Orthosiphon, also known as Java Tea, is a medicinal plant native to South East Asia and some parts of tropical Australia. It is an herbaceous shrub which grows to a height of 1.5 meters. Orthosiphon is a popular garden plant because of its unique flower, which is white and bluish with filaments resembling a cat's whiskers. In the wild, the plant can be seen growing in the forests and along roadsides.
Common names in Southeast Asia are Misai Kucing (Malaysia), Kumis Kucing and Remujung (Indonesia), and Yaa Nuat Maeo (Thailand). The scientific names are Orthosiphon stamineus Benth, Ocimum aristatum BI and Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume).
Orthosiphon is used for treating the ailments of the kidney, since it has a mild diuretic effect. It is also claimed to have anti-allergenic, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used for kidney stones and nephritis. Orthosiphon is sometimes used to treat gout, diabetes, hypertension and rheumatism. It is reportedly effective for anti-fungal and anti-bacterial purposes.
Orthosiphon began to interest researchers early in the 20th century, when it was introduced to Europe as a popular herbal health tea.
Java tea is available in many products treating for detoxification, water retention, hypertension, obesity or kidney stones. It comes in tablets, capsules, tea sachets, bottled drinks, raw herbs, dried leaves or extracts.