Rooibos was first brought to the attention of the world around the turn of the 19th century. At the time, it was being consumed by the indigenous people of the Cederburg region, where the bush was found growing wild on the mountain slopes. In 1904, Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian immigrant, began trading the product commercially.
The needle-like Rooibos leaves were cut, bruised, fermented and sun dried, later to be infused to provide a delicious beverage, hot or cold. For the past sixty years, cultivation, production and quality control procedures have been refined and an extensive distribution network established.
People in over sixty countries around the world now enjoy the many unique benefits of Rooibos.
Today, it is cultivated on more than 600 farms in the vast Cederburg area about two hundred miles north of Cape Town. The area is located in a semi-arid region, but there is just enough annual rainfall to allow the long tap roots of the Rooibos plant to grow and sustain itself.
Typically the tea is harvested once a year in the hottest months of the summer. About twelve to eighteen inches of the top of the plant are cut, collected and then sent for processing. The plants are good for four annual harvests before they are ploughed into the earth and the land allowed to lay fallow for ten years before re-planting occurs Rooibos has long been recognized for having many healthy beneficial effects. It has been known to help relieve, insomnia, various allergies, colic in babies and other digestive ills. It may also help promote healthy skin, teeth, and bones. Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and low in tannins and doesn’t interfere with the absorption of iron, protein and other healthy minerals. On-going research has shown that the product is non toxic and can be consumed safely day or night without affecting sleep patterns or harming the digestive system.
Honeybush is another caffeine free herbal tea with very similar properties to Rooibos. However, it is from a different species and grows on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. Production is still limited in comparison to Rooibos, but it is becoming increasingly popular around the world.
Irvine, CA based, Herbal Teas International, is your direct US based source for a wide range of these bulk leaf and powdered extracts for use in loose leaf blends and packaged products. We’re totally committed to being the leader in meeting the ever-changing needs of our consumers, continually developing new products in partnership with our customers.
We invite you to browse our website to find out more about the unique Rooibos, Honeybush and Lemon Myrtle tea products.