The prized rooibos, indigenous to the south-western reaches of South Africa, has long been used by the Khoi and San as a refreshing drink and a medicinal herb. Today it is enjoyed around the world. Its following has grown so vast that a pair of enterprising sisters in a small rural town has set up the Rooibos Route.
A study at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology has found that rooibos tea has helped to prevent liver damage in rats that had the liver-damaging chemical tert-butyl hydroperoxide. The tea may even reverse some of the damage done to the organ, it was found.
• Rooibos takes the fight to diabetes
There is always a delightful Madam and Eve quality to my meetings with my mogadibo (darling) Melea Letsoalo. I have known her my whole life – literally from the day I was born. She was our family’s domestic worker for over 40 years, and her life and mine are so entwined we’re practically related, writes Bridget Hilton-Barber.
The look, taste and health properties of red espresso, South African-invented beverage that’s neither coffee nor tea, is causing quite a stir with lovers of both drinks.
A South African community of small-scale farmers producing organically grown rooibos tea have steamed ahead to the finals of an international challenge for social entrepreneurs.