The Orthosiphon, remedy for the urinary tract par excellence

The orthosiphon is a beautiful elegant impulsive, and as soon as you see it, you want to pick it. But once consumed, a beautiful diuresis will ensue , and you will remember its effective intervention. She will make you dance the Javanese if you have to hold back, don’t mind. How not to assiduously resort to Java tea, imbued with a refined Asian exoticism , with its corolla in the shape of a pipe (from the Greek siphon ) straight and slender ( ortho ).

A little history

Here is a plant which for nearly a century has been able to seduce the West , he who knows how to siphon the urinary tract very delicately, which helps not to sow small stones in the urogenital tract, which knows how to save the plethoric gout that should be avoided in the oliguric patient, the drop-by-drop of a deficient renal production, which purifies without barguining the rivers that have become purple due to colibacillary aggression…

Here is a very nice traveling companion to keep you company. You can indeed pull his whiskers, he is not about to scratch you!

What are the main pharmacological properties of Orthosiphon leaves?

Diuretic and antilithiasic properties:

The administration of orthosiphon increases diuresis , the excretion of Na+ and Cl- ions as well as the elimination of uric acid, while limiting the loss of K+, as shown in a study carried out in 2003. This research work demonstrates in particular the diuretic, natriuretic and uricosuric effects of orthosiphon. The orthosiphon thus promotes the elimination of kidney stones , and prevents the formation of uric acid crystals. These effects are mainly due to its flavonoids (sinesetin and eupatorin), as well as caffeic acid derivatives, in particular rosmarinic and cichoric acids.

The plant also contains derivatives of lithospermic acid. The known effects of lithospermates on renal function are a decrease in uraemia , an increase in the rate of glomerular filtration , and an increase in the excretion of urea and creatinine .

A 2009 study in fact validated the scientific basis for the traditional use of O. stamineus in the treatment of kidney stones , by demonstrating that the affinity of its active compounds as A1 adenosine receptor ligands to them allows to be associated with a diuretic activity , which is one of the active treatments of renal lithiasis.

Nephroprotective properties:

Ursolic and oleanolic acids have the ability to inhibit in vitro the binding of TGF-β1 to its receptors. Thus, orthosiphon might be effective in treating kidney disease , as TGF-β1 plays an important role in the progression of kidney disease.

Hepatobiliary properties:

Orthosiphon stimulates hepatocytes and increases bile secretion (choleretic). It exerts indeed an acceleration of the biliary excretion by the liver, and supports the biliary evacuation (cholagogue).

Metabolic properties:

Orthosiphon has hypoglycemic properties . In vitro studies with an ethanolic extract of O. Stamineus and one of its isolated compounds, sinensetin have further shown α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibitory activity. Inhibition of these enzymes provides a strong biochemical basis for the management of type 2 diabetes , via the control of glucose uptake.

Moreover, due to its richness in flavonoids, orthosiphon promotes the mobilization of fats out of the cells . The plant therefore makes it possible to reduce satiety , and is of interest in accompanying slimming diets .

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-infective properties:

The plant’s orthosiphols are anti-inflammatory . Orthosiphon diterpenes thus inhibit the production of nitric oxide (NO) from macrophages activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo , the methanol and water extract of O. stamineus demonstrated non-narcotic type analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities . This activity is linked to its lipophilic flavonoids.

Moreover, these compounds, possessing an antiradical power , prevent the oxidative inactivation of 15 lipoxygenase. Among them, sinesetine, eupatorine, tetramethoxyflavone, but also rosmarinic acid, derived from caffeic acid, exert an antioxidant power comparable to that of pure quercetin and that of butylated hydroxylanisole, a synthetic antioxidant.

In addition, orthosiphon exerts in vitro antiadhesive effects against the binding of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli bacterium to the surface of bladder cells, which, together with its diuretic activity , is of interest in the prevention of colibacillary urinary tract infections .

Are there precautions for use concerning the Orthosiphon?


  • Do not use orthosiphon, a diuretic plant, during an attack of renal colic. The plant can be used immediately after the crisis.
  • Given the lack of sufficient data to exclude any risk associated with the use of this plant, the EMA specifies that the use of orthosiphon is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women. The experts of the European agency consider that in the absence of clinical studies conducted on the plant in children and adolescents under the age of 18, it should not be used in this target population and should be limited. to adults.

Precautions for use:

  • To ensure an increase in the amount of urine, adequate fluid intake is necessary during treatment.
  • When using the herb for self-medication, if symptoms worsen while using the herb, a physician or qualified healthcare professional should be consulted. Similarly, the occurrence of fever, dysuria, spasms or blood in the urine requires medical consultation.
  • Ensure medical follow-up in the event of symptomatic ureteral and biliary stones.
  • The orthosiphon is not suitable for the treatment of possible fluid retention due to renal insufficiency or heart failure. The occurrence of edema requires a medical consultation.
  • Consider potassium content in moderate to severe renal impairment.

Drugs interactions :

  • Weak inhibitory effect of UGTs.
  • Inhibition of CYP2D6 as well as CYP3A, ask your pharmacist for advice before taking orthosiphon in case of joint intake with drug treatment.

How to take Orthosiphon and at what dosage?

Dry form:

Liquid form:

  • Standardized fresh plant fluid extract : 5 to 10 ml per day in a glass of water or in 1L of water to drink spread over the day.
  • Infusion : at the rate of 20 g/L of dried leaves, infuse 5 to 10 min, 1 cup 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Fluid glycerin extract : 5 ml 1 to 2 times a day to dilute in a glass of water.
  • Mother tincture : number of drops to take per day = 0.75 x the weight in kg, to be taken in water as well as to be divided into 3 doses over the day.


Medical bibliographic sources and clinical trials :


Clementine. M.
Writer of scientific articles
Naturopath – Aromatherapist / Herbalist – Phytotherapist
Consultant in clinical phyto-aromatherapy and Ethnomedecine

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