What is honeybush tea and how does it taste?
Honeybush otherwise known as Heuningbos or Cyclopia intermedia is a shrub native to the Eastern and Western Cape regions of South Africa, just like rooibos. Honeybush tea is simply made by drying the leaves of the Cyclopia plant and then later infusing them in boiling water to make a tea. This makes it a very natural process.
Interestingly, honeybush is harvested once a year or even once every two years, from wild plants and not large scale plantations. It has beautiful yellow flowers which have the aroma of honey owing to its name as honeybush plant. Again, it has similarities with rooibos this time in terms of flavour. Honeybush tea tastes slightly sweeter, with an essence of honey and apricot flavours. This is combined with faint nutty undertones to provide a full-bodied brew.
The use of honeybush tea stems back to reports in botanical literature of its use in 1705, so it has long been enjoyed as a herbal tea. However, recent interest in its widespread benefits, is also one of the main reasons for its sudden gain in popularity worldwide.
So, what makes it so special and why is honeybush tea good for your health?
What are the health benefits of honeybush tea?
1. Honeybush contains antioxidants ... well, loads of them!
Honeybush tea contains lots of antioxidants called phenolic compounds. They have been shown to have a role in protecting from immune cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Therefore they can support a healthy immune system and aid the body’s natural defences.
2. It is naturally low in tannins
Tannins are bitter tasting compounds that are found in most teas. They can interact with iron and reduce its absorption into the body. The good news is that honeybush has low levels of tannins, making it less likely to affect your iron intake than traditional black teas. Also, it means that your cup of honeybush tea won’t turn bitter even if you brew it for far longer than needed.
3. Honeybush tea does not contain caffeine
The honeybush shrub, much like the rooibos plant, does not contain any caffeine so it does not need to be processed through a decaffeination procedure. It is just naturally caffeine free! If you want to find out more about caffeine and sleep, read here.
4. It can soothe sore throats
Honeybush tea contains pinitol which is a modified sugar. This has been suggested to help coughs as it acts as an expectorant. It might help you feel a little better whilst your immune system tackles the infection.
Despite being similar to rooibos, in the UK there are far fewer blends available that contain honeybush tea. However, at WILDBOS we have created a delightful range which includes Vanilla Orchid and Honeybush. This delicious blend combines vanilla and honeybush with elderflower to provide naturally sweet yet deep flavour.
Find out more in our online shop!