We get many of our plants as passalong plants, especially those that are beneficial in some way or other. Last month, a family friend gave us a cutting of a plant that she called the “longevity plant”. Now, I don’t mind growing medicinal plants – just last month, the Indian borage I’ve been growing for about 2 years finally came in handy when I had a cough. The only problem was, I didn’t quite like the taste of it, but it did curb the cough a little.
So, the little cutting was placed in water where it rapidly took root and continued growing quite well until I potted it.
Our friend also kindly wrote out a description of the plant, so I can tell you that besides being known as the Longevity Spinach plant, it is known locally as Sambung Nyawa and Bai Bing Cao – I think that would be Malay and Chinese, respectively. An online search also produced the name Gynura procumbens.
The health benefits associated with this plant are reportedly that it:
- regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- relieves general body and rheumatic pains
- treats kidney problems, eruptive fevers, dysentery, migraine, constipation, rash, gastric cancer and HIV virus
- stabilizes the menstrual cycle
I can’t vouch for all the above claims, but those were in the description given to me. Perhaps while the plant is growing in its new home, I’ll find out more so that I’ll know whether and when to make use of it.