We are embarking on a new venture: one of taste and aroma; of botanical infusions – whether hot or cold – that will bring our African landscapes into your home.
We have long been fascinated by the medicinal value of the plants found on this vast and beautiful continent. Everywhere we have travelled, local communities have an herbal infusion they enjoy – one that evokes both the landscape around them, and the African spirit found in each botanical ingredient. Whether it is Rooibos, traditionally drunk by the Khoisan people for thousands of years, and now passed down to every South African; or some with a more “acquired taste”. Our goal as African Infusions is to introduce our customers to a continent of new flavours; while enhancing their health and well-being.
To understand the unique value of our botanicals we have had to go back many, many years to when there were no ‘pharmaceuticals’; when the natural world was the pharmacy. It is here – passed down from distant memory – we find practices and uses for plants that, while rooted in the physiological attributes of the plant, are also drawn from a deeper wisdom of nature and of the world around us.
Take Resurrection Bush, African Infusions flagship herbal tea: a plant that has the amazing ability to rejuvenate, to ‘return from the dead’. For most of the year, this plant, growing on rocky outcrops with shallow soil reserves, looks like a bunch of dead twigs. But come the rains and this plant unfurls its leaves and comes ‘back to life’ as a flourishing green shrub.
This is a plant of hope and re-awakening, but also of endurance and survival, having carved out an ecological niche for itself where few plants can grow. Resurrection Bush is wild harvested in the Chivi District of Zimbabwe, a semi-arid region with very low rainfall, where it is difficult to eke out a living with cash crops. For women especially, wild harvesting of Resurrection Bush provides a welcome new source of revenue to support themselves and their families.
Sangomas (traditional healers) make use of Resurrection Bush in the spiritual sense. In instances of depression and grief, they prescribe it as a symbol of faith, that no matter how bleak the situation is at the moment, there is always hope. The Zulu name for the plant – uvukwabafile – translates to ‘bringing back to life’; bringing back life and hope and belief in the future.
This spiritual sense of rejuvenation of Resurrection Bush is supported by its biological properties to re-awaken the senses and recharge body and mind. Resurrection Bush has gained attention as a cosmetic ingredient which rehydrates and regenerates stressed skin – as confirmed by scientific data.
Scientific validation of the herbal tea has shown that it is filled with essential minerals. It is brimming with anti-oxidants from the quinic acid family, especially 3,4,5-tri-O-galloylquinic acid – which is responsible for protection of the plant from desiccation – as well as quercetin, which reduces free radical damage, the effects of aging and inflammation. The herbal tea also contains trehalose which has cell protective functions. In short, Resurrection Bush packs a punch: it is anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic, making it a tea that offers valuable support for immune boosting and stamina building.
It is both the mythical and biological attributes that we believe make Resurrection Bush singular as an ingredient – either as a standalone ingredient, or in harmony with our other carefully curated botanical offerings. So, close your eyes, inhale your steaming tea and join us on a journey – to a unique and unchanging African landscape, and back to a time when nature provided all the nurturing and healing we needed.
*We have been fortunate to be supported in our goal by organisations that share our dream. First the South African / Finnish partnership BioFISA II embarked us on our journey, and now a grant from ABioSA, a partnership between South Africa and the Swiss Economic Cooperation, is allowing us to continue our journey of delivering new taste sensations with our African botanical blends. We thank them for the support!