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Orthosiphon stamineus

Orthosiphon stamineus (Java or Cat's Whiskers) is a plant whose leaves make a health tea, used mostly for its antiinflammatory and urinary health properties. It appears to be a large source of both rosmarinic acid and methylated flavonoids.

Our evidence-based analysis on orthosiphon stamineus features 60 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Orthosiphon stamineus

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Orthosiphon stamineus (Java tea) is a leaf that is commonly brewed as a tea for a variety of purposes, but said purposes (beyond just liking the taste of the tea) tend to revolve around treating inflammatory disorders or treating ailments of the urogenital tract. It originates from the oceanic region and was introduced to mainland Asian countries and the West sometime near the beginning of the 20th century.

It is currently in preliminary stages of research and a lot of research is a bit complicated since it all originates from one research group located in Malaysia and needs to be replicated independently of the country from which it originated from (potentially a problem for scientific validity, since some studies investigating local herbs tend to be over promising in their effects and this excessive promise is attenuated a bit when other research groups look at it).

Nevertheless, there appears to be promise for this herb as a fat burner since the 70% ethanolic extract has been noted in two studies to stimulate leptin production in fat cells and increase in leptin have been noted in serum following oral ingestion of the leaf; reductions in food intake have been noted at only higher levels of intake, but are still thought to be associated with leptin.

While there is potential for this leaf as an antiinflammatory agent and diuretic, it has no practical research for the former that shows promise and while the evidence for the latter is a bit promising in rodents (does not exceed reference drugs in potency) the lone human study on the topic failed. There is one very promising study on colon cancer which definitely needs to be replicated by another research group, since reasonable oral intakes of the leaves potently suppressed colon tumor growth in mice.

All in all, pending future research this can be a potential new non-stimulatory fat burner for lean persons especially; we need quite a bit more evidence to confirm this though.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

There is not enough information to get an ideal dose, but at this moment it seems that a 70% ethanolic extract would be the most prudent supplemental dosage for the production of leptin in the body. Since this has been noted in a highly variable range (as low as 20mg/kg in mice, as high as 450mg/kg in rats) it is uncertain what the best oral dose to take would be. Nonetheless, human equivalents for the above range are:

  • 110-4,900 mg for a 150lb person

  • 150-6,500 mg for a 200lb person

  • 180-8,100 mg for a 250lb person

The diuretic effect has been noted with tea, and thus brewing a tea from the leaves may be sufficient.

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Orthosiphon stamineus has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-c - - See study
Despite both traditional usage and rat studies, the lone study assessing the diuretic effects of 10g of the fresh leaves has failed to find any effect.
grade-d Notable - See study
The lone study in women with oily skin noted that improvements in skin quality with a 2% orthosiphon cream were greater than the reference drug of 1% zinc gluconate on all parameters.

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with other nutraceuticals[1]

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As

Java, Misai kucing, Kumis kucing, cats whiskers, rau meo, cay bac, remujung, moustaches de chat, yaa nuat maeo

Do Not Confuse With

Java (Coffee nor the location it came from)

Goes Well With

  • PTP1B inhibitors (increase in leptin won't reduce appetite in the leptin resistant unless that is taken care of, which PTP1B inhibitors such as ursolic acid or berberine can help with)

Caution Notice

Probably interactions with enzymes of Drug Metabolism

  • The diuretic properties seem to be associated with increased urinary potassium and decreased urinary sodium, which may not be a good thing for hypertensives who are not on a high potassium and low sodium diet

  • Appears to have a concernable inhibitory potential on CYP2D6 and CYP3A4, not yet tested in living models

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Click here to see all 60 references.