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11 Proven Health Benefits Of Honeybush Tea

Honeybush tea is brewed from the leaves of the honeybush plant, which is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The plant, also known as Cyclopia is marked by attractive yellow flowers that smell of fresh honey and the leaves too, possess a sweet aroma. Honeybush is a flowering plant of family Fabaceae.

The taste of honeybush tea is similar to the rooibos (red bush) tea, another herbal tea of South Africa whose plant belongs to the same family as honeybush. It is believed that when honeybush tea is prepared, the whole house gets filled with its aroma. Unlike other herbal teas, honeybush tea contains no caffeine which makes it safer to consume during the pregnancy. What more you desire? Let's get down to know more about its health benefits. [1]

Bioactive Compounds In Honeybush Tea

Honeybush tea is made from the leaves of honeybush plant. The leaves contain essential phenolic compounds like 4-hydroxycinnamic acid, afrormosin, calycosin, fujikinetin, eriodictyol, hesperitin, flemichapparin, pinitol and many more. [13]

Minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese and zinc are also found in honeybush.

Health Benefits Of Honeybush Tea

Honeybush tea is packed with multiple health benefits. Some of its health benefits are as follows:

1. Treats insomnia: Honeybush tea is free of caffeine and low in tannins. When taken, it acts as a mild tranquillizer and helps us sleep well by soothing the nervous system and inducing sleep, hence treating insomnia. [2]

2. Relieves asthma: When the bronchial tube gets inflamed, the path narrows up which result in shortness of breath and cause asthma. The phenolic compounds present in honeybush relieves the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. [3]

3. Heals gastrointestinal problems: A large number of polyphenolic compounds in honeybush tea is known to heal the stomach-related problems like abdominal discomfort, cramps, pain, constipation and bloating. [4]

4. Treats cold: According to a study, honeybush tea contains isoflavones, narirutin and scolymoside (flavonoid) which help in strengthening the immune system and fight against the cold and flu infections. [5]

5. Prevents menopausal symptoms: According to a study, honeybush tea contains phytoestrogenic compounds (mangiferin and hesperidin) which help in alleviating menopausal symptoms in women. It also helps in preventing hormone-dependent cancers like breast cancer. [6]

6. Prevents arthritis: This herbal aromatic tea contains potential antiarthritis agents like isomangiferin (xanthones) and iriflophenone 3-C-β-glucoside which help in preventing arthritis and other bone-related diseases. [7]

7. Strengthens the liver: Honeybush tea enhances the activity of enzymes (cytosolic glutathione S-transferase alpha) in the liver. Also, this herbal tea helps in reducing oxidative stress in the body due to its antioxidant property. [8]

8. Controls diabetes: Honeybush tea is a natural source of antioxidants. They help in controlling diabetes. Also, honeybush tea naturally sweet. [9]

9. Reduces inflammation: The anti-inflammatory effects of aqueous extracts and methanol of honeybush play an important role in preventing photo-induced inflammation. It is also helpful in fighting against skin cancer. [10]

10. Treats obesity: According to a study published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, cyclopia has anti-obesity effect due to the presence of phenolic compounds like flavonoids, xanthone and benzophenone. [11]

11. Protects against skin damage: The antioxidant property of honeybush helps in hydrating the skin, reducing the skin scaliness, providing smoothness and preventing skin dryness. Its extract has been used in several skin products. [12]

How To Brew Honeybush Tea At Home

Honeybush tea leaves or tea bags are easily available in the market. Following are the steps to brew honeybush tea at home. [14]

1. Place one teaspoon of dried honeybush leaves in a cup (6-8 ounces).

2. Allow the water to boil.

3. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes.

4. Pour the water in the cup.

5. Let the leaves steep for 5-7 minutes.

6. Take the leaves out from the cup.

7. Serve honeybush tea hot.

One can also prepare iced tea from it by just replacing the hot water with ice cubes and can also refrigerate the hot tea to drink later.

Side Effects Of Honeybush Tea

There are no notable side effects of honeybush tea. However, it is always recommended to consult a medical expert before consuming any herbal tea. Don't forget to tell about your prescribed medications to the doctor and any possibility of side effects due to honeybush tea. Also, avoid taking a high dose of the tea.

View Article References
  1. [1] Visagie, A., Kasonga, A., Deepak, V., Moosa, S., Marais, S., Kruger, M. C., & Coetzee, M. (2015). Commercial Honeybush (Cyclopia spp.) Tea Extract Inhibits Osteoclast Formation and Bone Resorption in RAW264.7 Murine Macrophages-An in vitro Study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(11), 13779–13793. doi:10.3390/ijerph121113779
  2. [2] Ferreira, D., Kamara, B. I., Brandt, E. V., & Joubert, E. (1998). Phenolic compounds from Cyclopia intermedia (honeybush tea). 1. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 46(9), 3406-3410.
  3. [3] Joubert, E., Gelderblom, W. C. A., Louw, A., & de Beer, D. (2008). South African herbal teas: Aspalathus linearis, Cyclopia spp. and Athrixia phylicoides—A review. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 119(3), 376-412.
  4. [4] Mahomoodally M. F. (2013). Traditional medicines in Africa: an appraisal of ten potent african medicinal plants. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 617459. doi:10.1155/2013/617459
  5. [5] Kamara, B. I., Brand, D. J., Brandt, E. V., & Joubert, E. (2004). Phenolic metabolites from honeybush tea (Cyclopia subternata). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52(17), 5391-5395.
  6. [6] Mortimer, M., Visser, K., de Beer, D., Joubert, E., & Louw, A. (2015). Divide and Conquer May Not Be the Optimal Approach to Retain the Desirable Estrogenic Attributes of the Cyclopia Nutraceutical Extract, SM6Met. PloS one, 10(7), e0132950. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132950
  7. [7] Kokotkiewicz, A., Luczkiewicz, M., Pawlowska, J., Luczkiewicz, P., Sowinski, P., Witkowski, J., ... & Bucinski, A. (2013). Isolation of xanthone and benzophenone derivatives from Cyclopia genistoides (L.) Vent.(honeybush) and their pro-apoptotic activity on synoviocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Fitoterapia, 90, 199-208.
  8. [8] Marnewick, J. L., Joubert, E., Swart, P., van der Westhuizen, F., & Gelderblom, W. C. (2003). Modulation of hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes and oxidative status by rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia), green and black (Camellia sinensis) teas in rats. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 51(27), 8113-8119.
  9. [9] Ajuwon, O. R., Ayeleso, A. O., & Adefolaju, G. A. (2018). The Potential of South African Herbal Tisanes, Rooibos and Honeybush in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(12), 3207. doi:10.3390/molecules23123207
  10. [10] Magcwebeba, T., Swart, P., Swanevelder, S., Joubert, E., & Gelderblom, W. (2016). Anti-inflammatory effects of Aspalathus linearis and Cyclopia spp. extracts in a UVB/keratinocyte (HaCaT) model utilising interleukin-1α accumulation as biomarker. Molecules, 21(10), 1323.
  11. [11] Jack, B. U., Malherbe, C. J., Mamushi, M., Muller, C. J., Joubert, E., Louw, J., & Pheiffer, C. (2019). Adipose tissue as a possible therapeutic target for polyphenols: A case for Cyclopia extracts as anti-obesity nutraceuticals. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 120, 109439.
  12. [12] Gerber, G. S., Fox, L. T., Gerber, M., du Preez, J. L., van Zyl, S., Boneschans, B., & du Plessis, J. (2015). Stability, clinical efficacy, and antioxidant properties of Honeybush extracts in semi-solid formulations. Pharmacognosy magazine, 11(Suppl 2), S337–S351. doi:10.4103/0973-1296.166063
  13. [13] Ferreira, D., Kamara, B. I., Brandt, E. V., & Joubert, E. (1998). Phenolic compounds from Cyclopia intermedia (honeybush tea). 1. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 46(9), 3406-3410.
  14. [14] Visagie, A., Kasonga, A., Deepak, V., Moosa, S., Marais, S., Kruger, M. C., & Coetzee, M. (2015). Commercial Honeybush (Cyclopia spp.) Tea Extract Inhibits Osteoclast Formation and Bone Resorption in RAW264.7 Murine Macrophages-An in vitro Study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(11), 13779–13793. doi:10.3390/ijerph121113779

Read more about: honey bush tea herbal tea
Story first published: Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 14:52 [IST]
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