Monday, September 3, 2007


Honeybush (botanical name - Cyclopia spp.; family: Fabaceae) or 'Heuningbos' in Afrikaans is a plant used to make an infusion, the same way as tea. It has many similarities as Rooibos. Honeybush grows only in the Lankloof (southwest of South Africa). 4 of 23 honeybush species are commercially used. These are:
1) Cyclopia intermedia - Berg tee or Mountain tea
2) Cyclopia subternata - Vlei tee or Marshland tea
3) Cyclopia genisoides - Kus tee or Coastal tea
4) Cyclopia sessiliflora - Heidelberg tee (named after a town in South Africa).
Honeybush is being processed in two different ways:
1) tradional way - leaves of the bush are harvested, cut and bruised (with special mechanical rollers), and then oxidised by leaving them in the sun
2) modern way - oxidisation is preformed in rotating heated (70 to 90 degrees Celsius) tanks for 2 to 3 days. Leaves are then air dried. Honeybush is a good aid for costipation. It is also a mild relaxant. Honeybush has almost no caffeine (less then 0.01%). It has low levelof tannin (0.45%). Honeybusy contains active compounds like isoflavones, flavones, cinnamic acids, coumestans, non-phenolic metabolites and xanthones.
Honeybush is sometimes consumed with milk and sugar. But true Honeybush lovers say that it is better to consume it without them. It is good toadd small amount of honey to the tea. Honeybush can also be use as icedtea. It blends well with fruit juices. Honeybush can be consumed daily. For treatment of cough, or as an aid in regulation of blood sugar, or helping symptoms of menopause, the tea can be consumed several times during the day.

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