annual Rooibos tea crop of around 4000 tons. This lesser known tea has, however,
apparently plenty to offer.

Just like the ever popular Rooibos tea, the tannin content of Honeybush tea is very
low; and also contains no caffeine at all. Good news for would-be slimmers is that
this inexpensive and readily available tea is reported to stave off hunger pangs and
reduce water retention.

Scientific analysis of your typical cup of Honeybush reveals an impressive range of
minerals needed for good health; such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium,
Magnesium, Sodium, Zinc, Manganese, Iron, Aluminium, and Boron. Honeybush
apparently also contains anti-oxidants; those free-radical fighters which slow the
ageing process of the body's cells. Recent scientific studies on Honeybush are not
extensive enough to make any far- reaching medical claims; however, Honeybush tea
is believed to have anti-carcinogenic ( cancer-fighting ), anti-fungal, antispasmodic
and anti-depressant properties. Not a bad track record for an unassuming little bush
growing wild in mountains and valleys of the Western and Southern Cape !

Honeybush tea is brewed for the perfect cuppa as you would any other tea; although
you're advised to let Honeybush infuse a little longer than usual. Honeybush ( like
Rooibos ) actually improves in flavour the longer you allow it to brew. Honeybush
may also be brewed on the stove in teapot and left to simmer without becoming
bitter. Strong Honeybush tea is also useful as a base for sauces and marinades; and
enhances natural flavours when added to any vegetable stew or casserole.

Several health-promoting properties have been associated with drinking Rooibos tea
and to a lesser extent Honeybush tea, e.g. as treatment for colic infants, as aid for
allergies and various sleep and digestive disorders. Research shows it may alleviate
menopausal symptoms in women, prevent cancerous tumours, repair sun damage,
aid digestion, even stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.

Scientists have shown that cancer development is a multi-step process, and that
damage to human genetic material (DNA) is likely to be a major cause of cancer; as
well as other chronic diseases. Both Rooibos and Honeybush teas have been shown
(in studies done at PROMEC Unit of MRC South Africa) to prevent DNA damage. The
teas showed protective effects against detoxifying enzymes.

It's time for Honeybush tea to get it's fair share of the limelight; and with so many
health conscious tea lovers adding it their shopping lists; it's all set to go!


About The Author

Janet Holmes has been involved in the health and cosmetics industry for many
years.She is now the director of SA Tea. Her objective is to inform the general public
of the properties and benefits of South African herbal teas for healthier living.  Web
page:
The Honeybush Miracle
by Janet Holmes
Perhaps a little eclipsed by the
world-wide success of Rooibos,
another natural South African
health tea, Honeybush; is finally
getting the attention it deserves.

Honeybush tea ( botanical name:
Cyclopia intermedia ) grows
along mountain slopes in the
Cedarberg and Langkloof area,
and has a naturally sweet,
almost honey-like taste. Its
brewing colour is a pinky red.
South Africa produces only 200
tons of Honeybush tea per year.
Not much when compared to the
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