Fever Tea Tree 2016-11-22T08:30:23+00:00

Project Description

Lippia javanica / Zumbani (Sh) / Umsuzwane (N)

When crushed, the leaves of the Fever Tea tree, locally known as Zumbani, give off a strong lemon-like smell. It is said to be one of the most aromatic of Zimbabwe’s indigenous shrubs.

Where it can be found: The Fever Tea tree is widely distributed throughout Zimbabwe, in all Natural Regions. It is known to colonise disturbed areas, making it a pioneer plant. It is very hardy and can grow under difficult circumstances, requiring little maintenance. It prefers sunny areas. It can easily be cultivated, from seed or cuttings, by small-scale farming families.

What is harvested – Harvesting time: Smallholder farmers harvest the leaves during a very short harvesting period, from March to May.

Average yield per collector: An individual can produce up to 200 kg of dry leaf material/year.

  • The plant possesses analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and anti-bacterial activities.
  • Zumbani is caffeine-free and contains some amounts of vital minerals such as copper, zinc and iron.
  • It contains flavonoids and phenolic compounds which are water-soluble. These compounds possess antioxidant qualities, which are quite significantly higher than in rooibos tea.
  • Zumbani tea is exceptionally low in tannin (much lower than rooibos).
The dried leaves are made into a herbal tea, to treat coughs, colds, bronchial problems and to bring down fever, to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, rashes and headaches.

The leaves can also repel insects in wardrobes and cupboards, much like lavender.

Current formal local demand for dried leaves is small. The opportunity for Zumbani lies in its promotion as a (ice) tea, as herbal teas are fast gaining popularity. Estimated potential demand is around 100 tonnes/year on the local market and 1,000 tonnes/year on the export market.