Zulu Tea (Athrixia phylicoides) is native to South Africa, where it is commonly known as the bush tea in Italian, Boesmanstee in African, Icholocholo, itshelo, umthsanelo in Zulu. Botanically, it is a 50cm to 1m tall, branched shrub with thin, woolly stems. The leaves are simple, alternate, linear to broadly lanceolate, tapering to a point, light grey-green, smooth on the upper surface and woolly-white underneath. The indigenous peoples of South Africa have used Zulu tea for many years as a medicinal tea to purify blood, treat boils, headaches, infected wounds, and cuts.
The dried leaves are steeped in hot water and consumed like ordinary tea. This product can be an engine of social economic development in some communities where it is available. Due to its excellent flavour, other beverages can be developed from it. tea is little exploited as no one has managed to cultivate it for commercial purposes; it grows wild in grassy areas and on dry slopes. The product should be protected for its traditional uses so that it will not be forgotten by future generations. More famous products such as ‘Rooibos (Spha Ndlela)’ put its survival at risk.