Orthosiphon (Cat’s Whiskers, Java Tea) and Blood Pressure
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Pat Kidd
Posted on: May 14, 2002

What is Orthosiphon? Is it a any kind of stimulant that would raise blood pressure?

The Orthosiphons are little known members of the mint family. One species, Orthosiphon aristatus (syn. O. stamineus), is a medicinal plant from South East Asia. It has several common names: cat’s whiskers, java tea, and kidney tea.

According to several reports, O. aristatus does not raise blood pressure, it lowers it. There is a list of recent reports at http://www.newcrops.uq.edu.au/listing/orthosiphonaristatus.htm. Check Medline for more recent reports.

The herb is used as a diuretic, blood purifier and anti-inflammatory in arthritic conditions. It is also used for kidney stones and to promote the flow of bile. It is also known to have antibacterial activity.

The plant is quite attractive. It can reach 75-150 cm in height. It has been recommended as an ornamental pot plant, suitable for even shady situations.

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