The SA Rooibos Council (SARC) announced at their Science CafÃ© in partnership with Wesgro on 2 April 2019, that they will be investing R4.5 million into further research and trials on Rooibosâ€™ potential to reduce and prevent disease.
Joe Swart, in his capacity as Research Director on SARC, states, â€œThe world is on the threshold of a new era of using natural products in medicinal applications and Rooibos has a part to play in this.â€ Â Â The research, which is set to share its findings in 2022, will specifically look at the potential of Rooibos to reduce allergies, heart disease, diabetes and skin cancer.Â Scientists will also investigate Rooibosâ€™ impact on gut flora and to what extent it can lessen the side effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART).
â€œRooibos is a good source of unique and beneficial bio-actives such as antioxidants, different to those found in other teas, fruits and vegetables and is particularly rich in phytochemicals such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which contribute to its health benefits,â€ explains Swart.
In addition to providing more than 8Â 000 jobs with further employment being created in upstream manufacturing activities, Rooibos is poised to further boost the Western Capeâ€™s coffers by way of agri-tourism, turning Clanwilliam â€“ the heartland of Rooibos â€“ into an attractive tourism destination. The recent launch of the â€˜Rooibos Routeâ€™ is already bearing fruit of the success that can be had from combining agricultural production with tourism