Rooibos & Honeybush
“I always fear that creation will expire before teatime.” ~Sydney Smith
Rooibos & Honeybush
Rooibos, (Afrikaans for red bush; pronounced “roy-boss” scientific name Aspalathus linearis) is a member of the legume family of plants and is used to make a tisane (herbal tea). Also, commonly called African Red Tea, the product has been popular in South Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries.
Rooibos is grown only in a small area 250km north of Cape Town, South Africa in the Cederberg area and no alternative source of supply for this unique product is available anywhere in the world. The leaves are oxidized or fermented to produce the reddish-brown color, but unfermented “green” rooibos is also produced and available to purchase.
Naturally caffeine-free and rich in a variety of minerals, Rooibos tea is the ideal beverage for people of all ages. Unlike coffee and regular tea, it is also low in tannin, a substance which affects the body’s metabolism by interfering with iron and protein absorption. The mineral content of Rooibos is an added benefit – iron, potassium, zinc, manganese and sodium may help to maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones. According to studies conducted in South Africa and Japan, Rooibos has been proven to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and hypertension.
Studies also show that this tea relieves anti- spasmodic agents, which can relieve stomach cramping and colic in infants. Rooibos is safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers and even children.
Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly amongst health-conscious consumers, who appreciate it for its high level of antioxidants such as Superoxide Dismutase (SOD).
Recent studies in Japan and South Africa show that Rooibos can assist in fighting viruses. This “anti-viral” property is especially beneficial to high-performance athletes, who are more at risk of viral infection than anyone else.
The same studies revealed that Rooibos is also able to considerably reduce swelling. With active individuals, for example, Rooibos can help play a vital role in the symptomatic relief of muscle and joint inflammation.
Rooibos is also known for its beneficial effects on the skin. The tea has been reported to relieve warts, photosensitive dermatitis, and eczema (when used in a poultice, or cream directly on the skin, or taken internally.)
While its results of the latest studies are not wholly conclusive yet, the evidence points firmly towards still more intrinsic medical benefits:
Low concentrations of a substance called catechin indicate that Rooibos could help prevent tooth decay; certain terponoids located are believed to offer relief to asthma sufferers; the pinitol found seems a likely candidate for inhibiting diabetes; traces of rutin were also discovered, a compound with vitamin P activity that reinforces and stabilizes weak blood vessels; and last, but not least, several of the carboxylic acids isolated are known to restrict liver damage and are useful in the treatment of hangovers.
What’s more, physicians have discovered that Rooibos contains 9 types of flavonoids. Four of the 9 are especially powerful, namely quercetin, luteolin, isoquercitrin and rutin. Working in conjunction with the tea’s considerably high Vitamin C content (1,5mg/ml), these flavonoids act as “anti-oxidant” compounds: agents which actively fight the harmful free radicals in the human body. Left unchecked, free radicals will attack your fat, protein and DNA cells, which are the building blocks of the body. Flavonoids like the quercetin found in Rooibos, help to neutralize the invaders. Hereby reducing cell-damage, and leaving your body’s immune system more resilient to life-threatening diseases like heart-attacks, Alzheimer’s and AIDS.
So, with all of these amazing health benefits, and great taste… how can you resist this earthy tea that comes from the heart of South Africa?
Honeybush herbal tea is a fragrant herbal infusion prepared from the honey-scented flowers, leaves and stems of indigenous South African fynbos plant found in the Cape Mountain regions.
Honeybush is ideal as a single herb tea or as a blending ingredient for fruit and flavor infusions. The green plants are cut, fermented and sun dried to produce Honeybush tea.
Honeybush tea is an herbal infusion and has many health properties associated with the regular consumption of tea. It has very low tannin content and contains no caffeine. It is therefore especially valuable for people with digestive or cardiac health issues, where stimulants and tannins should be avoided.
Honeybush tea contains the rare flavones which have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-cancerous properties.
Honeybush is also naturally a high source of calcium.