Species: A. linearis
Common Name: Rooibos
Aspalathus can easily be our most known product. It is better known as Rooibos in Afrikaans or red bush as referred to in Rooibos Tea. Aspalathus linearis is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants. Modern pronouncication is "ROY-boss".
We are living in a health-conscious age and because of the high levels of antioxidants found in Aspalathus, it is not a surprise that it is becoming more and more popular globally. Aspalathus are taken orally as a tea and it does not contain any caffeine. The antioxidants it contain are aspalathin and nothofagin.
Further usage of Aspalathus is for digestive problems and it has been reported that it helps with nervous tension and also allergies. Traditionally, it has been use to allevate infantile colic, dermathological problems and asthma. Fully oxidized Aspalathus contains lower antioxidants then "Green" Aspalathus.
Rooibos tea got it's name from the reddish colour of the tea when infused. The reddish color is because of the oxidising process. This is to enhance the flavour of the tea.
The leaves, rolled into hessian bags, have been traditionally wild-harvested by local people in the mountains and transported home on the backs of donkeys down the steep slopes. Before it is laid out in the sun for drying, the leaves are chopped to bruise it. Since it became popular, Aspalathus is now grown commercially and there are much more modern producing and drying methods.
Rooibos is being sold as a tea on it's own or in a variety of blends.