Zumbani Tea Benefits & Properties
Zumbani, a plant commonly known as Fever Tea or Lemon Bush, has gained popularity among Africans, especially Zimbabweans, who are taking precautions against Covid-19. Zumbani tea is believed to have health benefits and is used both as a preventative measure and to manage respiratory disease symptoms. In this article, we will explore what Zumbani is, its properties, and health benefits.
Zumbani, or Lippia javanica, is an erect woody perennial herb or shrub that can grow up to 4.5 meters tall. The plant has aromatic leaves that give off a lemon-like fragrance when crushed. The stems are brownish, erect, and sometimes spreading with short stiff whitish hairs. The plant flowers all year round and the flowers occur in conical or oblong spikes, purple or dull-reddish in fruit and turn dark brownish when they dry. The plant has been found in Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe.
Health Benefits of Zumbani
A study found that Zumbani has a higher total phenolic content than Rooibos, which is known to have medicinal properties such as antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-allergic responses. Phenolic compounds found in herbs play an important role as antioxidants that help protect the body’s cells and tissues from damage caused by free radicals and reactive oxygen species. They help reduce radicals and reactive oxygen species into stable derivative molecules.
Uses of Zumbani
In Kenya, Zumbani leaves and twigs are used as food additives, while in India, the plant is eaten as a leafy vegetable. Zumbani is a popular herbal tea, particularly in Southern Africa. Herbal tea is prepared by steeping fresh or dried leaves, stems, or twigs in boiling water, letting them stand for two to five minutes to release flavor. Some add milk and sugar to taste, while others consume the tea as is. Individuals boil fresh or dried leaves, stems, or twigs for more than five minutes for a stronger brew. Zumbani tea has a lemon or vanilla aroma and is used as a common tea substitute. In medicine, Zumbani can be used to treat fever, malaria, influenza, measles, chest pains, colds, coughs, asthma, and bronchitis.
Zumbani has been used as a preventative measure and treatment for respiratory diseases in Africa. With its health benefits and versatile uses, it has become increasingly popular.