The story of Rooibos (Aspalathus Linearis) started over 300 years ago when the indigenous bushmen of the area, the Khoisan people, harvested the leaves from the Aspalathus Linearis plant to use it as a drink and a remedy. Early Dutch settlers at the Cape started drinking Rooibos as an alternative to the very expensive black tea from Europe. Carl Thunberg, a botanist from Europe who visited the Cape in 1772, reported on the Rooibos plant and the tea brewed from it. A Russian immigrant to South Africa, Benjamin Ginsberg, recognised the potential of this unique “mountain tea” in 1904 and started trading with Rooibos, becoming the first exporter of Rooibos.
In the early 20th Century, Rooibos captured the imagination of medical doctor and nature lover Dr Le Fras Nortier. Drawn by this mysterious and aromatic tea, he started researching its medicinal value and agricultural potential. However, the growing of Rooibos as a commercial crop only started in the 1930’s. In 1968 Mrs. Annetjie Theron, a South African mother struggling with an allergic infant, put the spotlight on Rooibos with her claims that it soothed her baby’s colic.
In 1984 Rooibos made headlines in Japan as an anti-ageing product.
Green Rooibos was developed in 1995 by the Agricultural Research Council in South Africa and today Rooibos is mixed with various natural herbs and ingredients to produce infusions which make delicious warm and cold drinks, enjoyed by many as remedies.
Rooibos (Redbush) is the name that was given to this plant due to the colour of the leaves when they are dried. Annique Rooibos Infusions are free of any preservatives or artificial colourants and of the highest standard. The quality of any Rooibos infusion is determined by the ratio of leaves to sticks. Leaves contain most of the good antioxidant qualities and the sticks give it the distinct herbal taste. Annique Rooibos has 4 x more leaves than twigs in the mix, hence the soft taste and good flavour.
No matter how, Rooibos is good for everybody and never harms. If thirsty, it quenches; if exercising, it strengthens; if sleepless, it induces sound sleep. Excellent for babies when combined with their bottle-feed.
“While Rooibos is not a medicine, it is an affordable drink with potential health-promoting properties. Research is ongoing to find all the answers about this unique South African product.”
Prof Elizabeth Joubert, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa