The tropical Orthosiphon aristatus or Misai Kucing is often grown in local gardens for its ornamental flower.
While this plant is native to South East Asia and Australia, it's medicinal virtues are less well known here than in other parts of the world.
Early Dutch colonialists in Indonesia used to take the herb as a tea drink to cleanse the blood.
Convinced of its goodness, they took it back to Europe. Today over 200 years later, it is grown widely and used by herbalists in Holland, Gemany, France and England.
Its popularity is due to its diuretic effects without harming the kidneys. It contains ample potassiums to replace those lost from the body in the diuretic process, a problem encountered by many diuretic drugs.
Locally Misai Kucing is used for joint aches and pains due to arthritis, gout and rheumatism. This is due to its ability to promote the excretion of uric acid and metabolic wastes from within the muscles and joints.
When these acids build up in the tissues and combine with poor circulation, pain and inflammation can result. Thus, the herb is combined with Pegaga to promote blood circulation and with Kunyit and Halia for their anti-inflammatory properties.
To alleviate joint aches, avoid high protein diets as they contribute to the build-up of these wastes. Other factors to watch out are stress, lack of exercise and mobility of joints.
Traditional bomohs and sinsehs often use Misai Kucing in formulas for diabetes and hypertension.
While little research has been done on the herb's purported benefits in diabetes, the Pharmacy Faculty, Fukuyama University, Japan, has conducted scientific research on its effects on high blood pressure.
It was found that some of the herb's compounds promoted a continuous decrease in systolic blood pressure by virtue of a vasidolating action, a decrease in cardiac output and diuretic action.
In Europe, Misai Kucing is appearing in products where safe diuretic action is required such as in detoxification, water retention, hypertension, weight loss and for kidney stones.
Misai Kucing is one of the few herbs approved by the German government for increasing urine volume to help prevent kidney stones.
It is considered specifically in the prevention of uric acid stone formation. Recommended dosage of dried herb in 300-500mg daily which is about 1.5 to 4 grams of fresh leaves.
Misai Kucing should not be taken simulteneously with medicines intended to acidify urine as it may netralize this effect.
Here it must be mentioned that treatment of kidney disease and kidney stones should only be done under professional guidance.
Kidney related problems are almost always a sign of a more systemic condition and the cause of imbalance, infection or degeneration must be understood…