Java Tea is a medicinal plant, native in South East Asia (predominantly Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) and some parts of Tropical Australia. The plant is from the family of Lamiaceae or Labiatea. It is an herbaceous shrub which grows to a height of 1.5 metres. Cultivated for a long time, it is a popular plant for its elegant and unique flower; white and bluish in colour with far-exerted filaments that look like cat whiskers. In the wild, the plant can be seen growing along the forest edges, roadsides and wasteland.
Java Tea began to interest researchers during the earlier 20th century. When the plant was introduced to Europe, it quickly became a popular herbal tea.
University Sains Malaysia has received grants totaling RM12.5 million from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environmental to conduct a clinical study of standardized Misai Kucing for kidney stone diseases. It was not long before they scaled it from the laboratory to Pilot Scale Production. The objective of the research is to develop a cure for several diseases such as gout, arthritis, rheumatism, inflammatory conditions and kidney stones. On another study at Japan’s Fukuyama University and Indonesia’s National Cardiovascular Centre shows that regular doses of Misai Kucing helps lower blood pressure. Misai Kucing is also used for treating the ailments of the kidney, since it has a mild diuretic effect. It is also claimed to have anti-allergenic, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used for flushing out kidney stones and treating nephritis. Balung Plantation Java Tea has a deep, rich and unique flavour.