Rooibos; Aspalathus linearis
Aspalathus linearis, an endemic South African fynbos species, is cultivated to produce the well-known herbal tea, also commonly known as rooibos. Its caffeine-free and comparatively low tannin status, combined with its potential health-promoting properties, most notably antioxidant activity, has contributed to its popularity and consumer acceptance globally. The utilization of rooibos has also moved beyond a herbal tea to intermediate value-added products such as extracts for the beverage, food, nutraceuticals and cosmetic markets.
Rooibos is used traditionally throughout Africa in numerous ways. It has been used as a refreshment drink and as a healthy tea beverage. It was only after the discovery that an infusion of rooibos, when administered to her colicky baby, cured the chronic restlessness, vomiting, and stomach cramps that rooibos became well known as a “healthy” beverage, leading to a broader consumer base. Many babies since then have been nurtured with rooibos—either added to their milk or given as a weak brew