South Africans have always loved their Rooibos tea, and now there’s even more reason to do so. According to research, Rooibos – which is unique to SA – offers untold health benefits including the potential to delay and prevent the onset and progression of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Prof Christo Muller, Chief Specialist Scientist at the SAMRC

The T2D findings were announced during November’s World Diabetes Month by the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC); following a number of studies over 10 years with research partners in Stellenbosch, Tokyo, Italy and Taiwan.

Prof Christo Muller, Chief Specialist Scientist at the SAMRC, confirmed Rooibos’ potential to help control diabetes, in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes; and says he believes “we’ve only just scratched the surface of Rooibos’ incredible healing potential”.

He says: “Our research found that an aspalathin-enriched extract of green Rooibos effectively lowered raised blood glucose levels in diabetic rats.”

SAMRC’s research has also found promising cardio-protective benefits of aspalathin, a compound produced by Rooibos to protect itself from negative environmental factors.

In a more recent breakthrough discovery, Prof Muller and his team found that Rooibos extract achieved significant glucose-lowering results in diabetic non-human primates. Human trials have been earmarked for 2018.

Rooibos grows exclusively in the Cederberg region situated in the northern part of the Western Cape.

The Prof says: “Rooibos is a unique South African plant, which offers almost limitless health benefits. The plant’s medicinal properties continue to astound scientists. I believe we’ve only just scratched the surface of Rooibos’ incredible healing potential.”

Benefits that may be derived from drinking Rooibos tea:

  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes associated cardiovascular disease
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Preventing blood clots

Check out these Rooibos recipes for diabetics (and delicious for all) – links below:

Diabetes is amongst the most prevalent diseases of lifestyle of our time, with about one in 14 South Africans between the ages of 21 and 79 suffering from the condition, and many living unknowingly with it.




LENTIL BOBOTIE – Rooibos Recipe 

TUNA AND BEAN HOT POT – Rooibos Recipe 


For more diabetic-friendly recipes that include Rooibos tea, visit:

For more South African recipes, visit SAPeople’s Tasty Recipes section.