There are teas that we drink because of their amazing taste and teas that are not very good, but have a lot of health benefits. And then there are also drinks like honeybush, which are interesting both in terms of taste and in terms of positive effects on human health.
The African miracle that conquered the world
Honeybush in exact translation means honey bush. So it’s not a tea tree, but really a shrub. It is characterised by its sweet taste and pleasant honey aroma.
That’s why it’s a pleasure to drink and smell.
The shrub can be identified by a few basic parameters, which include its smaller height of about 60 cm, yellow flowers, and especially the aroma mentioned above, so it is virtually impossible to confuse it with another shrub.
Cyclopia intermedia, or honeybush, is found most widely in a relatively small area located in the south-east of Cape Town. The shrub is similar in many respects to the similarly known rooibos. It too is processed in much the same way as traditional teas and is drunk in the same way.
In southern Africa, honeybush has been unprecedentedly popular among local tribes for many centuries, perhaps even longer. However, it was not until the Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg discovered the honey bush for the world to see that he became interested in it scientifically. His published studies then resulted in a great surge of interest in drinking the honeybush beverage even among the bulk of the colonists.
The rumour of its great taste and excellent health benefits then spread at the speed of light, and honeybush began to expand around the world.
Harvesting and processing
Harvesting occurs in the summer months. After harvesting, the bush is then chopped into small pieces, which can be as small as a few millimetres or as large as a few centimetres. Soaking and fermentation then take place in preheated ovens.
Fermentation is relatively quick, taking only a few hours.
The process that takes the most time is drying. This takes place outdoors in the sun. Depending on the weather, drying can take a few days to a little over a week. Once the plant has turned brown or its aroma has multiplied, this is the signal to stop drying.
How does it affect human health?
Honeybush, like many other teas, is very beneficial to human health. The bushmen knew this hundreds of years ago when they made hot infusions from it. Scientifically, however, it wasn’t until the colonists began to study the subject.
It is also true, however, that the first really modern authoritative analysis of this South African shrub was not made until the beginning of the last century.
But it has long been known that honeybush should be indulged in by people stricken with the flu or other respiratory ailments. It can alleviate the negative effects of colds very effectively, but it should also be used as a preventive measure against a number of diseases.
It treats inappetence and high blood pressure
If your little ones suffer from anorexia, a drink made from honeybush could help them. Unlike many other teas and similar hot drinks, this one is also suitable for children. It does not contain caffeine or tannin.
The absence of these substances not only allows regular use by children, but also by people suffering from cardiac problems.
Neither caffeine nor tannin should be taken regularly by such affected people. Also, with its help you can get rid of high blood pressure. However, it is essential to drink it at regular intervals.
It is also positive that it is a sweet tea, so there is no need to flavor it with sugar or other types of sweeteners. This in itself can also help to positively affect the health of individuals who cannot be without sugar in tea.
A large amount of sugar is certainly not very beneficial to the body.
Beneficial for the skin
Drinking honeybush tea will also improve the properties of your skin. The drink increases the skin’s defences against ultraviolet rays. If you frequently expose your body to the sun, you can also protect yourself in this way.
Even people who suffer from various eczema, acne or other skin diseases and deformities should avoid consuming honeybush tea.
This is because it can help them too, as well as individuals who have dry and wrinkled skin. This is either naturally or perhaps due to work duties in adverse conditions.
How to prepare the tea
Honeybush is prepared in many ways just like other teas. You simply pour water over the loose and bagged version and wait for all the necessary substances to leach into it. However, there is one important principle to follow.
After pouring, the container needs to be covered or sealed so that the active ingredients do not evaporate out of the drink during the infusion process.
Steeping time varies depending on whether you use a bagged or loose honeybush. In the case of the sachet version, you just need to wait ten minutes and then you can consume. For the loose version, the waiting interval must be extended by five minutes.