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Blumea Balsamifera

Sambon is a panacea among the Filipinos

USES.—Sambon is a panacea among the Filipinos; its virtues are prodigious according to the ignorant natives who wear the leaves in the hat or the “salakod” (rain hat), to prevent “tabardillo” (“burning fever”; tabardillo pintado = spotted fever). They use the decoction to bathe convalescents, and for rheumatism they vaporize it in an improvised bath-cabinet consisting of a chair in which the patient sits enveloped in blankets that reach to the floor and retain the steam.

The hot infusion of the leaves is a good diaphoretic taken by the mouth, especially useful in catarrhal bronchitis, and prized as an expectorant by the Chinese and Javanese. Furthermore it is stomachic, antispasmodic and emmenagogue.

The camphorous odor of the plant suggested to me its application as an antiseptic lotion for varicose ulcers and my results have been very satisfactory.

The infusion for internal use is 30 grams to the liter of water.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A woody plant 6–9° high. Leaves 1° long, 3′ wide, oblong, lanceolate, acutely serrate, rugose, soft, downy, whitish. Flowers yellow in panicles. Involucre conical, of many linear scales, enclosing 15 or more hermaphrodite disk-flowers and several pistillate ray-flowers. Hermaphrodite: corolla infundibuliform, 5-toothed. Pistillate: corolla very minute, infundibuliform, obscurely 4-toothed. One seed crowned with a simple hairy pappus.

HABITAT.—Grows universally in the islands and is well known. Blooms in January.

Reference book: The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

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