What Is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea, also called bush tea, is a traditional infusion made from Aspalathus linearis, the leaves of a South African shrub. It is rich in antioxidants and devoid of caffeine. It’s got less tannin content than black or green teas. Rooibos tea treats nervous tension, digestive complications, respiratory ailments, and skin conditions. It is also linked to weight management, together with bone and skin treatment.
Technically, rooibos is not a tea; it’s a herbal concoction made by brewing the leaves of Aspalathus linearis Often called the African red tea or red bush tea, its red color comes from the traditional brewing method. The green rooibos tea is made with unfermented leaves. Rooibos tea is popular for its earthy taste with a blend of vanilla and warm woody flavor.
10 Health Benefits of Drinking Rooibos Tea
Improves Bone Health
Fermented rooibos tea has a potent inhibitory effect on osteoclasts, which are bone cells that absorb bone tissue during healing. The tea is also associated with increased osteoblast activity which also enhances bone health.
Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases
Dietary antioxidants present in rooibos tea protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases. The tea also prevents inflammation and oxidative stress, making it healthy for brain health.
People have used rooibos tea to ward off cold and cough for many years. It contains a compound called chrysoeriol that treats respiratory disorders. Now you know just what to drink when next you’ve got a cold.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant you usually find in coffee or tea. Although it’s got some benefits, it also has adverse effects like sleeplessness, anxiety, heart palpitations, and headaches. So here’s the good news, rooibos tea does not contain caffeine. It also contains fewer tannins when compared with green or black tea. Tannins interfere with iron absorption. With rooibos tea, you don’t take these health risks.
Possesses Antioxidant Properties
Rooibos tea helps in liver detoxification due to its antioxidant nature. Its fermented and unfermented varieties have rich antioxidant content that combat free radicals released in the body during oxidative stress. What’s more? They also lower inflammation and prevent cell damage. Green rooibos tea contains nothofagin and aspalathin, which are potent antioxidants that detoxify the body and improve bone health, in addition to their anti-inflammatory activity. Rooibos tea also contains quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity.
Boosts Heart Health
Reduces Cancer Risk
The fermented and unfermented varieties of rooibos teas have chemoprotective properties. The antitumor and antimutagenic activities of the tea regenerate coenzyme Q10 — a compound that modulates cancer.
Benefits People with Type-2 Diabetes
Rooibos tea contains an antioxidant called aspalathin, which has an anti-diabetic effect. Aspalathin particularly reduces inflammation resulting from high blood sugar.
Aids Weight Loss
Rooibos tea contains low calories and is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels. The tea helps in reducing hunger and fat storage by inhibiting stress hormones. What’s more? It also decreases the secretion of leptin, which is an enzyme involved in controlling appetites and regulating satiety levels. Regular consumption of rooibos tea should sure be a new addition to your weight loss routine
Possesses Antimicrobial Effects
There are claims that rooibos tea inhibits Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, and Candida albicans.
Rooibos Tea Benefits for Skin
Beyond the general health benefits that we just discussed, rooibos tea has got some super benefits for skin health. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are effective at preventing toxins from damaging the skin cells. This way, aging is delayed and the skin gets a youthful look because the tea combats free radicals and toxins.
Back in the day, people used rooibos tea extracts to soothe sunburned skin and treat eczema through topical application. The tea also improves skin appearance and reduces wrinkles. Little wonder some herbal anti-wrinkle cream products contain rooibos extracts.
That’s not all, as rooibos tea is a rich source of ascorbic acid, which is an isolated form of vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for skin brightening, anti-aging, and the reduction of hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C also boosts the production of collagen, a crucial protein in the skin structure. This makes it great for skin health, and particularly perfect for keeping the skin firm.
How to Make Rooibos Tea
Having read all these super benefits of rooibos tea, you’re probably looking forward to a cup of it already to relish the goodness it’s got for your health. You can make rooibos tea by brewing the tea leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then strain the liquid and consume it. Alternatively, you can use a tea bag and let the tea steep for 5 minutes in boiling water.
You could also have the tea iced. You may only need to flavor it with some milk and honey. You can also add it to espressos, lattes, and flavored yogurt.
How Many Cups of Rooibos Tea is Safe to Drink Drink Each Day? It is advisable to keep your consumption below six cups daily. Be sure to space your consumption.
Side Effects of Rooibos Tea
- Rooibos tea is generally safe. Just ensure you don`t drink too much of it to avoid likely complications with liver function.
- The tea has got some compounds that can stimulate the production of the female sex hormone, estrogen.
- Rooibos tea may not be safe for people with hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer.
- Also, if you`re on hypolipidemic medications, please don`t take rooibos tea. People who are on medications for blood pressure and diabetes are also advised to avoid the tea.
Some Rooibos Tea Facts
- Its plant has green needle-like leaves and grows to a height of about 1 to 1.5m.
- Rooibos gets harvested annually between January and April.
- The branches of the rooibos plant get cut at about 30-40cm above the ground, using a sickle or a harvesting machine, then it gets bound into bundles and taken to the processing area where it is cut into the required lengths and laid out in the processing yard for water to be added to it and getting it properly aired afterward.
- Rooibos was used medicinally by the inhabitants of the Cederberg region.
- Early Dutch settlers drank rooibos tea in the late 17th century as an alternative to the more expensive black tea.
- Russian immigrant, Benjamin Ginsberg, in 1904, assisted by amateur botanist and local doctor, Le Fras Nortier, in marketing rooibos tea.
- Later in 1930, Le Fras Nortier discovered how to germinate rooibos seed. With the assistance of commercial farmer Olof Bergh, he developed cultivation methods, which boosted the commercial growth of rooibos tea.
Now that you Know…
Rooibos tea is bursting with loads of nutrients that will do your body some good. It is also a healthy and delicious alternative to beverages that contain caffeine and toxins. Its antioxidants, alongside many other contents, are just right to enrich your heart, skin, bones, and entire health. When are you getting a sip of this amazing tea? Whenever you do, remember to take it in healthy quantities. If you experience any unfavorable effects, speak with your doctor.