National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plants
One fourth of all admissions to the Division of Urology in the Philippine General Hospital involved urinary tract stones, of which nearly 80% required surgical intervention. Urinary tract stones are formed upon super saturation of the urine with salts and minerals. One of the complications is the complete blockage of the urinary flow which may cause irreversible renal damage over time. Edema due to heart failure, liver problems and renal disease are also very common.
TECHNOLOGY FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS:
Blumea balsifera or Sambong is a coarse, woody and strongly aromatic shrub found in open grasslands, waste places and clearings in most provinces in the Philippines. Its medicinal properties have been recognized by Filipino herbolaryos and have been used for fever, cough, headache, boils, abdominal pain and gaseous distention. It is also used by healers from Thailand and China.
In in vitro models of urinary stone chemolysis showed that sambong was able to dissolve calcium and uric acid stones. In vivo murine models have also demonstrated both the diuretic effect of Sambong and decrease in size of urinary tract stones.
Clinical trials have shown that patients with edema who were treated with Sambong leaf extract had an increase in urinary volume which was comparable to thiazide diuretics. Sambong treatment produced increased urinary volume, urinary chloride excretion, but unlike the thiazide diuretics, it did not cause urinary potassium loss. In several clinical trials, patients on sambong had higher rates of passage of stones, decrease in size or number of the urinary tract stones compared to placebo or hydration. In another clinical trial, it was found to be comparable to potassium citrate for the dissolution of kidney stones.
Sambong is used to increase urinary output in conditions characterized by fluid retention or edema and for the dissolution of kidney stones. It is available as a 250 or 500 mg tablet.
MARKET TRENDS AND OPPORTUNITIES:
Edema and urinary tract stones are very common condition in the Philippines. Sambong has been successfully commercialized in the Philippines and has gained wide acceptance among primary care physicians as well as renal specialists and urologists. Sambong tablet is included in the Philippine National Formulary and thus may be purchased by both Government and private hospitals
Sambong is an affordable, herbal medicine to treat urinary tract stones as opposed to more expensive medical or surgical alternatives. It was developed by Filipino researchers from Filipino plants to boost the Philippine Pharmaceutical Industry, provide new cash crops for farmers and offer Filipinos medical and financial benefits.
Philippine Patent has been obtained. We are in need of pharmaceutical companies willing to produce, manufacture and distribute the product in the Philippine market.