Hepatoprotective effect of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) on CCl4-induced liver damage in rats

Physiol Res. 2003;52(4):461-6.


Hepatoprotective properties of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) were investigated in a rat model of liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)). Rooibos tea, like N-acetyl-L-cysteine which was used for the comparison, showed histological regression of steatosis and cirrhosis in the liver tissue with a significant inhibition of the increase of liver tissue concentrations of malondialdehyde, triacylglycerols and cholesterol. Simultaneously, rooibos tea significantly suppressed mainly the increase in plasma activities of aminotransferases (ALT, AST), alkaline phosphatase and billirubin concentrations, which are considered as markers of liver functional state. The antifibrotic effect in the experimental model of hepatic cirrhosis of rats suggests the use of rooibos tea as a plant hepatoprotector in the diet of patients with hepatopathies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Aspalathus / chemistry*
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / pathology
  • Carbon Tetrachloride Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Triglycerides
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Cholesterol
  • Acetylcysteine