Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Misai Kucing Tea

I always enjoy a cup of tea, either in the morning or the late afternoon.  I enjoy a wide range of teas and I take this opportunity to add teas that provides me with health benefits without feeling like I am taking medication.  One of the teas that I have added to my selection is the Misai Kucing Tea also known as Java Tea or Cat's Whiskers' Tea (Botanical name: Orthosiphon Stamineus).  As I began my research on this tea, I discovered that it is a shrub that produces lovely flowers.  Hence I decided to experiment with it and planted two plants, to test how it would grow as well as to test the taste of the tea that is produced from it before I proceeded forward.  That was 2 years ago.  The first batch of tea was produced in July 2010 and served as a refreshment during my first Durian Fest at the farm.  From this small study, I found that those who drank the tea whilst consuming durian fared well whilst those who didn't experience the normal effects from over-consumption of durian. 

The many health benefits that have been reported include :
  1. It has properties that enables it to be used to regulate the blood sugar hence is used as an alternative treatment for diabetes.
  2. This herb inhibits blood platelet from sticking together and has powerful hemolytics that can lower blood pressure thus making it an alternative treatment for high blood pressure as well as for reducing cholestrol, which is often used in traditional medicine.
  3. This herb has the ability to clean toxins within the blood hence it is also used in traditional herbal medicine in the process of detoxification and in removing metabolic waste within the body.  This in turn makes it a useful addition to weight loss efforts.
  4. It also has diuretic properties making it beneficial in the treatment of kidney stones and for flushing the kidney and urinary tract.  It helps to flush out the uric acid as well as block the production of uric acid.  This in turn also helps other conditions such as gout and inflammation of joints due to high uric acid levels in the body.
  5. Another health property of this herb is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory hence its use in the herbal treatment for athritis and rheumatism.
In all my research on this tea, it has not been reported to cause any adverse reaction.  Based on my un-scientific study with the guests at my Durian Fest, the various properties of this tea ensured provided for a balance to the high-sugar durian enabling those who drank it to not feel the effects from too much durian.  Now this tea is one that I serve whenever I have guests over for rich, high sugar, high cholestrol feasts.  Personally, I consume it at least 3 times a week and have been doing it for the past year, mainly as a maintenance program for health, without feeling like I am taking medication, as I do love those raspberry yogurt cheesecake as well as many of our local sweet dishes.  Family and friends have also tried my tea and the response have been favorable.

To ensure quality and maximum benefits, it starts from the plants.  I do not use any chemical herbicides or pesticides on the farm and the water source for the plants is from a clean water source upstream or from the rain.  To me, it would be an oxymoron to use unhealthy products to produce a "healthy" product.  It requires more effort to maintain the plants as weeding will have to be done manually and the fertilizer used is the compost from the farm.  However, the effort is well worth it.

Currently I have approximately 200 plants and I am in the process of planting more.  The seedlings are produced on the farm from the existing plants.  I harvest once for at least every two months and this not only allows me to keep the plant groomed but also encourages new growth and flowering.  I find that tea produced with the flowers mixed-in results in a "sweeter" tasting tea.

The cut stems are rinsed and air-dried before the next step of the process.  The leaves, flowers and the flower stem is used to make the tea.  It is chopped and then placed in trays to be air-dried within a covered, netted box.  It is not exposed to sunlight or extreme heat to preserve its properties.
For sales, the tea is packed in loose-leaf form, in a plastic container that can be used to store the tea once the plastic package has been opened.  The tea is best prepared using recently boiled water, 1 flat teaspoon per cup.  It is left to steep for a few minutes, 5 minutes normally, and produces a lovely golden brown colored tea,  This tea can be drank hot, warm or cold.  For hot afternoons, I add ice and turn it into a refreshing iced tea.  Enjoying this tea makes taking care of my health a a normal course of my diet and not a pill-popping or additional act.

Suria Helang Lui produces this pure Misai Kucing tea that is sold in 20gm packages at RM 8 each as it is being introduced to market.  For more information on purchasing these tea, please e-mail suriahelanglui@yahoo.com.   This tea is also available at:
  1. Organic Shop and Life Cafe, 125, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
  2. POLIKLINIK NORIHA, 19 Jalan Teratai PJU 6A, Kg Sg Kayu Ara, Damansara, 47400 Petaling Jaya
If you have diabetes or high blood, you should monitor your levels.  For treatment of conditions, you should check with your medical practitioner.