Health Guide


What is it?

Rooibos is an herbal medicine sometimes used in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections and cancer. It is also used to prevent changes in the brain that occur with age.

Other names for Rooibos include: Aspalathus linearis, Aspalathus contaminata, Borbonia pinfolia, Kaffree tea, Psoralea linearis, Red bush and Rooibos tea.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Rooibos you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Rooibos. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Do not use Rooibos if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

This medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


1. Inanami O, Asanuma T, Inukai N et al: The suppression of age-related accumulation of lipid peroxides in rat brain by administration of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis). Neurosci Lett 1995; 196(1-2):85-88.

2. Marnewick JL, Gelderblom WC and Joubert E: An investigation on the antimutagenic properties of South African herbal teas. Mutat Res 2000; 471 (1-2):157-166.

3. Nakano M, Itoh Y, Mizuno T et al: Polysaccharide from Aspalathus linearis with strong anti-HIV activity. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1997; 61(2):267-271.

4. Standley L, Winterton P, Marnewick JL et al: Influence of processing stages on antimutagenic and antioxidant potentials of rooibos tea. J Agric Food Chem 2001; 49(1):114-117.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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