Red Bush Tea
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Red Bush Tea
ntroduced Photo: Ramesh Raju
Common name: Red Bush Tea, Rooibos Tea, South African red tea
Botanical name: Aspalathus linearis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Rooibos or Red Bush Tea is a shrub which can grow up to 2 meter in height. The erects red coloured rooibos stems contain many dark green needle shaped leaves. The rooibos shrub produces small yellow flowers in spring through early summer. Each flower produces a one seeded small bean. Roobos has a long tap root, sometimes up to 2 m in length, enabling the plant to survive periods of drought. Rooibos grows only in South Africa. Rooibos tea is much appreciated because it does not contain caffeine and is low in tannins. The seed have been recently brought to South India also by some plant lovers.
Medicinal uses: Rooibos has anti-carcinogenic and antimutagenic effects. Tea made with it is used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Consumption of rooibos tea may relief fever, asthma, insomnia, colic in infants and skin disorders. Rooibos extracts are used in ointments against eczema.

Identification credit: Ramesh Raju
Photographed in Chennai.
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