Rooibos (scientific name Aspalathus linearis) is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants growing in South Africa's fynbos. The plant is used to make a herbal tea called rooibos tea, South African red tea, or red tea. The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. It is sometimes spelled rooibosch in accordance with the old Dutch etymology. Rooibos is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.Rooibos tea has been shown to inhibit in vitro activity of xanthine oxidase, yet an in vivo study has not been conducted. Xanthine oxidase (XO) plays a role in conversion of purine to uric acid in humans and reducing the activity of XO could limit uric acid production, which would aid in treatment of gout. In in vitro tests only, for the specific concentration tested, the tea was shown to be less than half as effective as allopurinol, which is the drug typically prescribed to inhibit XO activity in treating gout.