To celebrate this National Rooibos Day we are sharing some interesting facts about this local produce. Get your facts straight by reading the ten interesting facts below. Take part in online conversation by following Rooibos Day on Facebook (@RooibosDay), Twitter (@RooibosDay) and Instagram (@rooibosdag) or use the hashtag #RooibosDay or #RooibosDag.
Did you know?
- National Rooibos Day is celebrated annually on 16 January and was established as an official national day in 2017.
- Rooibos is a type of fynbos (Aspalathus Linearis) indigenous to South Africa and grows specifically in the Cedarberg region of the Western Cape.
- Benjamin Ginsberg, the father of rooibos, was the first person to market rooibos as a tea in South Africa. National Rooibos Day coincides with his birthday.
- The red colour of rooibos only develops once the green leaves are fermented. Green rooibos is also produced commercially, but is more demanding to make and therefore more expensive.
- Rooibos tea is famous for its health benefits due to its high antioxidant content and can do wonders for allergies, skin, and intestinal health. Rooibos tea is not a “true tea” which is derived from the Camillia Sinensis plant, making it more of an herbal drink or tisane than a classic tea.
- In the Clanwilliam region of the Western Cape rooibos has been prepared as a tea by the indigenous Khoisan people for about 300 years.
- Rooibos was produced commercially for the first time in the 1930’s following the research of dr Le Fras Nortier who found a way to successfully germinate the tiny seeds.
- The rooibos industry is now worth an estimated R600 million and is the economic mainstay of the Clanwilliam district.
- The rooibos plant, being endemic to a small part of the Western Cape coast, may be threatened by climate change. Increasing temperatures and decreasing rainfall may result in the extinction of the plant.
To learn more about the history of rooibos and to watch a video of how it is produced, click here.