Thyme Java Tea
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Thyme Java Tea
ative Photo: Anurag Sharma
Common name: Thyme Java Tea
Botanical name: Orthosiphon thymiflorus    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Orthosiphon roseus, Orthosiphon sinensis, Orthosiphon viscosus

Thyme Java Tea is a straggling, somewhat shrubby perennial herb, up to 1.5 m tall, not or hardly aromatic. Stems are several ascending to erect, 4-angled, normally well branched, retrorsely pubescent along the angles, sometimes with dense spreading hairs. Leaves ovate to elliptic, usually 1-4 cm long, but larger in well-shaded plants, glandular punctate and hairless or pubescent above, pubescent, particularly along the veins beneath; margin scalloped or toothed; petiole up to 25 mm long. Flowers are borne in fairly lax spike with 6-flowered whorls spaced 8-20 mm apart. Bracts are 2-3 mm long, ovate-triangular. Calyx is 3-4 mm long, prominently purple on the upper lip, green otherwise, lobes of lower lip awn-like, 2-3 mm long. Flowers are usually pink, sometimes white or mauve, 8-16 mm long; tube straight.
Medicinal uses: Thyme Java Tea aqueous extracts have found to be having anti-inflammatory and acetylcholine antagonistic action. Leaf juice has been used by the tribes as a lotion.

Identification credit: Vijayasankar Raman Photographed at Taralu Estate, Bangalore.

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