Rooibos Tea

The Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

1. Caffeine-Free

First of all, rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it a great option for everyone. Even for people who enjoy caffeine, rooibos is a perfect late afternoon beverage to start off a restful night sleep. Rooibos tea can also be consumed in larger quantities than most caffeinated beverages since there is no risk of caffeine overdose. 

2. Powerful Antioxidants

Rooibos has an impressive dose of antioxidants, which can help protect your body from environmental damage from pollution, chemicals, and other toxins. Over time antioxidants help to prevent disease and early signs of aging. The most powerful antioxidants in rooibos tea are quercetin, aspalathin, and nothofagin. From strengthening the cardiovascular system to potentially helping prevent cancer, antioxidants in rooibos tea are excellent for long term health.

3. Low in Tannins

For people who are at risk for low iron or anemia, rooibos is one of the best teas to drink. Tannins are a type of astringent polyphenol commonly found in chocolate, black tea, green tea, wine, and other foods. In excess, tannins may start to block the absorption of iron from plant foods. Especially for vegans and vegetarians, iron absorption may improve by switching to rooibos tea. (But if your iron levels are healthy, there’s no need for concern.)

4. Regulates Cholesterol

Some studies have shown that drinking rooibos tea may regulate cholesterol levels, especially for people at risk of heart disease. Drinking 6 cups of rooibos tea daily lowered LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increased HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) after 6 weeks in a study of adults at risk for heart disease. Regulating cholesterol is a key factor in preventing heart disease so rooibos is an excellent choice for cardiovascular health. 

5. Balances Blood Sugar

The antioxidants found in rooibos tea may help balance blood sugar. Two key antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin, may lower glucoselevels in the blood and prevent insulin resistance. Regular consumption of rooibos tea could be helpful for managing symptoms of diabetes as well as preventing type 2 diabetes. Aside from preventing disease, well balanced blood sugar is ideal for keeping consistent energy levels throughout the day.

6. Aids Weight Loss

Rooibos tea has been studied to help with weight management by inhibiting adipogenesis, the process of building fat in the body. Drinking rooibos may lower the amount of fat stored in cells and prevent body fat from accumulating. It also balances leptin, the hunger hormone, so you don’t overeat. If you are looking to manage your weight, rooibos is a gentle yet effective tea. 

7. Allergy Relief

Traditional use of rooibos tea as medicine in South Africa includes the treatment of allergies. Most likely, the quercetin in rooibos tea acts as a natural antihistamine. But this health benefit remains anecdotal as modern research has yet to confirm the effect. If you suffer from allergies, it doesn’t hurt to try drinking rooibos tea and see if it provides relief. 

8. Stronger Bones

Research has shown that rooibos may strengthen your bones. Regular consumption of rooibos tea can help increase minerals in the bone structure and boost osteoblast activity (the cells that build bones). Rooibos may help prevent osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become brittle and prone to fractures. Especially for people who are middle-aged and older, strong bones are important for staying fit and healthy.

9. Better Digestion

Rooibos tea is a natural antispasmodic, which means it can help relax cramped muscles. If you experience cramps and indigestion after meals, a warm cup of rooibos may help. It is especially helpful for anxiety induced stomach discomfort, when your gut feels like it’s twisted in a knot. Whenever you feel those butterflies or tight cramping, take a sip of rooibos tea. 

What is Rooibos Tea? 

Rooibos tea is almost too good to be true. It has powerful antioxidants and health benefits like true tea, but is completely caffeine-free so you can drink it any time of day. The flavor profile is sweet, nutty, and smooth, and tastes similar to black tea. Whether you need a bedtime tea without caffeine or want a tea that is naturally sweet without any bitterness, there are many reasons to choose Rooibos tea. 

Rooibos (pronounced Roy-bos) is made from the Aspalathus linearis plant, which is part of the legume family. It is a small shrub with needle-like leaves that can only grow in Cederburg, a mountainous region of South Africa. The name ‘rooibos’ translates to ‘red bush’ in Afrikaans, referring to the bold red color of the tea infusion. It is different from the Camellia sinensis plant that makes green tea, black tea, although rooibos is processed in a similar way. The rooibos tea leaves are dried and unoxidized to make green rooibos, or fully oxidized to make red rooibos. Green rooibos is mild in flavor and has the most antioxidants. Red rooibos is the more common variety that has a deeper flavor and dark amber color. 

(This page is from blog post by The Whistling Kettle  December 29th, 2021)