If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying rooibos tea, you’re in for a treat. Not only does it have a unique, almost nutty flavor, it’s known to be a great benefit to your help. So maybe it’s time to put your black tea aside and try a cup of rooibos.
Rooibos tea, also known as red tea, is an herbal “tea” that is made from the Aspalathus linearis bush, which grows in the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa. In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced roy-buhs.
What is Rooibos Tea?
I put “tea” in quotes above because it’s not technically a tea, it’s an herb. Unlike teas that are made from the leaves of a tea plant, Rooibos is instead made from the leaves or shoots of a tall bush. Because of this difference, rooibos looks very different from, say, black tea.
The bush is dried and fermented, which oxidates the leaves and turns it a deep reddish brown color.
The Cederberg Mountains are the only place in the world this particular bush is grown, so it’s a very unique tea that has become more and more popular around the world.
South Africans have been drinking it for centuries for it’s many health benefits, and it’s great flavor, but now it’s possible to buy rooibos tea around the world.
The flavor is malty and nutty. It’s great served plain or with a bit of honey and milk to sweeten it up.
There’s also a green rooibos tea that doesn’t undergo the oxidation stage, so it turns out more like a green tea. It has a lighter more fruity flavor than the red version.
If you’re searching around for rooibos loose tea to buy, you’ll also see it mixed with various other things for flavor, like dried fruit and flowers.
It should be brewed with 204-208 degrees F water for 5-6 minutes in order to fully bloom and set of its aromas and flavors.
Health Benefits Of Rooibos
Even from the things we’ve mentioned above, you can see that rooibos tea is worth your time, even if you were to add just a cup a day to your routine.
But there are many other health benefits of rooibos that we haven’t even touched on yet. This type of tea is one of healthiest drinks you can drink.
Its health benefits make it quite popular. It’s been said that red rooibos tea has the ability to decrease the risk of cancer, premature aging, and heart disease. These claims have been confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Aside from it’s ability to help with certain diseases, it’s packed with healthy properties:
- Red rooibos tea is high in many minerals, such as calcium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
- It contains antioxidants, such as nothofagin and aspalathin, which scavenge for oxygen free radicals that can damage cellular structures.
- It contains no oxalic acid, which means that it can be drunk by people who are prone to oxalic acid kidney stones.
Some of the most beneficial effects of red rooibos tea include the following:
High in Polyphenols
Rooibos tea contains plenty of polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and high antiviral properties.
Polyphenols are excellent antioxidants that fight cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants act as scavengers for oxygen free radicals in the cells of the body, which are metabolic by products that can cause damage to cellular structures, including cellular DNA.
Tea containing rooibos can also enhance the immune system.
Rooibos tea contains no caffeine, which makes it a good beverage for people who suffer from a lack of sleep.
A cup of rooibos tea can be drunk just before bedtime to help a person sleep better and can reduce your levels of stress. This can improve your mood and decrease your risk of developing heart disease. It can provide you with energy without having caffeine in it.
Rooibos tea is a stress-reliever, and can lessen nervous tension and high blood pressure problems. High blood pressure can cause health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
Rooibos tea also acts as a bronchodilator, which means that it opens the bronchial tree so you can breathe better.
Good for Bone Health
Red rooibos tea is high in fluoride, manganese, and calcium, which are minerals that help maintain good bone health and build strong teeth. By increasing these minerals in your body, you can lessen the risk of getting things like osteoporosis, arthritis, and other types of joint pain conditions.
Fluoride is good for the health of your teeth and is just as good as things like toothpaste and mouthwashes containing fluoride.
Manganese is especially helpful because it stimulates enzymes that repair damaged bones and builds new bones.
Good for Heart Health
Rooibos tea is high in quercetin, which is an especially good antioxidant. It has been found to reduce the incidence of heart diseases and has anti-inflammatory properties.
It increases HDL cholesterol and decreases LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of plaques on the arteries. This means that it can help protect you from atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks.
Rooibos tea is high in aspalathin, which is an antioxidant that can help improve blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and glucose absorption by the cells. It enhances insulin secretion by the pancreas, making it a good tea to drink for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Healthy for the Skin
Rooibos tea is high in alpha hydroxyl-acid and zinc. These can help improve the health of the skin. It can be drunk as a tea or applied to the skin to decrease acne, sunburn, or other skin problems.
It can reduce the signs of aging by lessening the appearance of wrinkles.
Acts as an Antispasmodic
Rooibos tea has many antispasmodic properties, making it a good tea to drink if you have stomach pains or abdominal cramps. It decreases the hyperactivity of the GI tract so that stomach issues can be prevented.
As you can see, rooibos is quite unique and has many great benefits. It’s definitely worth it to give this tea a try and see if you like it. Drinking it regularly could be very good for your health, plus it’s just really good. That’s the main reason to drink tea afterall, isn’t it?
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Laura is the founder and editor of the travel blogs Savored Sips and Savored Journeys. She is dedicated to sharing the best information about drinks found around the world.