Rooibos tea benefits

Rooibos Tea Benefits

Rooibos tea has been enjoyed for hundreds of years in South Africa. Rooibos is translated as “red bush” and pronounced “roy-boss”. It is slowly making its way into the teacups of many other nations around the world who are enjoying its taste and healthful benefits. The facts about rooibos tea are just too compelling to ignore!

Rooibos is a small flowering shrub that grows in the arid Western Cape of South Africa. The indigenous peoples would pick the leaves and stems, break them with wooden hammers, ferment them and then dry them in the sun. Nowadays modern machinery is used but the steps from bush to teacup are still the same.

This tea is not the same as green tea or black tea. Rooibos tea contains many antioxidants, with some reports stating 50 times as many as green tea. However, the antioxidants in this South African tea differ from the antioxidants in green and black tea. As well, Rooibos tea contains no caffeine and is very low in tannins.

There are two types of rooibos tea available – red and green. The red rooibos is the fermented variety of this tea. When brewed it has a deep, red color. The green, unfermented variety and is claimed to have even more health benefits than the red variety. It brews a light honey color.

Studies and research have been performed in test tubes and on animals and results have shown some wonderful healing properties. The key benefits of Rooibos tea established so far through these studies include preventing cancer, enhancing liver enzymes, and an increase in antioxidants in the liver. The polyphenol content of Rooibos tea shows great promise in helping with chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and premature aging.

The peoples of South Africa have known of its healing benefits for many years and have traditionally used it for:

Allergies and Hayfever – This tea is high in antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce allergic responses and histamine release.

Skin Complaints – A steeped teabag can be used topically and the tea can be consumed internally, which may promote healing in certain skin complaints. Phenolic carboxylic acids such as alpha-hydroxy acids, may be the factor in the improvement of skin conditions. Traditionally rooibos tea has been used for eczema, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, diaper rash and sunburn. Decreased itching has been noted when drinking the tea as well.

Digestive Complaints – The tea contains the flavonoids quercetin and luteolin, which have antispasmodic effects. This would explain why the tea has been used for colic in babies, for stomach upset and for nausea.

Restful sleep – Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine and is low in tannins. South Africans use the tea to promote restful sleep and to aid in insomnia complaints.

Minerals – This tea has traditionally been used as a fluid replacement throughout the day in South Africa. It is a good source of trace minerals calcium, copper, fluoride, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. This makes it useful to replace lost electrolytes after sweating or strenuous physical activity. Just as the South Africans, we should make a habit of drinking Rooibos tea daily for our health and well being!

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