I first came across the benefits of Misai Kucing at an exhibition put up by a College of Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM]. Having noticed the plant growing in parks and home gardens, I asked one of the staff its medicinal uses.
“This plant can clean your kidney and bladder,” replied the staff, “for centuries people took it to remove kidney stones.”
My father suffered from gout and kidney stones. Therefore, I decided to buy a potted plant.
“how do I take this herb?” I inquired.
“Just add boiling water to the leaves,” replied the man, “in the West they call the drink ‘Java tea’. ”
Researchers became interested in Misai Kucing at the beginning of the twentieth century when it was introduced into Europe as an herbal tea. The tea was used as a blood purifier.
Pharmaceutical research on Misai Kucing had begun since 1970’s in Germany and USA on essential oil of Orthosiphon stamineus [Misai Kucing] as well as Active Chemicals in the plant and their benefits for health.
In Malaysia, research institutes such as the Institute of Medical Research and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital of the Malaysian Health Ministry are participating actively in conducting clinical study to verify the efficacy of Misai Kucing in treating kidney stone disease. The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia contributes to the scientific research and development of Misai Kucing by conducting the extraction, quality control, standardization, pharmacological in addition, formulation research
Misai Kucing or Misai Kuching (Orthosiphon Stamineus) is a medicinal herb found mainly throughout South East Asia and tropical Australia. The plant is a herbaceous shrub, with a unique flower. The flowers have fine filaments that resembles cat's whiskers- hence its Malay name, Misai Kuching [Cat’s whiskers]. Its other names are Kumis Kucing and Java Tea.
In the wild, the plant can be seen growing at fringes of the jungle, in wastelands and along roadsides. It can grow to a height of 1.5 meters.
Misai Kucing had been used for centuries in Malaysia and Indonesia for treating ailments of the kidney and bladder stone. it has a combination of properties that makes it effective for treating these conditions.
A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE DIURETIC
It has a long history of use as a safe and effective herbal diuretic, so it is very useful for flushing the kidneys and urinary tract. It also relieves spasms of the smooth muscle in the walls of the internal organs, making it valuable for gallbladder problems.
ANTI FUNGAL AND ANTI BACTERIAL PROPERTIES
If you have urinary tract infections [whether due to fungal or bacterial causes], drink Misai Kucing [Java] tea to treat the condition.
REMOVES METABOLIC WASTE
Rheumatism and gout are the bane of many elderly in this modern age due to increased meat/protein consumption and a sedentary life. These conditions involve a build-up of acid and metabolic wastes within the muscles and joints. This leads to reduced circulation around joint which results in painful swelling in addition, in time may lead to joint destruction.
TREATS CIRCULATORY DISORDERS
Remedy for blood vessels and circulatory problems
ANTI INFLAMMATORY AND ANTI ALERGIC
Misai Kucing can reduce swelling. Research showed that it has anti-inflammatory agents that are not steroids. It is also believed to enhance the functioning of the immune system and reproductive system.
All of the above properties make Misai Kucing suitable for treatment of chronic arthritic conditions and certain soft tissue disorders associated with pain and inflammation.
Mr. Tan was introduced to the benefits of drinking Java tea by friends after he developed diabetes. Initially he was skeptical. According to Mr. Tan, he noticed his blood sugar level dropped after consuming the tea for several weeks. He said, "I'm not claiming that the tea can cure diabetes. This is nonsense. The message I'm trying to deliver is that, from my personal experience, Misai Kucing does clean our body of toxins and help stabilize a diabetic's sugar levels.”
TREATS HIGH-BLOOD PRESSURE
The herb inhibits blood platelet from sticking together. It is also used to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
A study by Fukuyama University in Japan showed that extracts of Misai Kucing given to lab rats can lower blood pressure. It also has active substances that can reduce and prevent heart diseases and disorders.
Misai Kucing has powerful hemolytics. When injected into the blood stream, it is able to dissolve red blood cells at even extreme dilutions.
Can protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals; provide a source of vitamin A,
in addition to the above properties, Misai Kucing also has other capabilities that require further research and clinical trials:
- Prevents or reduces cancer [when cancerous lab rats were treated with Misai Kucing, it was found that it slowed tumor development both in early and late stages of growth with no apparent side effects. ]
- Involved with growth & tissue repair.
- Anti-HIV and anti-malarial