1. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 May; 4(5):701-18. Phenolic contribution of South African herbal teas to a healthy diet. Joubert E, Gelderblom WC, De Beer D. Post-Harvest and Wine Technology Division, Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag X5026, Stellenbosch, South Africa 7599.

South African herbal teas, rooibos and honeybush, are increasingly enjoyed as healthy alternatives to Camellia sinensis teas. They contribute to the diet with bioactive phytochemicals not commonly found in foods. Major compounds of rooibos are the unique dihydrochalcone, aspalathin, and its flavone isomers, orientin and isoorientin. Honeybush contributes the xanthones, mangiferin and isomangiferin and the flavanones, eriocitrin, narirutin and hesperidin. All these compounds are either C-glucosides or O-rhamnoglucosides, which are poorly absorbed. Phase II metabolism and degradation by intestinal bacteria are important factors in their absorption. Modulation of drug metabolising enzymes is indicated which not only could affect the therapeutic window of drugs, but also the bioavailability of other dietary flavonoids.”


2. Fitoterapia. 2009 Jan; 80(1):3-11. Epub 2008 Nov 11. Honeybush (Cyclopia sp.)–a rich source of compounds with high antimutagenic properties. Kokotkiewicz A, Luczkiewicz M. Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical University of Gdańsk, al. gen. J. Hallera 107, 80-416 Gdansk, Poland.

“The genus Cyclopia (Fabaceae family) includes a number of shrubs endemic to Cape Fynbos region of South Africa. The most common of these plants is Cyclopia intermedia E. Mey., used together with other Cyclopia species (mainly C.subternata and C. sessiliflora) to manufacture the honeybush herbal tea which has been produced in South Africa roughly since the beginning of the 19th century. Honeybush infusions are gaining popularity due to their characteristic honey-like flavour, low tannin content, absence of caffeine and potential health effects related to their antimutagenic and antioxidant properties. The presented review summarizes information concerning botany, chemistry, biological activity and application of Cyclopia plants."