Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Private Stash - Misai Kuching

It has been more than a year since I planted my first Misai Kucing. Not that many, about 6 pots, but I have harvested them more than 3 times. Since I make my own Misai Kucing tea to my own design, I never buy any of those pharmaceutical products anymore.

What is the Misai Kucing plant? Well, here's a brief description of it:

Misai Kuching (Orthosiphon Stamineus) is a medicinal herb found mainly throughout South East Asia and tropical Australia. It is believed to have antiallergic, antihypertensive, antiinflammatory and diuretic properties. It is used as a remedy for arteriosclerosis (capillary and circulatory disorders), kidney stones, diabetes and nephritis.

It is trusted for many centuries for treating ailments of the kidney, bladder stone, urinary tract infection, liver and bladder problems, diabetes, rheumatism and gout. It is also used to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.

Misai Kuching has a mild diuretic action, so it is very useful for flushing the kidneys and urinary tract. It also relieves spasms of the smooth muscle in the walls of the internal organs, making it valuable for gallbladder problems. Researchers have found it to be mildly antiseptic as well.

Misai Kuching (misai kucing) is also known as Kumis Kuching (kumis kucing) or Remujung. Other names for Misai Kuching are Orthosiphon Stamineus Benth, Orthosiphon Aristatus, Orthosiphonblaetter, Indisher Nierentee, Feuilles de Barbiflore, Java Tea, Javatee, Kidney Tea, Koemis Koetjing and Yaa Nuat Maeo.

The plant is from the family of Lippenblütengewächse /Lamiaceae / Labiatae.

One thing about making your own Misai Kucing tea, it has a very distinct flavor and/or aroma. There are people who treat it like normal tea, with milk, honey and/or even lemon/lime. Me? I like it plain, no other additives and flavorings, it is refreshing.

After some research, I managed to make Misai Kucing tea on my own. Let me share it with you:

1. Harvesting

The leaves are harvested, usually along with its branches. Take care to leave some so that it can grow back. This will ensure continuity. The leaves have to be cleaned first, first by submerging them under water for a minute or so to remove dust, dirt and grit. Then use running water to clean them.

Leave it overnight or so to ensure the water dries off from the leaves.

2. Drying

Spread the leaves on a clean, flat surface and leave them out under the sun for the whole day. Every 2-3 hours, turn or spread them to make sure all the leaves get the proper heat.

3. Picking

Once the leaves are dry, it is easier to strip the leaves from the small branches. If there are flowers, do not discard them. Put them along with the leaves.

4. Oven-Roasting

This particular process seals the flavor and gives the leaves a unique smoky flavor. Depending on the heat of the oven, which should be around 150-180F, roast them on a flat baking tray between 8-20 minutes or until the leaves are fully dry/roasted.

5. Once the roasting is done, leave for about 2 minutes, then you can start crumbling the roasted leaves into powder. It doesn't

have to be fine, just make sure your hands are clean. Place them in a clean, dry container for storage.

Enjoy it. 

Note: I was reminded by my cousin that I did not specify the fact that you should always use the plant that hasn't produced any flowers yet. This is true, but if certain other brach of the plant has, don't worry about it. I usually cut off any flowers that starts to sprout, leaving only one. A check with another friend who is doing the same thing confirms this.


  1. Hi there
    I usually pluck off 4 to 5 fresh leaves of the plant and steep in hot water for a few minutes before drinking it as a tea. Drying it will help if one travels and intends to take the tea along. Good post!

  2. Dear Maya, it's very true, nothing beats the fressh stuff, but as my plants life-span has a time limit due to being grown in pots, I had to make the dried one, they're as good.

    Thank you very much for your comment and thank you for visiting this blog

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  4. Hi! Just want to know if the dried leaves can be kept for 2 to 3 yrs?
    Thank you