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Thursday, March 10, 2011
CAT'S WHISKERS- A USEFUL HERB FOR HEALTH: MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF CAT'S WHISKERS: HOW TO MAKE DECOCTION OF CAT'S WHISKERS AND TISANE RECIPE
CAT’S WHISKERS, KIDNEY PLANT, ORTHOSIPHON ARISTATUS
Cat’s Whisker’s clearly gets its name from the hairs that protrude from the flowers, which look like cat’s whiskers. It is a beautiful plant that is native to South-East Asia and Australia. It has been introduced to Fiji and Samoa and is now classed as an invasive species there, as so often happens with non-native plants. It’s a member of the mint family of plants, and has long been used in South-East Asia for its medicinal properties. As the name Kidney plant might suggest it is predominantly used for kidney diseases, and the tisane made from the leaves of the plant (Java Tea) can effectively disperse kidney stones of up to 5 centimetres, research has shown. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions and research suggests that it also useful for reducing high blood pressure and has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, although more research needs to be done to ascertain what it is effective against.
The tisane reduces the amounts of uric acid in the body by flushing them out with its diuretic action, and this makes it useful for gout and arthritis sufferers. It contains bioflavonoids and methylripariochromene A in the leaves which is believed to be the substances that acts to reduce blood pressure. It also contains ursolic acid and oleanolic acid among other constituents. It is also rich in the mineral potassium.
Traditionally it has been used to reduce cellulite, and as an antispasmodic, as well as for the internal organs. It can reduce blood sugar levels and there is hope that it will be useful for diabetics who do not depend on insulin.
The plant grows to between 1 and 3 feet tall and the flowers are mostly white, although they can be light blue, light purple, violet and ivory. Below are two recipes which are considered beneficial; the first is a decoction for kidney problems while the second is a tisane for coughs.
DECOCTION OF CAT’S WHISKERS
1 lt water
15-20 fresh cat’s whisker leaves
2 inch fresh turmeric root, finely sliced
7 cloves garlic chopped
Bring to the boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water has reduced by half.
Strain and drink a cupful morning and night.
15-20 fresh leaves
2 cups boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the leaves and allow them to steep for 20 minutes.
Strain and drink a cupful in the morning and at night. (For coughs.)
These have Taste and are a Treat(ment).