Rooibos, meaning red bush in South Afrikaans, is a native South African plant whose leaves are used primarily to make a herbal tea. It is also known as bush tea in South Africa or redbush tea in England. The plant itself originated from a mountainous area of a province in South Africa.
The Rooibos scientific name is Aspalathus Linearis, and the name is derived from the plant’s straight, almost linear structure and needle-like leaves. At first, it was consumed by the local populace as an indigenous drink, but after some research, it became a globally-consumed beverage. It has become one of the South Africa’s main export commodity as of to date.
The tea made from Rooibos leaves are exceptional since it contains several properties that certainly provide health benefits to those who drink it. One of the most prominent features of a Rooibos tea is it does not contain any caffeine at all and has a lower tannin level compared to other black or green tea. It also has a little to no oxalic acid, which means it is safe for people with kidney stones to consume. The tea itself also has an abundance of mineral contents such as copper, iron, zinc, manganese, etc.
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Even the leaf itself contains a high amount of ascorbic acid or vitamin C. Studies have discovered that flavanols, flavanones, flavones, aspalathin, nothofagin, and dihydrochalcones are among the contents of a Rooibos tea. These nutrients clearly contribute to the health benefits of a Rooibos tea as some of them are known as antioxidants. As such, there are plenty of countries, especially in Europe, who sought after this exceptionally healthy drink.
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Red rooibos tea can be the best health drink options for people who care about their health and fitness. Some benefits that have been positively linked to red rooibos tea are:
1. Prevent Cancer & Cardiovascular Diseases.
Polyphenols probably are one of the most important compounds that Rooibos could have. Polyphenols are organic chemicals that have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimutagenic qualities. Polyphenols are most often praised for their antioxidant properties.
Antioxidant scavenges the detrimental free radicals from the body’s cells that can cause cancer and heart disease. Quercetin, another antioxidant found in rooibos tea, has been correlated with various heart problems prevention aside from thwarting hemorrhage. This anti-inflammatory antioxidant reinforces an increase in HDL instead of LDL cholesterol from clogging the walls of blood vessels, improving the blood circulation.
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2. Boost Your Immune System
Rooibos tea also contains two other vital antioxidants and antimutagenic called Aspalathin and Nothofagin which is essential to boost your immune system and protect your body against all types of diseases such as common colds, viruses, and flu.
3. Promotes Healthy Hair
Regular drinking of Rooibos tea may promote hair growth and strengthen hair fibers, in addition to removing dead skin cells that block hair and prevent them from growing, which indicate healthy and strong hair. This is because Rooibos tea is loaded with several minerals required for hair growth and reducing hair loss including zinc, calcium, copper, and potassium.
Aside from that, the anti-inflammatory properties of the tea may reduce dandruff by soothing the scalp. The tea is rich in polyphenols as well, and these ingredients reinforce the growth of shiny and smooth hair and shield the hair against sun damage.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
Renowned for its stress relieving quality, Rooibos tea is also good to treat nervous tension and hypertension or high blood pressure. As a bronchodilator, Rooibos tea has a major role not only in relieving respiratory tract but also reduces blood pressure. This reduced blood pressure can decrease the risks of dangerous cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and atherosclerosis, which is a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls.
5. Insomnia Remedy
As it is caffeine-free, Rooibos tea is often recommended by doctors for patients suffering from insomnia. Just a cup before going to bed can help you sleep better. Furthermore, as mentioned above, Rooibos tea can also reduce blood pressure and your stress levels, boost your mood, which finally could affect your heart health. One more advantageous thing you can have by drinking Rooibos tea or beverages is that you will not need to worry about being addicted to it.
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6. Control Blood Sugar Level
Aspalathin, one of the rarest antioxidants can be found in Rooibos tea, has a hypoglycemic effect on the body. This antioxidant helps in balancing blood sugar, improving insulin resistance in the body, encouraging glucose absorption in the muscles, and increase the insulin secretion from the pancreas. These may shield the Rooibos tea drinkers from developing type II Diabetes. Drinking Rooibos tea may actually beneficial especially for those with hereditary diabetes.
7. Bones and Teeth Health
Highly packed with several minerals such as manganese, calcium, and fluoride, Rooibos tea maintains good bone structure and teeth. Consequently, drinking rooibos tea may assist you in preventing joint pain, osteoporosis, and arthritis.
Manganese stimulates enzymes which are necessary for building more bone mass and repair damage. Fluoride, which can be found almost in every toothpaste and mouthwash, is essential for maintaining healthy teeth. Eventually, calcium is another important mineral for strong and healthy bones and teeth.
8. Boost Digestive System
Initially, Rooibos tea was made to be a spectacular health aid when some South African women claimed that this plant was very effective to soothe their infant’s colic and stomach pain. It seems like the anti-inflammatory agents of the tea are responsible for this.
Moreover, Rooibos tea is also obtrusive for its antispasmodic agents which can ease severe stomach cramps, abdominal pain, and boost digestion. The tea is also a natural remedy to irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and other intestinal issues. Thus, it is widely believed that digestive problems may occur if you drink a cup of this tea about 30 minutes before a meal.
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9. Good for Skin
Rooibos tea is a great source of natural alpha hydroxy acid which is very good for skin. This acid is rarely found naturally from other sources, but it has gained fame in cosmetics and skin care products since it has the ability to reduce wrinkles and other premature aging symptoms, revitalize the skin, and make it fresh and invigorated with a healthy glow. Applying some Rooibos tea powder directly to the skin may also relieve acne, pimples, sunburn or any other skin conditions.
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10. Treatment for Allergies
Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, especially its phenolic content, Rooibos tea has been an effective cure for allergies like eczema, allergy-related bronchitis, hay fever, and even frequently suggested to treat asthma and topical allergic reactions.
11. Relieve Respiratory System
Rooibos tea is a bronchodilator, which means it can dilate the bronchi and bronchioles. Accordingly, it escalates airflow to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. Hence, drinking Rooibos tea can also prevent typical cardiovascular diseases and battle the symptoms of asthma as well.
12. Safe for People with Kidney Stones
As there is no oxalic acid contained in Rooibos tea, people with kidney stone problems will not have to worry about drinking this beverage. The oxalic acid which is usually contained in any other tea, in any case, has worsened the symptoms of kidney stone sufferers since this crystal-forming substance multiplies the calcium stones or even made them larger. So, this amazing Rooibos tea is safe for the kidney stone sufferers.
13. Slow Down Aging Process
Aside from boosting immunity, the antioxidants present in Rooibos tea scavenge the free radicals that harm the skin, bones, hair, brain, and other organs that contribute in the acceleration of degeneration and human aging process. Hence, it is not only about keeping the younger look but also preserving the younger ability such as cognitive ability, as the antioxidant also reduce the impact of free radicals in neural pathways, clearing up your concentration and focus.
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More Rooibos Tea Benefits
Indeed, here are more benefits of rooibos tea for health:
- Contains Essential Minerals
- Amazing Stress-Relief
- Improve Blood Circulation
- Prevents Metabolic Disturbances
- Contains Anti-Inflammatory Agents
- Improve Fertility for Males
- Cure Headaches
- Treat Gout
- Helps in Treating Diarrhea
- Relieve Anxiety
- Promote Bone Growth
- Beneficial for Infants
Word of Caution
Although Rooibos tea can be this beneficial, there will always be exceptions for some people. Consulting first to your doctor might be a good idea before adding Rooibos to your dietary routine, especially because Rooibos may have strong effects.
Rooibos is suggested more as a preventative measure rather than for a cure. If you have kidney or liver conditions, rooibos might be harmful. There are some cases where Rooibos interferes with treatments for various conditions, such as chemotherapy for cancer patients.
In certain studies, Rooibos has shown some estrogenic activities, so it might not be good for people with hormone-sensitive cancer like breast cancer.
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How to Consume Rooibos Tea
Although the most common usage for a Rooibos is to boil it and make a tea, there are plenty of recipes that you can try to include Rooibos tea in your dietary routine. Here are some of them:
1. Rooibos Pecan Pancake
- Pecan – 1/2 cup
How to make:
- Put the rooibos tea bags in the water for 5 minutes; remove tea bags and allow tea to cool.
- Whisk together 1 1/2 cups cooled tea with the pancake mix.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat.
- Melt 1 teaspoon butter.
- Saute 4 to 5 pecan halves into the melting butter until brownish.
- Pour about 1/3 cup pancake batter directly over pecans and butter.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar over the top of the pancake, and add another thin layer of butter over the sugar.
- When the edges of the pancake appear dry and bubbles form on the top, turn and cook until lightly browned about 30 seconds.
- Remove from pan.
2. Rooibos Chai Spiced Rooibos Ice Cream
To get health benefits of rooibos tea, you can make it as yummy ice cream.
- Double cream – 0.5 liter
- Milk – 0.5 liter
- Rooibos – 6 tea bags
- Cloves – 3 pcs
- Anise – 1 star
- Cinnamon – 1/2 stick
- Egg yolks – 8 pcs
- Caster sugar – 150g
- Cardamom pods – 1 tbsp
How to make:
- Boil the cream, milk, rooibos tea bags, and spices in a saucepan.
- Once it’s started boiling, then take it off the heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks and then add sugar, continue whisking until pale and creamy.
- Strain the cream and milk mixture, add bit by bit into the sugar and egg mixture and pour into a saucepan.
- Place on the stove over a low heat and cook for 10 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.
- Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap (but don’t make it airtight). Leave in the fridge to cool.
- Once it’s cold, pour into an ice cream machine or into an ice cream container and place in the freezer. If it’s in the freezer, then whisk the ice cream every half an hour until it’s almost frozen.
To get health benefits of rooibos tea, you can make it as rooibos syrup:
- White sugar – 0.5 liter
- Water – 0.5 liter
- Honey – 50 ml
- Rooibos – 12 tea bags
- Black peppercorns – 8 pcs
- Cinnamon – 1 stick
- Anise – 1 star
How to make:
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Boil over a moderate heat for 15 minutes.
- Strain syrup and allow to cool before using.
3. Rooibos Martini
- Vodka – 50 ml
- Dry Martini – 25 ml
- Rooibos syrup – 50 ml
- Lemon – 1 slice
How to make:
- Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake well.
- Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled Martini glass.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon.
Thus, there are many benefits of rooibos tea for health, you can make it by yourself for natural medicine treatments.