Sabah Snake Grass (Clinacanthus nutans) Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

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Recently, medicinal herbs and plants have been gaining rapid global attention for their therapeutic potential. Just late last year, Indian goosegrass became a trending topic when a Filipina posted on her social media account that she had miraculously expelled a cyst after drinking a decoction of goosegrass. Now, the attention has turned to Sabah snake grass and its anti-cancer potential after a man who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphatic Cancer posted also on social media that after ingesting leaves of the Sabah snake grass plant, his terminal disease had miraculously disappeared. Whether this is a marketing strategy or ploy or not, it seems that everyone has now become curious whether or not this plant can do what this man testifies it can do. As I said before, everyone is looking for a miracle. This man, like the woman with goosegrass, has luckily found his. 

Medicinal plants are becoming popular because they provide mankind with inexpensive natural products versus processed chemicals that are widely used in drugs today. As such, these plants are seen as a rich source of potential therapeutic compounds that if prepared right, can help us with what ails us. Now that plant-based drug development has become sophisticated with modern chemists being able to isolate those compounds with medicinal benefits without the added toxicity nor resistance that chemical-based drugs are known to exhibit, it is not a wonder that plants are now the focus of extensive studies and research regarding a wide range of biological activities, that is, their antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties.

Sabah snake grass became popular 5 years ago after similar testimonies were posted, so it is no surprise that it has now been resurrected to create a stir- again. The thing is, since then, Sabah snake grass has undergone significant research and its potential has somewhat been studied. I again have taken the liberty to write about what I have researched regarding this plant and I hope I can clarify some preconceived notions regarding the Sabah snake grass.
English: Clinacanthus nutans by Vinayaraj (via Wikipedia Commons) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sabah Snake Grass Botany and General Information

Clinacanthus nutans

Sabah snake grass is a perennial herb with the scientific name, Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. F.) Lindau, and belongs to the Acanthaceae family which is considered as the largest source of medicinal plants that can provide effective traditional medicines (ethnomedicinal) against certain diseases and health issues. Sabah snake grass is endemic to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and southern China, and is widely used in Thailand, Malaysia, China, Brunei, and Indonesia. Traditionally, it is popular as a remedy for snake bites and is recognized by traditional Thai healers for its anti-snake venom activity. Common vernacular names of Clinacanthus nutans are Sabah snake grass in English derived from its ability as a remedy for snake bites, belalai gajah in Malay, phaya yo/ phaya plongtong/ saled pangpon tua mea/ biphya yaw in Thai, e zuihua/ sha be she cao/ you dun cao in China, and dandang gendis or ki tajam in Indonesia.

Sabah snake grass is an herbaceous shrub that can grow up to 1-3m in height. The leaves have a pointed apex with its margins either exsculptate-dentate or subentire and are lanceolate, narrow, and long with a leaf base that is rounded and pubescent on the nerves. The leaves are oppositely arranged on stems that are woody, green, cylindrical, upright, striated and smooth.

The flowers of the Clinacanthus nutans are arranged in a cyme which in Botany is an inflorescence (arrangement of flowers on a plant) in which the first flower is the terminal flower of the main stem and all subsequent flowers that develop are terminal flowers of the lateral stems. Cymes of the Sabah snake grass usually compose of 5-8 flowers. The flower (as seen below)  comprises a dark red corolla with a green base, a yellow lower lip that is positioned upwards, 2 stamens, and a compacted 2-cell ovary with 2 ovules in each cell. Flowers are panicle-shaped with tube-shaped elongated petals and are approximately 4-6cm long. The Sabah snake grass plant can be propagated through stem cutting. It is said that flowers of the plant are rare due to the commercial use of the plant's leaves. It is believed that most of its curative abilities lie within its leaves and because of this, extensive harvesting of leaves may hinder the plant to grow into maturity resulting in the lack of flowers. Thus, little is known about how long it takes for the Sabah snake grass plant to mature, flower, and fruit.
*Click here for the image of leaves, stem, and flower.

English: Clinacanthus nutans by Vinayaraj (via Wikimedia Commons) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Phytochemistry of Sabah snake grass

Sabah snake grass has been the focus of extensive studies and research and along with it has resulted in the isolation of various phytoconstituents that are believed to be the source of Sabah snake grass's therapeutic abilities. The presence of 4 sulfur-containing compounds, 2 glycerolipids, a flavanol, 6 known flavones, 4 flavonols, 2 phytosterols, a polypeptide, 9 cerebrosides and various phenolics and fatty acids contribute as sources of a wide range of diverse bioactivities.  These compounds are as follows:

  • Vitexin (Chelyn et al. 2014); (Huang et al. 2015)- C-glycosyl flavone
  • Isovitexin  (Chelyn et al. 2014); (Huang et al. 2015)- C-glycosyl flavone
  • Orientin (Chelyn et al. 2014); (Huang et al. 2015)- C-glycosyl flavone
  • Isoorientin (Chelyn et al. 2014); (Huang et al. 2015)- C-glycosyl flavone
  • Shaftoside (Chelyn et al. 2014); (Huang et al. 2015); (Khoo et al.2015)- C-glycosyl flavone
  • Clinacoside A (Teshima et al. 1998)-sulfurous glycoside
  • Clinacoside B (Teshima et al. 1998)- sulfurous glycoside
  • Clinamide A (Tu et al. 2014)- a sulfur-containing compound
  • Clinamide B (Tu et al. 2014)- a sulfur-containing compound
  • Clinamide C (Tu et al. 2014)- a sulfur-containing compound
  • 13₂ -hydroxy-(13₂ -S)-phaeophytin a (Sakdarat et al. 2009)
  • (3β)-Lup-20(29)-en-3-ol  (Dampawan et al. 1977)
  • Beta-sitoserol  (Dampawan et al. 1977)
  • Isomollupentin 7-O-β-glucopyranoside (Chelyn et al. 2014)- C-glycosyl flavone
  • 2-cis-Entadamide A and Entadamide A  (Tu et al. 2014)
  • Shaftoside (Apigenin 6-C-β-o-glucopyranosyl-8- C-α-L-arabinopyranoside) (Huang et al. 2015)- flavonoid
  • Apigenin 6,8-C-α-L-pyranarabinoside (Huang et al. 2015)
  • Gendarucin A (Khoo et al. 2015)
  • 3,3-di-O-methylellagic acid (Khoo et al. 2015)
  • ascorbic acid (Khoo et al. 2015)
  • oxoprolinates (Khoo et al. 2015)
  • cerebrosides (Tuntiwachwuttikul et al. 2004)
  • Entadamide A (Tu et al. 2014)
  • Entadamide C (Tu et al. 2014)   
  • 2-cis-entadamide A (Tu et al. 2014)-a sulfur-containing compound  
  • trans -3-methylsulfinyl-2-propenol (Tu et al. 2014)
  • (2S)-1-O-linolenoyl-3-O-b-dgalactopyranosylglycerol (Tuntiwachwuttikul et al. 2004)
  • trigalactosyl and digalactosyl diglycerides (Janwitayanuchit et al. 2003) - compounds which are anti-HSV effective
  • 13-hydroxy-(13-S)-phaeophytin b (Sakdarat et al. 2006)
  • 132-hydroxy-(132-R)-phaeophytin b (Sakdarat et al. 2006)
  • 132-hydroxy-(132-R)-phaeophytin a  (Sakdarat et al. 2006)
  • 132-hydroxy-(132-S)-phaeophytin a (Sakdarat et al. 2006)
*Click here for the chemical structures of the compounds found in Sabah snake grass.

The overwhelming amount of phytochemical investigations that have documented the various bioactive compound of the Sabah snake grass can attest to its ability as a medicinal plant. Isolation of saponins, phenolics, flavonoids, diterpenes, and phytosterols (Yang et al. 2013), glycosides, glycoglycerolipids, cerebrosides, and monoacylmonogalatosylglycerol are the main basis for the pharmacological attributes of Clinacanthus nutans. These compounds extracted from the Sabah snake grass exhibit a wide range of biological therapeutic properties namely antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic. However, further research is needed to elucidate the complete phytochemical profile of this plant as well as their modes of action regarding these biological activities.
In 2015, Raya and his colleagues assessed the effects of storage duration on the phytochemical content of Sabah snake grass leaves and stem at different stages of harvesting. They found that phenolic content was 26% and 90% higher in younger leaves and stem as to their mature counterparts. Additionally, mature plants had a lower content of phytochemicals, chlorophyll, and ascorbic acid than younger plants. They also concluded that prolonged storage reduced levels of these important phytochemical consituents of the Clinacanthus nutans. Their research stated that after 4 days of storage, the total phenolic and chlorophyll content reduced by 50% and 25% for leaves and stem compared to those that were newly harvested. Thus, for optimum efficacy, fresh plant parts should be used.
The oral toxicity of the plant has also been studied on mice and rats and these studies have revealed that Sabah snake grass is safe for consumption as it did not produce any signs of toxicity in animals (Toxicological Study of Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. F.) Lindau (Chavalittumrong et al. 1995)).
Acanthaceae-Clinacanthus nutans by VanLap Hoang is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Sabah Snake Grass

1. Sabah snake grass is rich in Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and many essential minerals. 

Surprisingly, Sabah snake grass contains many essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper manganese, nickel, and 17 amino acids which are needed by our bodies. Moreover, it has a rich content of Vitamin C, protein, and dietary fiber. Consumption of dietary fiber aids in digestion, plays a role in regulating blood sugar level, and helps prevent atherosclerosis, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Because of its nutritional content alone, Sabah snake grass is effective for high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, and high cholesterol and is effective as an antioxidant due to the scavenging ability of Vitamin C.
Clinacanthus nutans tea was reported to have a good percentage of carbohydrates, crude protein (more than 45%), minerals, both essential and non-essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids.

2. Anti-inflammatory

Sabah snake grass has been used to reduce inflammation from insect bites, lesions from Herpes Simplex Virus and common allergic symptoms in traditional medicine.
In the study, The anti-inflammatory effects and the inhibition of neutrophil responsiveness by Barleria lupulina and Clinacanthus nutans extracts, it concluded that both extracts induced powerful dose-dependent inhibitory effects in edema-induced rats. This was found to be mediated by inhibition of neutrophil responsiveness. (Wanikiat et al. 2008)
Another study was done in 2014 (Tu et al.), Chemical Constituents and Bioactivities of Clinacanthus nutans Aerial Plants, the authors were able to provide data on the inhibition of elastase by 4 sulfur-containing bioactive compounds. Clinamides A-C and 2-cis-entadamide A were isolated and extracts were found to inhibit 68.33% of elastase release from human neutrophils at 10 μg/ml.
Another notable study (Mai et al. 2016), demonstrated the anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids from extracts of the Sabah snake grass.

3. Anti-dengue activity and Anti-influenza Avtivity

In relation to their study of bioactive compounds of C. nutans aerial plants, Tu and his colleagues found that ethanolic extracts showed moderate anti-dengue virus activity with an IC50 (concentration of drug at which 50% of your target is inhibited) of 31.04 μg/ml. This is comforting to know ( and promising) that there is a plant that can help fight the dengue virus. Here in the Philippines, many children die from the virus every year. Hopefully, the Department of Health and Philippine scientists can look into this.

Influenza virus infection is a highly communicable disease that has a high mortality and morbidity rate and is a cause for concern when it becomes a pandemic outbreak. The usual causes of the global outbreak of Influenza are Influenza A or B. The H1N1 virus that became a pandemic in 2009 (classified by the WHO as H1N1/09) is an Influenza A virus. A study was conducted to see the effectivity of C. siamensis (a synonym of C. nutans) leaf extract on the Influenza Virus (Wirotesangthong et al. 2009) and the study reported that C. siamensis had an inhibitory action on Influenza virus NA (neuraminadase also known as sialidase which catalyzes cleavage of a terminal sialic acid residue from the sialoglycoconjugate receptor causing the release of progeny from the infected cell), an anti-influenza activity in vitro and a protective effect in vivo. In short, it has a potential of protecting against Influenza virus infection

4. Anti- Herpes Simplex Virus and anti-Varicella Zoster Virus activity

Traditionally, medicinal plants have been used by indigenous people for the treatment of various infectious diseases including Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) infections. Today, acyclovir is the treatment of choice for HSV. This mode of treatment is expensive and for those who hail from developing countries, such as some here in South East Asia, cannot afford expensive treatments as such. Thus, these people turn to medicinal plants that are native to the area as an alternative medicine.
In the study, Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus activities of monogalactosyl diglyceride and digalactosyl diglyceride from Clinacanthus nutans, a traditional Thai herbal medicine ( Pongmuangmul et al. 2016), the antiviral activity of chloroform crude extract, extracted and purified monogalactosyl diglyceride (MGDG) and digalactosyl diglyceride (DGDG) from Sabah snake grass were investigated for their antiviral activity against HSV-1 and HSV-2 on Vero cells ( African green monkey kidney cells). 
Here, the authors found that: 
a.) pre-treatment of Vero cells with chloroform crude extract, extracted and purified MGDG and DGDG 24 hours before viral infection showed 50% protective effect against the HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection process;
b.) extracted and purified MGDG and DGDG from C. nutans demonstrated 100% inhibition of HSV-1 and HSV-2 replication at the post-infection step at subtoxic levels and that activity was at the same level as standard MGDG and DGDG samples; 
c.) extracted and purified compounds from the plant exhibited moderate anti-HSV-1 and HSV-2 activity;
d.) chloroform crude extract was shown to be less effective against HSV-1 and HSV-2 than the extracted and purified MGDG and DGDG.
The authors postulated that monogalactosyl diglyceride and digalactosyl diglyceride are one of the main contributors towards the inhibition of HSV replication and are most effective in the post step of infection. They added that even if the mechanism is still yet unclear, a report demonstrated that some monoglycerides showed antiviral activities by the destruction of viral envelopes of enveloped viruses. Earlier studies of C. nutans have reported that the chlorophyll derivatives (phaeophytins) also exhibit anti-herpes simplex virus activity (Sakdarat et al. 2009) and mode of action is potentially through herpes virus inactivation and inhibition at preinfection (Vachirayonstien et al. 2012).

Sangkitporn et al. (1995) performed a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of the efficacy of the topical formulation of Clinacanthus nutans on 51 patients with Varicella zoster infection. Patients were asked to apply the study medication 5 times a day for a period of 7-14 days. Results published in Treatment of Herpes Zoster with Clinacanthus nutans (BiPhya Yaw) extract stated that the number of patients with lesion crusting within 3 days and with lesion healing within 7 days and 10 days were significantly greater in the C. nutans extract-treated group than that of the controlled. Moreover, pain sores were reduced more rapidly in the C. nutans extracts treatment group. The authors also stated that no side effects were reported.
Creams made with Sabah snake grass are able to dry out HSV- and VZV-lesions in 3 days.
English: Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. f.) Lindau. Common name: Sabah Snake Grass by Mokkie (via Wikimedia Commons) is licenced under CC BY-SA 4.0

5. Anti-cancer

The anti-cancer activity of Sabah snake grass is of a growing interest globally. As such, some studies have focused their effort in unraveling the potential of Clinacanthus nutans as a potential cancer treatment.
One focus is the antiproliferative ability of compounds or extracts, that is, the ability to inhibit cell growth and reproduction which in turn can be used as a potential cancer treatment. Three studies have reported that C. nutans leaf extracts inhibited proliferation of a number of cell types including HeLa cell line. Unfortunately, only a few have studied the effects of Sabah snake grass on primary cell types with one study detecting no antiproliferative activity on human gingival fibroblasts (Roeslan et al. 2012).
While antiproliferative active compounds inhibit cancer cell growth and reproduction, antitumorigenic compounds prevent the development, maturation or spread of cancerous cells. One study, Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. f) Lindau Ethanol Extract Inhibits Hepatoma in Mice Through Regulation of the Immune Response (Huang et al. 2015), reported the potential antitumorigenic activity of C. nutans. In this study, the authors stated that there was a significant reduction of tumor growth in a mouse hepatoma model. Upon analysis, high levels of Bax (pro-apoptotic mediator) and caspase 3 (apoptotic executioner protein) were found in the C. nutans treated mice. This suggests that Sabah snake grass induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) as its mechanism to halt cell proliferation in tumor growth.
One notable study, Clinacanthus nutans Extracts Are Antioxidant with Antiproliferative Effect on Cultured Human Cancer Cell Lines (Yong et al. 2013), here the authors evaluated the antioxidant and antiproliferative effects of C. nutans on 8 human cancer cell lines namely: human liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2), human neuroblastoma cell line (IMR-32), human lung cancer cell line (NHI-H23), human gastric cancer cell line (SNU-1), human colon cancer adenocarcinoma cell line (LS-174T), human erythroleukemia cell line (K-562), human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa), human Burkitt's lymphoma cell line (Raji), and normal cell and human umbilical veins endothelial cells (HUVECs). Here the authors of the study reported:
a.) C. nutans in chloroform extract was a good antioxidant against DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and galvinoxyl radicals but less effective on nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide radicals.
b.) Chloroform extract of the plant exerted the highest antiproliferative effect on human erythroleukemia cell line and human Burkitt's Lymphoma cell line at 100 μg/ml but failed to suppress the proliferation of human neuroblastoma cell line. The rest in a concentration-dependent manner.
c.) IC50 values fell above the recommended value of the National Cancer Institute for crude extract (<20 μg/ml) suggesting that C. nutans chloroform extract is not a strong anticancer regimen.
d.) inhibitory and antioxidant effects suggest the potential of C. nutans as an alternate adjunctive or chemopreventative regimen.
Although most studies make use of the leaves and stem of the Sabah snake grass, I found a study that made use of the root (Chemical Composition and cytotoxic properties of Clinacanthus Root extracts (Teoh et al. 2016)) on human cancer cell lines. Its findings were that root extracts were selective towards cancer cells and did not affect the proliferation of normal cells.

6. Antivenom

Traditionally, Sabah snake grass has been used by traditional Thai healers and Malays as a remedy for envenomation snakes or venomous insects (scorpions, bees). Although a previous study "The Absence of Antagonism between extracts of Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. f.) and Naja naja siamensis venom" (Cherdchu et al. 1977) concluded that the extract of C. nutans can not antagonize the action of cobra venom since it was found to have no effect on the inhibition of neuromuscular transmission produced by purified N.n siamensis neurotoxin in isolated rat phrenic-nerve diaphragm preparations, a report in Botanical Medicine in Clinical Practice stated that there are components in the venom of these animals/insects that can be neutralized by the extract of the plant. Watson (from Botanical Medicine in Clinical Practice) cited the possibility of anti-cell lysis as an explanation thus, it is believed that the antivenin mechanism of action of the Sabah snake grass is attributed to its anti-cell lysis property rather than as an anti-neuromuscular transmission blocker.
Consequently, Uawonggul et al. 2006 screened 64 plant species listed as either an animal- or insect-bite antidote in old Thai drug recipes for their activity against fibroblast cell lysis after Heterometrus laoticus venom treatment. Uawonggul et al. listed a number of plants including C. nutans stating that the listed plants had a tendency to be scorpion venom antidotes.

7. Anti-microbial

Due to the rise of resistance to commercially produced antibacterials and antimicrobials, scientists are now leaning towards natural products to combat illness from bacteria and fungi. Of course, since Sabah snake grass is known in traditional Asian medicine as an anti-viral, scientists are now testing for anti-microbial properties as well.
I have chanced upon a study that included C. nutans in its list of selected plants and to test their anti-microbial activity, unfortunately, Sabah snake grass did not stand out (Wong et al. 2013). Others that have conducted studies on C.nutans solely for its anti-microbial activity, reported that Clinacanthus nutans possess significant antibacterial effect against S.aureus and E.coli due to bioactive compounds saponins, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, diterpenes and phytosterols (Yang 2013); F7 MIC 1.39mg/ml for B. cereus, E.coli, C. albicans, Salmonella entericum Typhium demonstrating inhibition   (Arullappan et al. 2014); flavonoids and phenolic compounds that are synthesized universally in medicinal plants can induce antibacterial response due to the presence of a carbonyl group (Rathee et al. 2009).

8. As treatment for canker sores

A clinical trial was done with 43 patients for the efficacy of C. nutans in orabase for recurrent apthous stomatitis (canker cores) and it was found that C. nutans in orabase was more effective than placebo but less effective than triamcinolone acetonide in orabase. Apthous stomatitis is common and is characterized by the repeated formation of benign and non-contagious mouth ulcers in otherwise healthy individuals.  

9. Ethnomedicinal Uses of Sabah snake grass

As its names implies, Sabah snake grass is a well-known plant used for snake bites by traditional Thai healers. It is also used for scorpion bites and nettle rash. Some make use of Sabah snake grass to treat fever. It has also been used to treat the following health problems: a sore throat, gout, uric acid, uterine fibroids, kidney problems, prostate inflammation, as well as known skin problems such as shingles, eczema, and psoriasis.

Moreover, traditional Indonesian and Thai healers use Sabah Snake grass to treat dysentery. A handful of leaves are boiled in 5 glasses of water until water level recedes to 3 glasses and the decoction is given 1 glass 3 times daily. For diabetes, 7-21 fresh leaves are boiled in 2 glasses of water until water level recedes to 1 glass and is given half a glass twice daily. For dysuria, 15g of fresh leaves are boiled for 15 minutes and is consumed once daily.

In China, Sabah snake grass is used in controlling menstrual function, relieving pain, anemia, jaundice, and setting of fractured bones.

10. Immunomodulatory Activity

In the study, Clincanthus nutans (Burm. f.) Lindau Ethanol Extract Inhibits Hepatoma in Mice through Upregulation of Immune Response (Huang et al. 2015), the authors concluded that their results suggest that C. nutans has potential antitumor and immunomodulatory properties with the 30% ethanol extract of C. nutans displaying an indirect antitumor activity by enhancing immunologic functions. 

In addition to this, the effects of the extract of the leaves of C. nutans on modulating cell-mediated response by observing human competent cells obtained from a healthy human with no previous medical history of immune-related illnesses and with no intake of immunosuppressive medications were also studied. It was found that there was an induced proliferation of lymphocytes at concentrations of 0.5 but decreased at concentrations of 2.5 and 5.0 mg/ml. Natural Killer cells also decreased at concentrations of 1 and 5 mg/ml, however, interleukin-4 was induced at concentrations 2.5 and 5.0 mg/ml. Interleukin-4 has an inhibitory effect on the cytotoxicity of Natural Killer cells and may explain why lymphocyte proliferation decreased at increased concentrations. The authors concluded that their study reveals evidence of alteration of non-specific cell-mediated response by the extract of C. nutans and may explain the mechanism of its effect on viral infections. (Effects of Clinacanthus nutans on human cell-mediated immune response in vitro, Sriwanthana et al. 1996)

I also read that Sabah snake grass can also effectively activate the body's immune system, increase the count of white blood cells, produce endogenous interferon, increase anti-tumor mechanism. This plant is also said to promote cell growth and revive certain level of immune system after the damages caused by chemotherapy to the body. This all warrants more research.

Sabah snake grass today

Due to recent claims as an anti-cancer remedy, many commercial products with Sabah snake grass have arisen and are now being sold worldwide. You can now find Sabah snake grass in products such as tea, soap, ointments, drops, lip balm, and other products. Although more studies and clinical trials are needed to pinpoint the phytoconstituents that induce the therapeutic effects, the mode or mechanism of which these compounds exhibit, in vitro and in vivo, the testimonies of those who have used this plant and have been cured is the basis why others are turning their attention to Sabah snake grass. Patients with these cancers namely lung, uterus, prostate, breast, and leukemia and those who are undergoing dialysis, suffering from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hugh uric acid and diabetes have attributed to the wonders of Sabah snake grass.

As a cancer treatment, fresh leaves should be used with the number of leaves increasing by stage: (cited by Singapore Sabah Snake Grass)
Stage 1 CA: 30 leaves per day
Stage 2 CA: 50 leaves per day
Stage 3 CA: 100 leaves per day
Stage 4 CA: 150-200 leaves per day

There are 2 methods on how to take Sabah snake grass leaves. You can consume leaves directly as a salad or make juice.
Method 1: Eat leaves directly. For those with Cancer Stages 1-4 (Cited by SSG Anticancer Philippines)
Wash 10 or more leaves of Sabah snake grass and eat like a fresh salad. Do this 3 times a day. 

Method 2: As juice.
Directions for juicing Sabah Snake Grass:
a) Pour half cup of clean water in a blender
b) Add 1 or 2 ice cubes to prevent heating during blending
c) Add 1 quarter of lemon or half a lime juice (provide Vitamin C to prevent oxidization. Calamansi is too acidic and should not be used. )
d) Wash the required fresh SSG leaves and put them into the blender
e) Peel a green apple and remove the core/seeds
f ) Cut the apple into 8 pieces
g) Put in the pieces of apple and blend
h) Swish and drink with the fiber immediately or within 5 minutes.
i) Consume it every day.
j) If your body is "cooling" add a slice of ginger or drink warming herb.

*Singapore Sabah Snake Grass

You may also use soursop or guyabano instead of green apple. 

For maintenance (adjunctive treatment): (cited from Sabah snake grass- Anti-cancer Philippines)- take 10-15 leaves daily

Healthy people according to SSG Anticancer Philippines can take 10 leaves per day. They recommend taking it as a salad.

It has been mentioned that the result of the Sabah snake grass treatment for cancer depends on the quantity of the Sabah snake grass taken and form whether fresh, dried or commercial tea and whether the patient is taking any other medicinal herbs such as ginseng. Also, differing body conditions and types of blood among patients may cause an anti-cancer herb to either work differently or not work at all.  According to some, C. nutans partnered with Stobilanthes crispus is a more potent remedy or another herb known as Elephantes scaber (dila-dila in Filipino) may be more effective.

Please note when consuming Sabah snake grass in high amounts (more than 300 leaves per day), the body may experience a "cooling effect". Symptoms are coughing, pain in thighs and knees, insomnia, restless legs, weak knees, and back pain.
*Click on this study and look for Table 2: Traditional and Modern Uses of Clincanthus nutans.

Please note that you should avoid these when taking Sabah snake grass: ginseng, other rejuvenating herbs, sugar including products made with sugar, honey, durian, bird's nest, duck meat, margarine, glutenous rice, kembong fish, ray fish, angled-fish, and chicken meat.

There is underlying evidence that Sabah snake grass has many therapeutic uses. Before taking any herbal medicine, make sure to do your homework and consult with your physician. Stay healthy and happy!

Disclaimer: I, The Tired Mama PH, am not endorsing the use of Sabah Snake Grass. This post has been written for educational purposes only. Do consult your physician for medical advice.


Clinacanthus nutans (Burm. f.) Lindau, medicinal herbs and plant database Available from: 

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