Chandelier Bush (Klip Dagga) Tea Recipe

Chandelier bush tea or shandilay tea is often used in T&T for treating stubborn coughs and colds. It is usually made by steeping the leaves for 10 minutes before serving warm.

Chandelier bush is known by its botanical name Leonotis nepetifolia and other common names like klip dagga and Christmas candlestick. Its leaves and flowers have long been used as a legal substitute for cannabis and its roots are often used in Ayurveda.

chandelier bush tea in white tea cup on a white saucer with chandelier leaf to the top left and bottom right corners and the bottom left corner has a golden teaspoon

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For this tea, I used:

  • chandelier leaves: I used fresh chandelier leaves from my garden for this recipe. The plant is very easy to grow, heat tolerant, needs little watering or maintenance and will continuously propagate itself in the garden. Side note: hummingbirds love the flowers.
  • water
  • sweetener: Although optional, I highly recommend adding a bit of honey or sugar to the drink.

What does chandelier bush tea taste like

Chandelier bush tea has a herbaceous, slightly bitter taste. It is best to add a sweetener to make it more appealing to drink.

How to make shandilay tea

Step 1: Bring water to a boil. You can do so using your trusty kettle or a small saucepan on medium heat. That’s what I’m using here.

boil water for chandelier bush tea

Step 2: Once the water has come to a boil, turn off the heat.

Step 3: Wash the chandelier bush leaves and tear them into small pieces.

chandelier bush leaves

Step 4: Add the leaves to the hot water.

boiling chandelier bush leaves

Step 5: Allow the leaves to steep for about 10 minutes or so.

Step 6: Strain the leave bits out of the tea.

Step 7: Sweeten if you prefer and serve hot.

chandelier bush tea or klip dagga tea

Benefits of chandelier bush or klip dagga tea

This 2022 article noted the leaves and roots are used in Ayurveda, Brazilian and African traditional medicine for treating:

  • fever
  • cough
  • skin infections
  • rheumatism
  • asthma

There are also interesting compounds extracted from the plant that have proven antibacterial, antifungal and anti-diabetic effects.

This Mexican study from 2022 linked the plant to possible antidepressant-like benefits. And, yet another 2022 study, this time out of Poland, showed root extracts of the plant had antioxidant and anti-cancer activity.

Of course, more research is needed to confirm if these effects have any clinical benefits.

Chandelier bush tea recipe

Chandelier bush tea

Chandelier bush tea or shandilay or klip dagga tea is a herbaceous, slightly bitter tea that is widely used in traditional medicine for coughs, colds, and more.
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time5 minutes
Steep Time10 minutes
Total Time16 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: chandelier bush tea
Servings: 2
Author: Ros Singh


  • 3 grams chandelier leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • sweetener of choice


  • Bring water to a boil using a small pot on medium heat or a kettle (about 5 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat once the water is boiling.
  • Wash the leaves. Tear into small pieces.
  • Add to the hot water.
  • Leave to steep for 10 minutes.
  • Strain.
  • Sweeten if desired.
  • Serve hot.

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