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Honeybush

Honeybush is a plant that is often found in herbal teas.

Honeybush, a plant with a very characteristic honey smell, is a close cousin of Rooibos. 

 

ORIGINS OF HONEYBUSH

Honeybush is a plant native to South Africa. It has been cultivated for more than three centuries. It is said that before the importation of Tea, Honeybush was like its cousin Rooibos, a plant that was the traditional and beneficial local drink in Africa.

This native plant soon conquered Europe and other countries. It was introduced on the continent by the Dutch East India Company, a commercial company founded in 1602. The Dutch and British also consumed it before the appearance of Tea.

Unfortunately, the Honeybush was forgotten for several years and only returned to the forefront of the scene in Europe in the 1990s. It is thanks to Dr. Hannes De Lange and the National Botanical Institute Kirstenbosh in Cape Town that Honeybush is once again among the most popular plants on our continent.

 

HONEYBUSH CHARACTERISTICS

Name: Cyclopia
Family: Fabaceae
Species: Flowering plant

Honeybush is a flowering plant from South Africa. Belonging to the Fabaceae family, it takes on the appearance of Scotch brooms or Rosemary, which are more common in France.

The leaves and flowers of Honeybush are very fragrant, which is why the plant is called "Honey bush". It reveals soft and sweet flavours reminiscent of honey.

Honeybush grows in almost extreme conditions. This plant has the ability to grow on relatively acidic soils and under difficult and changing climatic conditions, to which few plants can survive. Honeybush is said to be a very adaptogenic plant.

 

There are now more than a dozen Honeybush species, most of which are found in the wild. The two most common species, and used commercially, are the "Cyclopia intermedia" and the "Cyclopia subternata". "Cyclopia intermedia" is also known as "Bergtee" meaning mountain tea. It can be found between Port Elizabeth and Langkloof. "Cyclopia subternata" is also known as "Vleitee" meaning plain tea or "Valleitee" meaning valley tea. 

 

USES OF HONEYBUSH

Honeybush is a plant similar to Rooibos. It does not contain any caffeine and is therefore consumed like Rooibos. It is a plant that is mainly consumed as an infusion. It can even be brewed for several hours without the bitterness and astringency of tea when brewed for too long.

To consume Honeybush as an infusion, it is necessary to infuse the leaves of the plant in water at 90°C for at least 10 minutes, or more if you wish, Honeybush being a plant that does not develop bitterness.

Like many other plants, Honeybush is one of the plants used by chefs. Its soft and sweet flavours are ideal with meats such as stews, sauces or marinades. This plant brings a lot of originality to the dishes without altering or masking their taste.

Still from a gustatory point of view, Honeybush matches very well with other aromatic plants such as Mint, Hibiscus, Sage or Chamomile. Its soft, sweet and honey-like flavours blend with other more pronounced or equally sweet dishes and plants, depending on what you are looking for.

 

BENEFITS OF HONEYBUSH

Honeybush is a plant known for its antioxidant properties.

Honeybush is also often used to favour digestion, help sleep and relieve digestive disorders.