Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Diabetic, Anti-Oxidant and Cytotoxicity Assays of South African Herbal Teas and Bush Tea Blends

Florence Malongane*, Lyndy Joy McGaw, Oyinlola Oluwunmi Olaokun, Fhatuwani Nixwell Mudau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


South Africa is home to a variety of herbal teas, such as bush tea (Athrixia phylicoides DC.), honeybush tea (Cyclopia intermedia E. Mey and C. subternata Vogel), special tea (Monsonia burkeana Planch. ex Harv.), and rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis (Burm.f.) R. Dahlgren) that are known to possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. The objective of this study was to determine the in vitro anti-oxidant activity of selected tea blends using 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays, as well as to assess their anti-inflammatory properties using the 15-lipoxygenase inhibitory assay. Furthermore, the study measured glucose utilisation in C2C12 myotubes. Lastly, 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was used to test the safety of the tea extracts on Vero cells (African green monkey kidney cell line). Special tea and its blend with bush tea exhibited potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. The blending of bush tea with special tea at different ratios resulted in increased anti-oxidant activity. Although special tea had a level of cell toxicity, its toxicity was lowered during blending. All of the tea samples showed anti-diabetic effects, although with less potency as compared to insulin. The current investigation supports the use of blended herbal teas, and the positive anti-inflammatory effect of special tea warrants further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2233
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • anti-diabetic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-oxidant
  • cytotoxicity


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