Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday's Herbal Tisane -- Honeybush

Honeybush (scientific name Cyclopia genistoides; Family: Fabaceae), or 'Heuningbos' in Afrikaans, is commonly used to make an infusion in the same manner as tea. It grows only in a small area in the southwest of South Africa and shares many similarities with rooibos.
The leaves of the bush are harvested, bruised, and left in the sun to oxidize. The resulting product is then boiled or steeped like tea to make a beverage that is enjoyed both hot and cold.
South Africa's Univeristy of the Free State found Honeybush an effective aid for constipation and a mild relaxant.
Honeybush contains virtually no caffeine (< 0.01% compared to 3.3% in ceylon tea), and is low in tannin (0.45% compared to 30% in ceylon tea). Tannin inhibits absorption of minerals.
Some of the active compounds present in Honeybush include:

Cinnamic acids
Non-Phenolic metabolites

  • Caffeine-free
  • Very low tannin levels
  • It is very soothing and calms the central nervous system
  • Eases constipation
  • Can be applied topically to skin irritations
  • Full of antioxidants to guard against free radical attack
  • Contains polyphenols that boost the immune system and to help reduce the degenerative effects of lifestyle diseases
  • Rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and sodium
  • Contains isoflavones and coumestans that are known to prevent breast, prostate and uterine cancers, osteoporosis and high cholesterol
  • The flavones and isoflavones of Honeybush are similar to those of soy, and are similarly helpful when used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
  • Staves off hunger pangs
  • Reduces water retention
Downsides of Honeybush
None whatsoever as no negative side effects ever reported therefore Honeybush can be drunk freely. If Honeybush is brewed or boiled for longer than ten minutes, the antioxidant activity becomes much higher.

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