This Herb Has Been Used All Around the World but Its History Starts in Africa

woman holding a cup of tea
Via flickr
Adé Hennis
May 21, 2023

The Khoisan tribe were once the largest group of humans across the globe. Native to South Africa, they were known for their herbal intellect and their hunter-gathering expertise. While there is a decreasing number of descendants of this indigenous tribe, they have one tradition that they left behind.

The Khoisan’s history dates back to over 22,000 years, and even though there are many herbs that they consumed back then, there is one herb that has stood the test of time. Rooibos.

Rooibos is a herb native to South Africa, and the indigenous people would use the herb to make tea. But as Europeans continued to find out about the tea throughout the years, it has become heavily exploited and its history is diminishing.

In 2022, tea companies would finally pay some of what the Khoisan people were due, and compensate groups representing the indigenous tribe $716,000 for the production of rooibos tea. But the monetary award isn’t enough.

Full of antioxidants and history, let’s carry on the tradition of consuming rooibos tea that indigenous South African tribes left behind.  It’s a win-win. Their story needs to continue to be celebrated, and our health needs to be prioritized.

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