Herb-Drug Interactions: Honeybush

Cyclopia species (Fabaceae)

Synonym(s) and related species

Bergtee, Boertee, Bossiestee, Bush tea, Heuingbos, Heu-ningtee.

Cyclopia intermedia E. Mey, Cyclopia genistoides (L.) Vent, Cyclopia subternata Vogel and other species are all referred to as Honeybush.


The leaves of honeybush contain the xanthones mangiferin and isomangiferin, and flavonoids including hesperidin, hesperitin, isokuranetin and kaempferols. The leaves also contain isoflavones such as formonometin and afrormosin, and coumestans such as medicagol. The quantity of flavonoids is reduced when honeybush is fermented; however, the non-flavonoid components increase. Honeybush does not contain caffeine.

Use and indications

Honeybush has been traditionally used in South Africa for a variety of ailments including digestive problems and skin problems, and to promote lactation. Honeybush is principally used to produce a tea-like beverage. There is experimental evidence of various activities including antioxidant, chemopreventative, antidiabetic and immunomodulating effects.


No relevant pharmacokinetic data found. For the pharmacokinetics of individual flavonoids and isoflavones present in honeybush, see flavonoids, and isoflavones.

Interactions overview

No interactions with honeybush found. For information on the interactions of individual flavonoids and isoflavones present in honeybush, see under flavonoids, and isoflavones.