Orthosiphon, whose botanical name is Orthosiphon stamineus, more commonly known as "Thì of Java", is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Lamiaceae or Labiatae family, native to Indonesia, widespread in the area of south-east Asia and in some regions of tropical Australia.
The leaves of this plant are widely used in herbal medicine and in homeopathic remedies for the numerous beneficial properties, especially of the diuretic type.
The Java name The comes from the fact that it is very common to take Ortosiphon in the form of an infusion or herbal tea, obtained from the leaves of the plant that were first dried and then crushed just as is done for thì.
To always have a useful plant available to make excellent infusions, Orthosiphon can also be grown in our garden, but it needs very special care, because it is a plant that grows wild in very hot and humid places, such as Indonesia, China, India and Australia.
Unusually, even in our territory, we can see spontaneous sprouting of Orthosiphon, especially in the Romagna and Ligurian Apennines, but the widespread use made of it in herbal medicine comes from organic farming.
The stem of the Orthosiphon has a tetragonal shape, the leaves are oval, the flowers are red or purple and give rise to the characteristic red berries, giving the plant a particular appearance that also makes it decorative, in fact it is often grown as an ornamental plant.
The parts of the plant that are mainly used for phytotherapy are the leaves and the ends of the branches, which are harvested before flowering and dried, to then proceed with the preparation of herbal teas and infusions and to make numerous products that are found in trade.
The main components of Orthosiphon are the following: potassium salts (triterpenes and diterpenes), essential oil, lipophilic flavones, scutellarein- tetramethyl ether, eupatorine, salvigenin, sinensetin, rhamnazine, rosmarinic acid, benzopyranic acid, saponins, vitamins.
In South East Asia, due to its multiple therapeutic properties, Ortosiphon is the most widespread medicinal plant since ancient times, while in our area the knowledge of this plant is quite recent
The medical properties of Ortosiphon are mainly related to the urinary tract, in fact it has considerable diuretic properties and is particularly effective in the case of bacterial diseases and inflammation of the urinary tract and kidneys, favoring the elimination of toxic substances and the purification of the organism . But even if there are no urinary or liver disorders, the Ortosiphon infusion and herbal tea are nonetheless beneficial for their purifying effects.
In addition to being used as a homeopathic medicine for diuretic properties, Ortosiphon is also considered a good anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, anti-allergenic, and in treatments for people with diabetes and rheumatism. It also appears to be useful for reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood.
The leaves of Orthosiphon can also be used in the treatment of gout, in fact the greater excretion of chlorides, catabolites and urea also affects the almost complete elimination of cholesterine residues, which is why it can be used as an adjunct in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.
Not recommended only for those suffering from severe kidney failure, Ortosiphon does not contain toxic elements and has no side effects, although it is always advisable not to exceed the dosage.
Numerous products based on Ortosiphon are commercially available, and in herbal medicine it is sold mainly in the form of extract, therefore for the preparation of herbal teas and infusions. The most common use of herbal tea is what is done to fight cellulite, in addition to water retention.
The herbal tea is prepared with 10 grams of dried leaves, let infuse in about half a liter of water. If taken regularly on a daily basis, the herbal tea promotes diuresis, so it is a valid ally for cellulite, it also eliminates nitrogenous and phosphate waste and at the same time treats cystalgia.
The Ortosiphon herbal tea is also useful for purifying the liver, possessing the leaves, a cholagogue property, which is why a very slight increase in biliary and hepatic function is obtained.
Ortosiphon tablets are then sold; which are sold mainly as slimming products, generally to be used together with particular diets. The slimming function of Ortosiphon is of course only related to its diuresis stimulating activity, which therefore fights water retention, not the possibility of burning fat.
Another widely used product on the market is the mother tincture bottle, which is taken together with water and also has the function of promoting diuresis. Furthermore mother tincture is a good remedy against infections and to keep the level of cholesterol present in the blood.
Ortosiphon's products and packaging found on the market with dried leaves generally have low costs and are affordable for everyone.