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Scientific Name:
Aspalathus linearis
Family Name:
Fabaceae
Common Name:
rooibos
Evidence of Activity
Pharmacodynamics
Orientin, a flavone from Aspalathus linearis improved glucose and palmitate uptake by insulin resistant C3A liver cells by inducing gene expression of Glut2, Irs1, Pi3k, Ampk and Cpt1. Mazibuko-Mbeje 2021
Linearthin, a chalcone derivative, and aspalathin and nothofagin, two dihydrochalcone glycosides from the acetonic extract of green Aspalathus linearis exhibited a protective effect against UVB-induced oxidative stress in HaCaT and SK-MEL-1 skin cells likely via antioxidant activity. Akinfenwa 2021
Fermented Aspalathus linearis improved percentage of intact mitochondrial membranes and reduced DNA fragmentation in human sperm but did not affect motility, vitality, intracellular reactive oxygen species, or acrosome reactivity. Takalani 2021
Aspalathin, a dihydrochalcone glucoside isolated from Aspalathus linearis, promoted enzymatic activity of tyrosinase. The predicted interactions were modeled in molecular docking simulations. Blom van Staden 2021
The antidiabetic properties of fermented and young green leaves of Aspalathus linearis were compared using a comprehensive target-directed screening platform where both the green and fermented extracts of A. linearis demonstrated very broad antidiabetic mechanisms. 2021
Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) 10 ng/mL prevented all of suppressing effects that xylene exerted on the function of cultured porcine ovarian granulosa cells (viability, proliferation [PCNA accumulation], apoptosis [bax accumulation], and release of estradiol and progesterone). Sirotkin 2020
Screening of the hot water extracts of 26 herbs revealed significant increases in the inhibition of a-glucosidase activity (which prevents postprandial hyperglycemia) by 1,000 µg/ml red rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) extract in vitro. Kikuchi 2020
Aqueous extracts of green rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and aspalathin-enriched extract of green rooibos induced apoptosis in human liver HepG2 and colon HT-29 cancer cells. Luteolin induced apoptosis in HepG2 while aspalathin lacked any effect. Samodien 2020
Simultaneous exposure of fermented Aspalathus linearis tincture and EtOH was able to negate the effects of EtOH on endothelial cell viability and cell proliferation, but was not able to reverse or reduce the effects of EtOH on claudin-5 transcription and paracellular permeability. Fisher 2020
Analysis of 6 functional extracts (Aspalathus linearis, Paullinia cupana, Aristotelia chilensis, Ilex paraguariensis, Syzygium aromaticum, and wild berries) in vitro and in vivo as an alternative to alleviating pathologies associated with oxidative stress (proliferation of cancer cells). Dabulici 2020
In C3A liver cells cultured with palmitate, atorvastatin (ATV) induced significant apoptosis which was not ameliorated by co-treatement with GRT, an aspalathin-rich extract of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis). Millar 2020
Compared to Camellia sinensis and Ilex paraguariensis, rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) was the major source of quercetin-3-rutinoside, hesperidin and isoquercitrin, and showed the highest ability to inhibit a-glucosidase, the inhibition of LDL oxidation and protection of human erythrocytes. Santos 2020
The combination of aspalathin and phenylpyruvic acid-2-O-ß-D-glucoside (PPAG) from rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) demonstrated cardioprotective properties against hyperglycemia-induced cardiac damage in an in vitro model of H9c2 cardiomyocytes. Dludla 2020
Treatment with 25-100 µg/ml GRT (a standardized aspalathin-rich extract prepared from green rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)) suppressed the migration and invasion of human castration-resistant prostate cancer cells in vitro. Huang 2020
Bio-capacity of green rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) extracts measured by glucose uptake by C2C12 and C3A and lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells was not correlated with aspalathin content. A complement of compounds (including orientin, isoorientin and vitexin) were needed to predict biocapacity. Viraragavan 2020
Infusions of Aspalathus linearis and Camellia sinensis (black tea) showed free radical scavenging activities in vitro, increased GSH, SOD, and CAT activities in oxidative hepatic injury, and inhibited intestinal glucose absorption and a-amylase activities, and elevated muscle glucose uptake. Xiao 2020
Orientin from rooibos exhibited remarkable cytotoxicity and antiproliferative activity against colorectal carcinoma cells (HT29) in vitro, inducing G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and regulating cyclin and cyclin-dependent protein kinases to prevent S phase. Thangaraj 2019
An aspalathin-rich green rooibos extract (GRT™) suppressed the proliferation and survival of castration-resistant prostate cancer cells as demonstrated by in vitro and xenograft mouse models using LNCaP 104-R1, LNCaP FGC and PC-3 PCa cells. Action was exerted via inhibition of Akt signaling. Huang 2019
In an in vitro model of hepatic insulin resistance, aspalathin was able to correct altered substrate metabolism, improving insulin signaling and mitochondrial bioenergetics, likely via activation of 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Mazibuko-Mbeje 2019
In human umbilical vein endothelial cells exposed to diesel exhaust particles, pre-treatment with aqueous extracts of fermented rooibos, green rooibos, or fermented honeybush provided protection against oxidative stress and inflammatory response. Lawal 2019
Aspalathin attenuated doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts by improving endogenous antioxidant levels and mitochondrial membrane potential, while inhibiting reactive oxygen species production and cellular apoptosis. Shabalala 2018
Rooibos or ginkgo extract inhibited proliferation, promoted apoptosis, and suppressed both leptin and progesterone release in porcine ovarian granulosa cells in vitro, suggesting a direct inhibitory effect on ovarian functions. Štochmaľová 2018
Aspalathin-enriched green rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) extract (GRE) differentially modulates gene expression of hepatic and renal genes encoding xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes in the liver and kidneys of rats. Specific effects and mechanisms discussed. Abrahams 2018
While both fermented and unfermented rooibos tea inhibit osteoclast formation and attenuate NF-κB activity, fermented rooibos had a more potent inhibitory effect on osteoclasts and may benefit bone health. Moosa 2018
The use of various vitro models of dermal wound healing illustrated that due to proinflammatory action, fermented rooibos may benefit wounds with delayed initial inflammatory phase such as diabetic wounds, while green rooibos may benefit wounds characterized by excessive inflammation. Pringle 2018
Quercetin, luteolin and chrysoeriol were identified from rooibos tea as degranulation inhibitors in rat basophilic leukaemia cells. These findings indicate that these three flavonoids are the key factors underlying the degranulation inhibitory activity of rooibos tea. Morishita 2017
Ankaferd hemostat (a mixture of standardized plant extracts including Urtica dioica) was found to have growth inhibitory activity on primary melanoma cells and cell lines. Turk 2017
Methanol and aqueous extracts of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and two honeybush (Cyclopia species) were tested on different skin cells, in vitro. The anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity appears to be due to varied and intricate monomeric/polymeric polyphenolic cell interactions. Magcwebeba 2016
The antioxidant properties and polyphenol constituents of Aspalathus linearis and Cyclopia spp. can be useful predicting in vivo their chemoprotective capabilities and invitro their activity against skin cell survival. Magcwebeba 2016
Methanol and aqueous extracts of Aspalathus linearis and Cyclopia intermedia showed antioxidant and/or pro-oxidant actions and enhanced UVB-induced inhibition of cell viability, proliferation and induction of apoptosis, facilitating the removal of icIL-1α. Magcwebeba 2016
Phenylpyruvic acid-2-O-β-D-glucoside, from Aspalathus linearis (rooibos) has been found to protect H9c2 cardiomyocytes in vitro, alone or in combination with metformin, from chronic hyperglycemia. Dludla 2016
In vivo and in vitro effects of green rooibos extract (GRE), known to have higher levels of aspalathin (ASP) than fermented rooibos, was studied on pancreatic beta cells and diabetic mice. Results gave strong support that GRE has many possible pathways of anti -diabetic action. Kamakura 2015
Aspalathin (Asp) and nothofagin (Not) from green rooibos have potential as anti-endothelial cell protein C receptor in vitro and in vivo. Kwak 2015
Study of aspalathin and nothofagin for their effects on LPS-mediated vascular inflammation resulted in each compound inhibiting LPS-induced barrier disruption, expression of cell adhesion molecules, and adhesion/transendothelial migration of neutrophils to human endothelial cells. Lee 2015
Rooibos tea extract, possibly due to it high ORAC, reduced ROS and increased the CAT and SOD activities in a dose-dependent manner in two in vitro disease models of cancer and hyperglycemia. Waisundara 2015
Study of aspalathin (Asp) and nothofagin (Not) from green rooibos tea for their antiseptic effects and mechanisms against the high mobility group box 1 mediated septic responses in human umbilical vein endothelial cells and mice supported possible benefit by inhibiting HMGB1 mechanisms. Lee 2015
Palmitate induced insulin resistant 3T3-Li adipocytes, were exposed to aspalathin-enriched rooibos extract (GRE) and aspalathin (ASP). Both GRE and ASP reversed the insulin resistance. The mechanisms of this action may explain why GRE and ASP may help type 2 diabetes and obesity. Mazibuko 2015
Two dihydrochalcones, Aspalathin(Asp) and nothofagin(Not)from green rooibos were studied in vitro and in mice on high glucose(HG)induced vascular inflammation. Treatment with Asp or Not inhibited many complications induced by HG and may help treatment of diabetic complications. Ku 2015
Study of the anticoagulant properties of Aspalathin(Asp) and nothofagin(Not)-two dihydrolcones in green rooibos tea in vitro and in mice found both to exhibit antithrombotic actions which could serve for development of a new anticoagulant. Ku 2015
Some of the flavonoids of Aspalathus linearis and Camellia sinensis, inhibit testosterone production.The effect of these teas on TM3 Ledig cells with or without human chorionic gonadotropin was studied. Results support the anti-androgenic effects of these teas. Opuwari 2015
In vitro evaluation the activity of six herbal infusions against Helicobacter pylori revealed green tea, St. John's wort, and rooibos to have the strongest effects. Results suggest these plants may be useful as prophylactic agents or adjuvants in the therapy of H. pylori infection. Boyanova 2014
The effect of major rooibos flavonoids on adrenal steroidogenic enzymes was studied in H295R cells. The position and number of hydroxyl and glucose moieties and the structural differences could explain the different mechanisms these flavonoids act on the adrenal steroidogenic enzymes. Schloms 2014
Rooibos tea given to immobilization-induced oxidative stressed rats showed that rooibos tea reversed the increase in 5-HIAA and FFA, prevented lipid peroxidation, restored stress-induced protein degradation, regulated glutathione metabolism and changed SOD and CAT activities. Hong 2014
The effects of hot water soluble solids of fermented rooibos on in vitro adipocyte differentiation shows that rooibos inhibits adipogenesis and influences adipocyte metabolism, potentially having a role in obesity prevention. Sanderson 2014
These in vivo and in vitro studies in humans given rooibos showed reduced cortisol:cortisone ratios in males and females and decreased glucocorticoid levels and CORT:testoserone in rats. Schloms 2014
An aspalathin-rich fraction and purified aspalathin, a flavonoid found in rooibos, were studied to evaluate the in vitro inhibition of xanthine oxidase (XOD).Aspalathin was found to be a competitive inhibitor of XOD, suppressing plasma uric acid levels in a dose-dependant fashion. Kondo 2013
An aqueous extract of Aspalathus linearis and or red palm oil were studied in Wistar rats with induced oxidative hepatotoxicity. Either product alone or together prevented the hepatotoxicity. Ajuwon 2013
Rooibos' effect on experimentally-induced insulin-resistance in C₂C₁₂ skeletal muscle cells was studied. This in vitro study does confirm that rooibos can improve palmitate-induced insulin resistance in C₂C₁₂ skeletal muscle cells by inhibition of PKC θ and increased activity of AMPK and AKT. Mazibuko 2013
Rooibos extracts,both fermented and unfermented, were given to Caenorhabdtis elegans and exposed to a high glucose environment. Green rooibos extended life span, and recuced oxidative damage. These results suggests rooibos enhances longevity and stress resistance. Chen 2013
Evaluation of the effect of a dandelion and rooibos extract complex (CRS-10) in vitro on the survival rate of TM3 Leydig cells, in older male rats, and in 30 human males revealed overall that CRS-10 is a safe and efficacious natural substance for reducing or alleviating andropause symptoms. Noh 2012
This study was to validate the antidiabetic activity of rooibos with high aspalathin content. In vitro and in vivo studies showed the combination of aspalathin-rutin, reduced blood glucose levels, illustrating that complex mixtures of polyphenols can act synergistically improving the effect. Muller 2012
150 plant extracts were screened in vitro for their anti-viral activity against Rheus rotavirus (RRV). Several extracts showed some promise against the rotavirus infection. Aspalathus linearis showed no effect of the loss of transepithelial resistance caused the simian rotavirus infection. Knipping 2012
The inhibitory effects of rooibos and the dihydrochalcones, aspalathin and nothofagin on adrenal steroidogenesis in human cell cultures was studied. Rooibos, aspalathin and nothofagin significantly reduced total steroid production via the androgen, mineralocorticoid, and glucocorticoid pathways. Schloms 2012
Two groups of mice were given a 25% w/w total polyphenol aqueous rooibos extract. Only the mice showing metabolic disturbances showed reduction of cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, a reduction in adipocyte size and number and the prevention of dietary-induced hepatic steatosis. Beltran-Debon 2011
Determination of the glycemic index of a variety of beverages found in the Portuguese market in caucasian young adults determined rooibos infusions with added glucose (25 g) had the same glycemic response as the reference solution (water with 25 g glucose). Guerreiro 2010
Investigation of teas, wines, fruit juices, and vegetables against the genotoxic effects of heterocyclic aromatic amines activated by human xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes expressed in immortal mammalian cells. Rooibos moderately reduced the genotoxicity of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline. Platt 2010
In vitro metabolism of Aspalathin on rat liver microsomal and cytosolic subcellular fractions was studied. Results suggested that the different forms of conjugated and unconjugated of aspalathin could give insight into its affect on oxidative status in vivo. van der Merwe 2010
Both stimulated and unstimulated blood cultures were used to study the in vitro effects of Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) and Camellia sinensis (Black Tea) on biomarkers for inflammation, humoral and cell mediated immunity. The results showed that both teas modulated in vitro immune function. Hendricks 2010
The chemoprotective properties of unfermented and fermented rooibos and honeybush herbal teas, and green and black teas were investigated against fumonisin B1 promotion in rat liver utilizing diethylnitrosamine as cancer initiator. Marnewick 2009
Flavonoids isolated from rooibos were subjected to different in vitro assays: Trolox equivalent antioxidant activity, LDL oxidation and Fremy's salt assays to determine total antioxidant activity. Assay results were compared, and the structure-antioxidant relationship investigated. Krafczyk 2009
The in vitro antioxidant activity of aqueous extracts prepared from four Cyclopia spp. including unfermented and fermented Aspalathus linearis, was assessed using radical (ABTS *+) scavenging, ferric ion reduction, and inhibition of Fe2+-induced microsomal lipid peroxidation as criteria. Joubert 2008
The antimutagenic properties of the most prevalent flavonoids in rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) were compared in the Salmonella typhimurium mutagenicity assay using tester strains TA98 & TA100 with, respectively, 2-acetamido-fluorene & aflatoxin B(1) as mutagens in presence of metabolic activation. Snijman 2007
The water eluation of Rooibos tea showed an augmenting effect on anti-ovalbumin (anti-OVA) immunoglobulin M production in OVA-stimulated murine splenocytes in vitro. Ichiyama 2007
Studies conducted with isolated tissue preparations, such as rabbit jejunum, aorta and guinea-pig trachea and atria revealed the bronchodilator, antispasmodic and blood pressure lowering effects of Rooibos tea which are shown to be mediated predominantly through K(ATP) channel activation. Khan 2006
Aqueous extract of Rooibos tea (RT)at 0.3-10 mg/ml produced relaxation of spontaneous & lowK(+)(25 mM)-induced contractions of rabbit jejunum, with weak effect on highK(+)(80 mM)-induced contractions. RT possesses combination of dominant K(ATP)channel activation &weak Ca(++) antagonist mechanisms. Gilani 2006
Antimutagenic activity of the South African herbal teas including Aspalathus linearis (rooibos) was mutagen-specific, affected by fermentation and plant material, presumably due to changes and variation in phenolic composition. van der Merwe 2006
Evaluation of aqueous extracts and crude polyphenolic fractions of unfermented and fermented rooibos showed anti- and/or pro-oxidant activities, using a linoleic acid-Tween-buffer emulsion for lipid peroxidation and the deoxyribose degradation assay. Joubert 2005
Results of the extraction of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) indicates that total soluble phenolics, specially flavonoid, of Rooibos tea are responsible for several kinds of antioxidant activities and preventive activity on peroxyl radical induced DNA strand scission. Lee 2004
Aqueous extracts of fermented and unfermented rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush tea (Cyclopia intermedia) both possess antimutagenic activity. Depending on the mutagen used, the unfermented tea exhibited the highest protective effect. 2 mechanisms indicated in the antimutagenicity. Marnewick 2000
The effect of rooibos tea on the type I allergic reaction. [No abstract] Hesseling 1982
Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) was examined for iron absorption in humans. w/3 groups of 10 healthy young men comparable with regard to iron status and body dimensions, were studied. Results showed rooibos tea did not affect iron absorption significantly. [Article in Afrikaans] Hesseling 1979
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: Robyn Urbach, MS
July 2005
MAJOR REVISION BY: Eli Scheinman, MES
January 2018
LATEST UPDATES BY: Oren Rabinowitz, MSc
November 2021