Longevity spinach – Sambung – Gynura procumbens – Perennial Spinach
by Ewa Bekiesch, Permaculture designer and educator, sustainable living consultant, and healthy food advocate
Longevity spinach, Gynura procumbens, is one of the plants everyone should grow. It is not only tasting delicious, and grows super quickly so can be used as biomass in your garden, but it also has many health benefits. According to Tan HL et al, “Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. (Family Asteraceae) is a medicinal plant commonly found in tropical Asia countries such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Traditionally, it is widely used in many different countries for the treatment of a wide variety of health ailments such as kidney discomfort, rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, constipation, and hypertension.”(Tan HL et al, 2016)
Having Gynura procumbens in your garden is like having your own pharmacy! This, by the way, applies to many other plants which we grow in our food forest. Check my other articles and our online shop as we sell some of them, too.
Gynura procumbens comes from Asia, and even though it is a tropical plant, it may be grown nearly everywhere. It loves shade and half-shade and will adapt to nearly any climate if you keep it out of frost by growing in a pot during a cold winter. You can even grow it inside or on your balcony in pots, too. The Gynura procumbens was one of the first edibles we had in abundance within a very short time after planting, and because it grows so easy and super quick, we can enjoy it in many ways:
- raw in salads, on a sandwich, in smoothies
- cooked in stir-fries, soups, pasta, in lots of one-pan dishes by adding it just before the end of cooking
- as mulch, as chop and drop, cut and used as a mulch everywhere – it decomposes very quickly and enriches the soil nearly straight away
- in worm farm – the worms turn the soft leaves and stalks into valuable worm juice and worm casting/compost, super quick and efficient
- in compost – decomposes very quickly
- weed supresser
Gynura procumbens is also being sold as a powder and considered a superfood, but there is no need to pay for the powder or to make the powder when you can enjoy it all year round! And yes! We are selling this plant in our online shop, too!
Do you have any questions or comments about this amazing plant? Consider joining our discussion board on our website. It’s free!
Tan HL, Chan KG, Pusparajah P, Lee LH, Goh BH. Gynura procumbens: An Overview of the Biological Activities. Front Pharmacol. 2016 Mar 15;7:52. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00052. PMID: 27014066; PMCID: PMC4791373.