Weight loss and 9 other great reasons to drink it
The benefits of rooibos tea may far surpass green tea, black tea and possibly even matcha tea. Read and judge for yourself.
Native only to the Cederberg region of South Africa, rooibos has been used for hundreds of years to help with an assortment of ailments. From relieving teething gums, soothing colicky babies and aiding sleep, just to name a few.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of this amazing low-tannin, calorie free, sugar free and caffeine-free tea. How could a ‘tea’ with so many proven health benefits actually taste good too?
Meet Rooibos (pronounced “ROY-boss”), currently trending everywhere and one of the ‘hottest’ tea types to drink right now.
A herbal tea from South Africa, Rooibos is a delicious, naturally caffeine-free way to extend your tea knowledge. With 50 percent more antioxidants than green tea, Rooibos tea boasts more benefits than green tea, black tea and arguably even matcha tea.
All teas have an acquired taste and rooibos tea is no different. Rooibos has a sweet, mild flavor profile with earthy rustic notes of honey and vanilla.
Rooibos (Afrikaans for red bush) is recognized as being one of the most palate friendly types of tea out there.
For centuries, South Africans have used Rooibos for its myriad of health benefits, including promoting better and deeper sleep.
Rooibos tea’s anti-inflammatory powers and antioxidant content also show promise in protecting against many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Naturally calorie free, Rooibos tea even helps with weight loss when included as part of a calorie controlled diet and may be enjoyed along with Keto or Paleo lifestyle choices.
Read on to learn about the benefits of rooibos tea and how to brew it.
WHAT IS ROOIBOS TEA AND WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Rooibos tea comes from the shrub Aspalathus Linearis and isn’t actually a true tea — it’s a herb or, more accurately, a legume. The leaves are long and needle-like. It is the needles and the ends of the thinnest stems that are used in the tea we drink.
The plant is harvested manually; cut by hand with sickles and scythes, bundled and delivered to the threshing machines where it is cut into tiny ‘leaves’ and then bruised to encourage oxidation while drying under the hot African sun.
As it oxidizes, Rooibos naturally becomes redder and sweeter. Generally 24 hours is considered an optimum time for the tea to oxidize in the drying courts.
This slow age old process is responsible for Rooibos tea brewing into the rich reddish-brown colored and distinctive flavored herbal infusion we know as Rooibos tea, (often referred to as African Red tea and Red Bush tea).
Then, in sterilized factory conditions, the Rooibos is heated to high temperatures for steam pasteurization (so that the tea is free of all bacteria and impurities, and meets and beats all globally recognized standards) and finally it is ready to be graded and packed.
Rooibos tea has a mild, aromatic and vaguely earthy taste that is sweet and fruity with hints of vanilla and honey.
You can drink it in many different ways… just as you would black or green tea — simply plain, with or without lemon and or honey / sugar / sweetener, perhaps with milk, maybe as a creamy latte or even with butter as a caffeine-free substitute for “Bulletproof” Coffee. And don’t forget that as an iced tea it is second to none, working brilliantly on its own or as a base for many different flavors like peach, strawberry, cranberry and raspberry.
GREEN ROOIBOS TEA? WHAT IS THAT?
In the late 1990s, with the growth of green tea around the world, Rooibos created its own version with green rooibos tea, a non-oxidized type of rooibos. This lack of oxidization means this tea maintains a higher integrity of antioxidants. It brews with only a hint of the red color associated with classic Rooibos. Green Rooibos tea is known in Japan as “Golden Rooibos” in line with the color of the brewed tea. As for taste, green rooibos has a lighter, more grassy, mineral-like flavor.
THE BENEFITS – ROOIBOS TEA
BOOSTS ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS IN THE BODY
Rooibos tea contains up to 50% more antioxidants than green tea, (oxidized black tea).
Antioxidants clean up the harmful free radicals that can damage cells in our bodies and cause cancer, keeping in check cellular damage and inflammation.
Glutathione. On going studies have shown that drinking rooibos tea could boost levels of glutathione, known as the ‘master antioxidant’ in the body. More powerful than any other antioxidant, glutathione protects us against inflammation, toxins, free radicals and pathogens. Think of it as your body’s own natural detoxifier.LINK TO SCIENCE
Aspalathin & Nothofagin. Aspalathin, found only in rooibos tea, and Nothofagin are two polyphenols (types of antioxidant), that have been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting powers.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS IMPROVES BLOOD PRESSURE AND CIRCULATION
Inflammation is a key player in the role of heart disease. A study involving healthy volunteers looked at the effects green tea, black tea and Rooibos tea had on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme known to increase blood pressure. The study found that after just one hour, in people who had been drinking Rooibos tea, their ACE levels reduced, lowering blood pressure.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS BOOSTS GOOD HDL CHOLESTEROL AND LOWERS THE BAD STUFF, TOO
Another study over a six-week period showed that drinking just six cups of rooibos tea daily significantly increased total polyphenol levels, which improved HDL “good” cholesterol. It also lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS KEEPS HAIR STRONG AND SKIN HEALTHY
The benefits of rooibos tea go beyond just drinking it. Research shows that applying a 10% rooibos tea extract to hair significantly increased hair growth in almost 90 percent of the volunteers.
Rooibos extract is also recommended to use on the skin for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and soothing properties.
ROOIBOS AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS
Since there are 0 calories, since Rooibos is naturally sweet and with the antioxidants and balancing blood sugar, Rooibos tea can be a great addition to your beverage choices while trying to lose weight.
Research suggests that aspalathin, an active ingredient in rooibos tea, helps reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, which is also linked to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Data from this study showed that rooibos tea has the potential for preventing obesity by affecting the balance of energy and how it’s used as energy or stored as fat.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS HELPS TREAT AND MAY EVEN PREVENT DIABETES
Researchers studied the effect of antioxidants aspalathin and nothofagin on inflammation caused by high blood sugar and found that it lowered inflammation in the vascular system (aka arteries and blood vessels).
People with diabetes tend to have chronic, low levels of inflammation that affects insulin’s function and contributes to the disease. Reducing inflammation may therefore provide major benefits in the treatment of diabetes and diabetic complications.
To get the most out of aspalathin, choose green Rooibos over classic red Rooibos.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS MAY AID DIGESTION
The presence of flavonoids such as quercetin, luteolin and others are understood to be the reasons for the beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal system. Studies showed that rooibos tea benefits the digestive system, reducing diarrhea, calming muscle spasms in the stomach and decreasing gastric secretions.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS MAY CALM BABIES WITH COLIC
Colic is still not fully understood. As far back as 1968, a South African mother, Annetjie Theron, was struggling with her colicky infant. She wasn’t the first and she won’t be the last. She found that a rooibos tea infusion calmed her baby of the chronic restlessness, vomiting and stomach cramps.
As a result of this discovery, she studied Rooibos tea and its benefits and eventually went on to create her own products using Rooibos extract and write a book, (“ALLERGIES an Amazing Discovery”).
Anecdotal evidence thus suggests that Rooibos acts as a digestive aid and antispasmodic, thereby relieving stomach cramps and colic in babies, as well as symptoms associated with pancreatic sufferers.LINK TO BOOK
ROOIBOS TEA MAY HELP PREVENT CANCER
While the development of cancer is a complex process, it has been well documented that oxidative damage, generally associated with free radicals, is responsible for cancer development.
Studies on pancreatic tumor cells have shown that Quercetin and Luteolin, two flavonoids found in Rooibos tea, suppress tumor growth and promote cancer cell death.LINK TO SCIENCE
ROOIBOS BOOSTS BONE HEALTH
The variety of polyphenols in rooibos tea has been shown to improve osteoblast activity (also known as the cells that develop bones).LINK TO SCIENCE
The flavonoids Orientin and Luteolin have been specifically studied on bone cells and an increased level of bone growth and mitochondrial activity was found. These flavonoids enhanced the mineral content of the bone cells used in the study.LINK TO SCIENCE
HOW TO MAKE ROOIBOS TEA
Meet Roy Bush and watch him as he explains his favorite way to brew his Rooibos tea.
- 1 teaspoon or tea bag (2.5 gms) of Rooibos tea
- 8oz. water
Boil your water and pour over the tea. Infuse for 5-15 minutes covered. You can add a sweetener such as honey or stevia to taste.
It also blends well with vanilla, chocolate, or citrus flavors.
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About Madeleine Stokes
Living in Cape Town, Madeleine Stokes is a wife and mother who has a passion for tea. With her husband, she migrated to South Africa and found that Rooibos tea, something she’d only briefly heard about previously, was being drunk by everyone she met. Every household had tea boxes and every one appeared to have been drinking Rooibos tea for as long as they could remember. Everyone talked about the amazing health benefits.
A lover of all teas, Madeleine decided to research Rooibos and discovered a myriad of information. She visited farms during harvest time, toured the factories, spoke to the workers, learned about this wonder herb and decided that the World needed to know about Rooibos.
She was not the first of course, but Madeleine felt that other tea companies who included Rooibos in their stable of teas, were not consciously or specifically promoting Rooibos. She decided more could be done to create awareness and thus potentially boost the income for the Cederberg area, for the farmers and their families, for the workers in the fields and the factories and their families too.
She decided to create Rooibos Rocks. Designed to be exported only, purchasing only the finest grade, buying only tea that met and exceeded the USDA organic requirements, packaged in recyclable card, with awesome colorful artwork by a talented local artist.
Rooibos Rocks was founded in 2014.