Whether you adore those furry and purring feline cuties or not, you will surely love cat’s whiskers — the herb which is named as such because the stamens of its flowers do resemble hairs that project from the snouts of cats. Although cat’s whiskers can be regarded as an ornamental plant due to the fact that its white or sometimes purple flowers are eye-catching, it is mostly cultivated for its numerous impressive health benefits.
It’s true that it is native to many Southeast Asian countries like the Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines, but cat’s whiskers can also be found in Samoa, Fiji and the tropical areas of Australia. The herb may come in an assortment of names — Java tea, Indian kidney tea, kidney plant, kitty whiskers, kabling parang, kumis kucing and balbas pusa — but cat’s whiskers is commonly used for making tea that is known to help prevent and even reverse a number of health problems.
Although the leaves are the ones usually turned into tea, the stems and flowers of the plant is proven to also contain an assortment of compounds with various perks to offer. However, the only parts of cat’s whiskers that are used for medicinal purposes are the ones that grow above ground level — it is said that the roots of cat’s whiskers may contain certain compounds that can be toxic to some degree in humans.
Let us check out some of the health and beauty benefits of cat’s whiskers:
It Treats Upper Respiratory Tract Problems
Especially when combined with a few other powerful herbs, cat’s whiskers can be used for treating cough. It is also known to be very beneficial for people who are suffering from asthma.
It Promotes Increased Urine Production
One of the most popular uses of cat’s whiskers is for increasing the production of urine, thanks to its mild diuretic properties. Because of this, cat’s whiskers is often used by traditional healers in dealing with infections of the urinary tract — by increasing urine production, the herb helps flush out bacteria. It’s exactly for its mild diuretic properties why cat’s whiskers may also be employed for managing water retention and eliminating poisonous substances in the blood.
It Helps Lower Blood Pressure, Too
Since it is capable of getting rid of excess water in the body, cat’s whiskers is sometimes used for reducing high blood pressure. What’s more, the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties help ward off inflammation, which can also be blamed for high blood pressure in some cases.
It Encourages Normal Sugar Levels in the Blood
The intake of tea out of the leaves of cat’s whiskers is said to be very good at facilitating the consumption of glucose by the cells, thus regulating blood sugar levels. This is the reason why cat’s whiskers tea is oftentimes recommended to people who are suffering from diabetes or at high risk of it.
It Helps Support Good Oral Health
Cat’s whiskers tea that is allowed to cool to room temperature may be used as an oral rinse during a bout of a mouth problem. For instance, someone with gum swelling and bleeding may gargle with the tea because it possesses both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Speaking of which, it is exactly for its capability to kill off bacteria why tea out of cat’s whiskers leaves may be used to eliminate bad breath and lower risk of plaque and cavities.
It Provides Joint Pain and Swelling Relief
The anti-inflammatory properties of cat’s whiskers make the herb highly beneficial for people who are bugged by painful and swollen joints. Needless to say, it is very good for managing the likes of arthritis and gout.
It Can Cure a Wide Assortment of Skin Problems
Tea or poultice out of the leaves of cat’s whiskers may actually be used for the topical treatment of various skin issues caused by inflammation and microbes, such as acne, eczema and athlete’s foot. Oil extracted from cat’s whiskers may also be employed for managing a host of skin issues, which include premature aging signs.