Orthosiphon stamineus


Orthosiphon spiralis (Lour) Merr.; Ocimum aristatum Blume Bijdr.; Orthosiphon aristatus Miq; Clerodendranthus spicatum (Thunb.); Clerodendrum spicatus Thunberg,;Clerodendranthus stamineus (Bentham) Kudo [1]

Vernacular Names:

Malaysia: Misai Kucing, Kumis Kucing, Bulu Pasing (Dayak), Somit kucing (Melanau); Somit Mayau (Iban); Mat oolong (Kenyah)
English:  Cat’s moustache, Cat’s whiskers
Indonesia:  Kumis kuching(Malay); remukjuk, songkok kucing, remujung(Java); sesalaseyan, soengok kuceng (Madura) [2]
Thailand:  Yaa nuat maeo (Chai Nat); Baang rak paa (Prachuap Khiri Khan); Ee-tuu dong (Phetchabun)
Philippines:  Kattesnor (Bisaya); Balbas pusa, Kabling gubat (Tagalog), Kabling parang
Vietnam:  Râu mèo, Cây bông bạc
China:   Mao Xuhua [3]
Japan:  Mulisu-kuchin
Panope:  Elisenkat [4]
French:  Moustache de chat, the de Java

General Information


Orthosiphon stamineus is an herb of the Laminaceae family. It can grow up to the height of 1 meter and as a square stem typical of most of the members of the same family. The leaves are opposite, ovate, acuminate and grossly dentate, elongated and pointed. The flowers are lax and grow in terminal pseudospikes. They flowers are pale violet to white colour with remarkably long stamens extending far beyond the flowers. It is because of this that the plant acquired the Malay name of Misai Kucing or Kumis Kucing.

Plant Part Used

The whole plant is used as medicine except the roots. The stem and leaves are best collected before the flowering period of the plant and it was found that the purple flowered variety is more potent than the white flowered variety. The plant is harvested before flowering (March or April); roots removed and plant is washed and dried in the sun. [5]

Chemical Constituents

2-O-deacetylorthosiphol J, 2,3-dicaffeoyltartaric acid, 3'-hydroxy-5,6,7,4'-tetramethoxyflavone, 3-O-deacetylorthosiphol I, 5-hydroxy-6,7,3’,4’-tetramethoxyflavone; 6-hydroxyorthosiphol B, 6-hydroxy-5,7,4’-trimethoxyflavone, 7-O-deacetylorthosiphol B, 7,3’,4’-tri-O-methylluteolin; 14-deoxo-14-O-acetylorthosiphol Y, Alpha-humulene, a-carotene oxide; Aurantiamide acetate, b-carotene, b-caryophyllene, b-sitosterol, b-zeacarotene, Betulinic acid, Caffeic acid, Caryophyllene epoxide, Cryptoxanthin, Eupatorin, Hederagenin, Ladanein, Neoorthosiphol A and B, Nororthosiphonolide A, Norstaminol A, Oleanolic acid, Orthochromene A, Orthosiphol A, to J, K, M, N, O, X, and Y, Orthosiphonone A, B, C and D Rosmarinic acid, Salvigenin, Secoorthosiphols B and C, Sinensetin, Staminols A, B, C and D, Siphonols A-E Staminolactone A, B, Tetramethylscutellarein, Ursolic acid, Vomifoliol. [13]

Traditional Used:

The diuretic effects of leaves of O. stamineus had been recognized in the South-east Asian community for a very long time. To this end, many had recommended it’s use in the treatment of various kidney diseases from infection to renal calculi. Urinary tract infection be it bladder or higher up is treated with a decoction of fresh leaves to be taken twice a day. The dried leaves decoction is used to treat cases of strangury and dysuria. To treat kidney stones the traditional medical practitioners prescribe the whole plant whether fresh or dried. [6]

Its ability to excrete uric acid had been recognized in the 19th century such than one British doctor used it to treat gout. The Filipinos takes a decoction of the leaves to relieve gout. [7] Amongst the Kenyah people of Sarawak, the young twigs and leaves are made into tea for treatment of backache. [8]  

Pre-Clinical Data


Antisalmonella activity 

Two novel highly oxygenated pimarane diterpenes, orthosiphol A and B, were isolated from the dry leaves of O. stamineus. They were demonstrated to show very strong inhibitory activity against inflammation induced by TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate), on mouse ears. [9] 

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the standardized leaf extract of O. stamineus was studied where the result was that the standardized extract was able to inhibit inflammatory processes induced by Carageenan. They noticed the presence of analgesic effects when it was shown that the extract was able to inhibit acetic acid-induced writhing test and the formalin-induced licking test (late phase) in mice and rats, respectively. [10] 

Antimicrobial activity 

A screening for antimicrobial activity of crude drugs in Taiwan was done. It was found that extracts of O. stamineus exhibited considerable antibacterial activity against both serotypes of the cariogenic bacterium, Streptococcus mutans. [11]

Antipyretic activity 

Methanol/water (50/50) extract of leaves of O. stamineus showed an ability to reduce fever induced by yeast but not normal body temperature. The effects lasted for 4 hours comparable with those of Paracetamol. HPLC analysis showed the extract to contain the following bioactive compounds - rosmarinic acid, sinensetin, eupatorin and tetramethoxyflavone. [12] 

Diuretic activity 

One of the most prominent feature of O. stamineus is its ability to induce diuresis and this forms the basis of its widely acclaimed use in the treatment of kidney disease in traditional medicine. Various investigators had done many studies on this diuretic property of this plant. 

A recent study of the diuretic activity of aqueous extract of O. stamineus showed that it has a dose dependent effects on the urine output in Sprague-Dawley rats. This diuretic effects seems to be less than those of furosemide and hydrochlorthiazide. It was also observed that the urinary K+ excretion was more and the blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine and glucose levels were also elevated but all remained within normal range. [13] 

A comparative study of the efficacy of the diuretic activity between young leaves and matured leaves showed that the former was more effective as a diuretic with the time of onset being earlier and the duration of effect being short. [14] 

Methanol/water extract of leaves of O. stamineus showed diuretic effects comparable to those of hydrochlorthiazide both in acute and chronic administration. It was also found in the same study that when given to hyperuricaemic rats the uric acid level began to reduced after the 6th hour in manners similar to that of allopurinol. [15] 

Adenosine receptor antagonists can act as renal protector and many studies have shown that they can induce diuresis and sodium excretion. A bioassay-guided fractionation of a methanol-water extract of O. stamineus leaves using the adenosine receptor binding assay resulted in the isolation of seven methoxy flavonoids as active ligands with K(i) values in the micromolar range. These were shown to have antagonistic effect on Adenosine receptors, thus the affinity of the active compounds isolated from it as adenosine receptor ligands allows them to be associated with diuretic activity. [16]

Kidney stones activity 

In a study comparing the effects of aqueous extract of leaves of O. stamineus and those of Sonchus arvensis it was found that at concentrations of 5%, 7.5% and 10% the dissolution rate Calcium stones was higher in the former than those of the latter. [14]

Antihypertensive activity 

The water decoction of the leaves of O. stamineus was partitioned into two fractions i.e. chloroform and water. It was found that the chloroform portion was able to inhibit the contractile responses on rat thoracic aorta smooth muscle stimulated with KCl while the water soluble fractions did not. It was also found that a major constituent in the water decoction of leaves, methylripariochromene, exhibited a continuous decrease in systolic blood pressure after subcutaneous administration in conscious stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. [17] It was also found that methylripariochromene also has the following actions: 

  1. Exhibited the concentration-dependent suppression of contractions induced by high K+, l-phenylephrine or prostaglandin F2alpha in endothelium-denuded rat thoracic aorta,
  2. Showed a marked suppression of contractile force without a significant reduction in the beating rate in isolated bilateral guinea pig atria, and
  3. increased urinary volume and the excretion of Na+, K+ and Cl- for 3 h after oral administration with a load of saline in fasted rats. 

All these findings indicate that methylripariochromene possesses hypotensive activity via its vasodilating, decrease cardiac output and diuretic actions. [18] 

Two migrated pimaranetype diterpenes (neoorthosiphols A and B) isolated from the chloroform soluble portion of water extract of O. stamineus exhibit concentration-dependent suppression of contractions induced by K+ in endothelium-denuded rat thoracic aorta. [19] 

Antidiabetic activity 

A study on the effects of aqueous extract of leaves of O. stamineus was carried out on both normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. It was found that during oral glucose tolerance test, the extract was able to reduce the plasma glucose level in a dose dependent manner in both normal and diabetic rats. Upon repeated administration for 7 to 14 days the plasma glucose level of the diabetic rats were found to be reduced. At the same time the lipid profile showed significant reduction especially the triglycerides and the LDL cholesterol while the HDL cholesterol showed a significant increase. [20] 

The antidiabetic activity of two plant i.e O. stamineus and Andrographis paniculata was assess both individually and when in combination. It was found that O. stamineus extracts in a concentration of 0.129 g/kg did not show any antidiabetic activity while extracts of Andrographis paniculata at a concentration of 0.3 g/kg show encouraging effects. When in combination it was found that the hypoglycaemic effects were much higher than those of Andrographis paniculata alone. [14] 

Hepatoprotective activity 

The methanol/water extract of O. stamineus was found to exhibit antioxidant, lipid peroxidation inhibition and free radical scavenging activities. The same extract was found to have hepatoprotective activities when the extracts were given to rats prior to being exposed to CCl4 to induce liver damage. It was observed that the extent of liver damage was reduced in a dose dependent manner and the expected rise in AST and ALT was inhibited. It was concluded that the hepatoprotective activity of this extract can be attributed to the antioxidative and free radical scavenging properties. [21]

Gastroprotective activity 

Anti-ulcerogenic activity of methonal extract of O. stamineus was done in ethanol induced gastric ulcer rat model. It was found histologically that there was marked improvement in the healing of mucosal damage in groups receiving O. stamineus methanol extracts. The gastroprotective effects of this extract was found to be due to its ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation and stimulate gastric mucus secretion. [22] 

Nitric oxide inhibition activity 

Nitric oxide has been implicated for various pathological processes. Eight compounds from the methanol extract of O. stamineus showed inhibition of NO production by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated macrophage-like J774.1 cells in a dose dependent manner. These compounds were 2-O-deacetylorthosiphol J, siphonols A, B, C and E, orthosiphols H, staminols A. [23][24] Another 47 highly-oxygenated isopimarane-type and staminane-type diterpenes compounds isolated from O. stamineus from Indonesia, Okinawa, Myanmar and Vietnam also showed similar effects. [25] Orthosiphols A (7), B (8), D (9), and X (4) showed more potent inhibitory activities than a positive control, N(G)-monomethyl-l-arginine (l-NMMA), and 1 displayed the strongest activity. [26] 

Antiploriferative activity 

Various diterpene and flavonoids were islolated from the aerial part of O. stamineus collected from Indonesia, Okinawa, Taiwan, Vietnam. The listed compounds had been found to display mild antiproliferative activities against highly liver metastatic colon 26-L5 carcinoma and human HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cell lines: Orthosiphols A, B, D, E F, G, H, J K, L, M, N O and P; Norstaminone A and Q; Nororthosiphonolide A; Neoorthosiphol A; Orthosiphonone A; 7,3',4'-tri-O-methylluteolin; Eupatorin; Ladanein; 6-hydroxy-5,7,4'-trimethoxyflavone; Staminolactones A and B and Norstaminol A (3). [27][28][29][30] 


Acute toxicity studies of standardized extracts of leaves of O. stamineus was done using Sprague Dawley rats. At a dose of 5000 mg/kg body weight, no toxic effects were observed during the 4 day period of the experiment. No lethality was reported. All the parameters measured (general behavior, BW, food and water intake, relative organ weight per 100 g BW, hematology and clinical biochemistry) were unaffected as compared to the normal rats. The acute toxicity LD50 was estimated to be > 5000 mg/kg BW. [31] 

Animal chronic toxicity study was carried out on the methanol/water extract of O. stamineus. It was found that continuous chronic administration in the dose of 0.5 g/kg, 1 g/kg, 3 g/kg and 5 g/kg body weight for 14 days did not produce any adverse effects. There were also no report of lethality. However, it was noted that there was a significant decrease in some serum biochemical parameters, i.e. AST and ALT, and increase in liver weight was observed in young female SD rats after 14 days of the study. [32] 

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

Premgamone A, Sriboonlue P, Disatapornjaroen W, Maskasem S, Sinsupan N, Apinives C. A long-term study on the efficacy of a herbal plant, O. grandiflorus, and sodium potassium citrate in renal calculi treatment. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health Sep 2001;32(3):654-660. 

In this study 48 renal calculi patients were divided into two groups: G1 was given 2.5G. dried O. grandiflorum leaves to be taken twice daily and G2 was given 5-10 g of granular Sodium Potassium Citrate in solution divided into three times a day. Patients were review every 5 – 7 weeks where they were subjected to interviewed, kidney ultrasound and spot urine samples collected for relevant biochemical analysis and was given an additional drug supply. Based on ultrasound studies the rate of stone size reduction per year (ROSRPY)was determined. The mean ROSRPY was 28.6+/-16.0% and 33.8+/-23.6% for G1 and G2, respectively. These two means were not significantly different. ROSRPY values of G1 and G2 were combined and divided into three levels: Level A (ROSRPY > mean + 0.5 SD), Level M (ROSRPY = mean +/- 0.5 SD) and Level B (ROSRPY < mean - 0.5 SD). Dissolution of stones was least in Level B which was related to higher excretions of Ca and uric acid in the urine. After treatment, 90% of the initial clinical symptoms (ie back pain, headaches and joint pain) were relieved. Fatigue and loss of appetite were observed in 26.3% of G2 subjects. This study showed the efficacy of O. grandiflorum in reducing the stone size and related symptoms.

Adverse Effects in Human:

Caution should be observed for patients on hypertensive therapy when taking Java Tea. There is a possibility of developing marked hypotension resulting orthostatic hypotensive attacks. 

It is disturbing to note that there was a report of associating the development of acute hepatitis with the consumption of O. stamineus tea.

Diuresis using leaves of O. stamineus is not recommended in cases of oedema due cardiovascular and renal insufficiency especially in the presence of Potassium which may cause adverse reaction especially when given together with digitoxin.

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

There is possible summation of action when taken with diuretics especially in the treatment of hypertension and congestive cardiac failure. Caution should be exercise when taking this drug in the presence of cardiac and renal insufficiency. Its antidiabetic properties may cause hypoglycaemia when taken together with anti-diabetic drugs. [13] [14]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



Diuresis using leaves of O. stamineus is not recommended in cases of oedema due cardiovascular and renal insufficiency especially in the presence of Potassium which may cause adverse reaction especially when given together with digitoxin.

Case Reports

No documentation

Read More

  1) Cultivation

  2) Malaysian Herbal Plants


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