
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