Native to East Asia, the Cat Whiskers, also known as Java Tea, is an unusually attractive plant with glossy green leaves and broadly oblong, compressed flowers with long stamens resembling cat whiskers. This medicinal herb is related to Basil; therefore, its light aroma resembles the household staple.
Through Eastern medicine, a part of the Cat Whiskers plant is used medicinally to treat arthritis, inflammatory-related conditions, kidney and bladder issues. This part of the plant is called Balbas Pusa, which essentially means the leaves. The plant part is converted to dried leaves, tea sachets, capsules and extracts as forms of treatment for patients.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine studies, the "results illustrated that the anti-arthritic properties of O. stamineus [scientific name for Cat Whiskers] could be beneficial for prevention and management of rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory disorders" (2016). Therefore, this plant has studies to prove that there is a noninvasive, natural approach to managing chronically painful inflammatory disorders.
In the Western hemisphere, Cat Whiskers is regulated as an ornamental which produces unique, beautiful blooms. But, if you'd like to experiment with some Java Tea in your garden, order it here! It is commonly said that, "Cat Whiskers are hard to find, but worth the chase", due to it exquisite appearance, medicinal properties, and its ability to attract birds and butterflies.
Java Tea Recipe:
Boil 2 cups of water with 2 handful of cat whiskers leaves until 1 cup remains. It should be consumed one time a day for best results in treating diabetes, inflammation, hypertension, urinary system, common cold, and kidney stones.
As always, "we're rooting for you",
Citations: Tabana, Y. M., Al-Suede, F. S., Ahamed, M. B., Dahham, S. S., Hassan, L. E., Khalilpour, S., Taleb-Agha, M., Sandai, D., Majid, A. S., & Majid, A. M. (2016). Cat's whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus) tea modulates arthritis pathogenesis via the angiogenesis and inflammatory cascade. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 16(1), 480. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1467-4