Shrub growing to about 3 ft (1 m). Has pointed leaves and lilac-colored flowers with very long stamens.
Habitat & Cultivation
Java tea is native to Southeast Asia and Australia. Now cultivated as a medicinal plant, it is picked as required throughout the year.
Java tea contains flavones (including sinensetin), a glycoside (orthosiphonin), a volatile oil, and large amounts of potassium.
History & Folklore
The plant’s Dutch Indonesian name, koemis koetjing (cat’s whiskers), probably derives from its long whiskery stamens.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Java tea is listed in the French, Indonesian, Dutch, and Swiss pharmacopoeias (official documents containing a list of drugs and their medicinal uses, preparations, and dosages). It is thought to increase the kidneys’ ability to eliminate nitrogen-containing compounds. The herb is much used as a diuretic and as a treatment for kidney infections, stones, and poor renal function resulting from chronic nephritis. It is also used to treat cystitis and urethritis.
Java tea’s diuretic activity has been confirmed in scientific experiments. Extracts significantly increase potassium levels in the urine.