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Fitoterapia. 2009 Jan;80(1):3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2008.11.001. Epub 2008 Nov 11.

Honeybush (Cyclopia sp.) - a rich source of compounds with high antimutagenic properties.

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Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical University of GdaƄsk, al. gen. J. Hallera 107, 80-416 Gdansk, Poland.


The genus Cyclopia (Fabaceae family) includes a number of shrubs endemic to Cape Fynbos region of South Africa. The most common of these plants is Cyclopia intermedia E. Mey., used together with other Cyclopia species (mainly C. subternata and C. sessiliflora) to manufacture the honeybush herbal tea which has been produced in South Africa roughly since the beginning of the 19th century. Honeybush infusions are gaining popularity due to their characteristic honey-like flavour, low tannin content, absence of caffeine and potential health effects related to their antimutagenic and antioxidant properties. The presented review summarizes information concerning botany, chemistry, biological activity and application of Cyclopia plants.

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