Honeybush also known as Heuningbos in Afrikaans. It is a genus of some 20 species of flowering plants in the legume family. Fabaceae of the subfamily faboideae. It grows only in small areas in the Eastern and Western Cape region of South Africa and has several similarities with rooibos. It is know as Honey-bush, because the flowers smells like honey and the taste of honeybush tea is similar to that of rooibos, but a little bit sweeter.
Botanical name: Cyclopia
Honeybush is a herb with woody stems that produces trifoliate (three-part) leaves, bright yellow flowers and are commonly used to make herbal teas Residents to South Africa have been interested in it’s medicinal benefits of honeybush tea for centuries, but the use of honeybush probably originated with the indigenous people of Khoisan.
Fermented leaves and stems of the honeybush plant are used to brewe honeybush tea.
The taste of honeybush is described by tea drinkers as floral, lightly roasted, and similar to honey.
Even as it is often compared to rooibos tea, honeybush is usually sweeter and fuller bodied. Even though, it is often compared to rooibos tea, honeybush is usually fuller bodied and sweeter. Some say, it taste “less medicinal” than rooibos tea. However, the taste of the honeybush you drink at home will depend on the particular tea leaves you buy and the method of cooking.
HOW TO PREPARE HONEYBUSH TEA
You can find Honeybush tea bags in tea shops, grocery stores and online. Simply follow the instructions on the package to prepare, if you buy honeybush tea bags.
You can also buy honeybush tea leaves and steep them at home to make a hot or cold beverage.
STEPS IN MAKING HONEYBUSH TEA AT HOME
Step 1. Put one teaspoonful of honeybush leaves tea (dried) in the bottom of a six to eight ounces of teacup.
Step 2. Heat water to 212º Fahrenheit. If you do not have a temperature-controlled tea jug, bring the water to a boil and then allow it sit for a minute to lower the temperature slightly.
Step 3. Pour water on the tea leaves
Step 4. Let the tea boil for as long as you want, usually about five minutes or seven minutes.
Step 5. Strain loose leaves from the cup before drinking. Honeybush tea leaves may be reboiled and used for a second time
Follow the same instructions, to make iced honeybush drink, but pour the finished brew into a tall glass tumbler and add ice. You can also put the tea to cool in the refrigerator to enjoy at another time.
Many tea drinkers add a bit of honey to enhance the flavor and the potential health benefits, even though honeybush drink already has a sweet taste. You can also buy a Flavored honeybush drink in many tea shops. Fruit flavored honeybush teas (peach or apricot, for instance) are common.
IS HONEYBUSH TEA CAFFEINE FREE?
Honeybush tea is not a “tea” in the traditional sense, it is an herbal tea. Unlike green tea or black tea, it is not made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and is made from only a fraction of the honeybush plant that contains no caffeine. And this makes honeybush tea completely caffeine-free.
HONEYBUSH TEA BENEFITS
Honeybush has many rumored benefits but in general, it is credited with calming coughs. It has an expectorant properties that may help you to clear your throat when you are sick to relieve you of coughing.
Other health benefits of honeybush tea include:
I. Relief from menopausal symptoms
II. Decreased blood sugar
III. Diabetes treatment
HUMAN STUDIES ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS HONEYBUSH
It is unfortunate that human studies are lacking to support these claims. But researchers are investigating the health benefits of honeybush in vitro studies and with animal.
in 2010 a study published in Nutrition and Cancer found that consumption of unfermented honeybush tea inhibited tumor growth in rats, leading researchers to suggest that further research should examine the chances that the same effect may carry over to humans.
In 2015, vitro study found that honeybush tea could have beneficial effects on bone health. Vitro studies are performed in a lab, with a test tube or culture dish. These studies do not provide conclusive information about the effect of a substance on human body, but it helps researchers investigate potential benefits. The authors of this honeybush study suggest that more research be done to further study the benefits of honeybush tea. The authors of the study said that the principal polyphenols in the honeybush include xanthine mangfarin. According to a 2007 review of the health benefits of rubibus and honeybush, flavonones hesperetin and isokuranetin.
They stated that both teas provide immune-boosting, cancer-preventative and potential antioxidant benefits based on evidence provided by lab studies and rodent studies. However, they add that human studies are lacking.
There are no consequential side effects reported for honeybush tea. However, it is always best to consult you doctor to make sure that it does not interfere with your current medications or management of a medical condition, before taking any herbal tea or using any herb for treatment.