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Pasha 127: Allergies vs rooibos: can this South African plant help sufferers?

Nasal allergy is a common problem in South Africa. It is estimated that 20% to 30% of adults in South Africa suffer with allergic rhinitis or hay fever. House dust mites and tree pollen are the most common reasons for this. Often, people have to rely on allergy medication to deal with the problem.

But new research is under way to see if a plant native to South Africa can help. Rooibos, scientifically known as Aspalathus linearis, is being explored as a treatment for nasal allergies. The studies are testing its impact by having people drink rooibos tea in specific doses and through nasal irrigation using rooibos tea.

In today’s episode of Pasha, Jonny Peter, associate professor, unit head and head of the Division of Allergology and Clinical Immunology at Groote Schuur Hospital at the University of Cape Town, discusses his latest research. He also discusses the challenges with understanding whether you have COVID-19 or are suffering from nasal allergies.

“African young woman covered with blanket blowing running nose.” By fizkes found on Shutterstock.

Music: “Happy African Village” by John Bartmann, found on licensed under CC0 1.

“Ambient guitar X1 - Loop mode” by frankum, found on Freesound licensed under Attribution License.

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