By Meenakshi Nagdeve
The antioxidant-rich and caffeine free red rooibos tea can be enjoyed hot or cold for its benefits such as improving skin and bone health, preventing inflammation, removing toxins, and improving heart health among others.
Rooibos tea, also called red tea, is also known for its beneficial effects on those suffering from colic or diabetes. It also has the potential to cure headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies, and premature aging. This tea is free from caffeine content and is also low in tannins. Drinking rooibos tea can further ease severe stomach cramps and boost the immune system.
What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea or red tea is an herbal beverage, with medicinal properties, that is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis, a shrub found in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. According to the South African Rooibos Council, rooibos is not a true tea, but an herb. The fermented and dried tea is red in color and is often called African red tea or red bush tea. The health benefits of red rooibos tea are abundant.
Its medicinal attributes have been confirmed by The US Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., which has affirmed that red rooibos tea is capable of reducing cancer, heart diseases, premature aging, and other serious conditions.
Red Rooibos Tea Nutrition Facts
Red rooibos tea has no oxalic acid and therefore, it can be consumed by people who have kidney stones. Rooibos tea is rich in many minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and alpha hydroxy acid. According to the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, US, the tea contains antioxidants like aspalathin and nothofagin and extremely potent and versatile phenolic compounds.
Health Benefits of Red Rooibos Tea
Red rooibos tea is one of the best health drinks or beverages for those who care about their fitness. The beneficial factors that have been positively correlated with red rooibos tea are listed below.
Rich in Antioxidants
Aspalathin and nothofagin are two vital antioxidants that rooibos tea contains, making it a great beverage to boost your immune system and protect your body against all types of diseases including diabetic complications.
Rooibos contains polyphenols, flavonols, flavonoids, and dihydrochalcones. These compounds have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimutagenic qualities. Polyphenols are organic chemicals that are often praised for their antioxidant capabilities. Flavonoids are associated with lowering the risk of coronary heart diseases.
A study conducted in South Africa by BD Canda et al. suggest that regularly drinking organic red rooibos tea provides the liver with potent antioxidants, helping the organ to improve detoxification. Antioxidants act as scavengers of free radicals throughout the body, which are detrimental byproducts of cell metabolism that can cause cancer and heart diseases.
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Improves Heart Health
Rooibos tea is anti-inflammatory in nature, which means that it reduces blood pressure and scavenges free radicals like other antioxidants. A study conducted by Swedish researchers led by Ingrid Persson suggests that red rooibos tea is a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which helps regulate blood pressure and boost heart health.
Quercetin, another powerful antioxidant found in rooibos tea, has been linked to preventing a wide variety of heart conditions. It promotes an increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and inhibits the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from binding to the walls of arteries and blood vessels.
Aspalathin, one of the antioxidants found in rooibos tea, has several unique qualities. A study by Son MJ et al. on obese mice suggests that aspalathin has anti-diabetic properties. A team of researchers from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, led by Atsutoshi Kawano, found that aspalathin in rooibos tea can help balance blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and glucose absorption by muscles, and boosts insulin secretion from the pancreas. This results in an ideal defensive shield against developing type 2 diabetes. By balancing blood sugar, rooibos tea can also protect diabetics by preventing blood sugar spikes and drops that are detrimental to overall health.
Improves Bone Health
Red rooibos tea is rich in fluoride minerals, calcium, and manganese that assist in maintaining good bone structure and stronger teeth. By increasing the bioavailability of minerals in your system, you can reduce your chances of developing conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic joint pain. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Miami, US suggests that red rooibos tea has enough fluoride to contain dental decay and cavities. Fluoride is more commonly related to dental health, which is why fluoride compounds are often found in most of the mouthwashes and toothpaste. Whether it is the teeth or the bone structure, red rooibos tea gives you an advantage over everything! Furthermore, manganese actually works on a deeper level and stimulates the enzymes which are required to build new bones and repair damages. However, more scientific evidence is required to support this benefit of red rooibos.
In many parts of South Africa, rooibos herbal tea is used as an effective curative to treat allergies like eczema, hay fever, and allergy-related bronchitis. It has anti-inflammatory qualities, thanks to its quercetin content and is thus also prescribed for asthma and topical allergic reactions of various types throughout the body (Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, June 2011 issue). However, clinical trials and research are needed to further support this benefit.
Two leading scientists from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa conducted a study on rooibos tea intake effects and found that rooibos has the ability to partially restore the function of aged cells. The alpha hydroxy acid and zinc in this rooibos tea powder are very good for the skin. Alpha-hydroxy acids can reduce the signs of wrinkles and other premature aging symptoms but they are rarely found in natural products.
South Africans use rooibos as a treatment for colic or stomach pain. The exact mechanism by which it soothes colic and stomach pain is unknown, but the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb are most likely responsible.
This tea is a rich source of antispasmodic agents, which can ease severe stomach cramps and abdominal pains. This is mainly due to the activation of K+ (potassium) ions in the body without antagonizing the activities of calcium, according to a report published in the Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology. This can reduce the presence of hyperactivity in the gastrointestinal tract, thus preventing diarrhea and other intestinal issues.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Rooibos tea is known to relieve stress, nervous tension, and hypertensive conditions. Hypertension is more commonly known as high blood pressure and rooibos tea acts as a bronchodilator. A research done with 17 volunteers showed that drinking a single cup of rooibos tea helped inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme.
This enzyme causes our blood pressure to increase by contracting blood vessels. This clearly shows that drinking this tea lowers blood pressure, resulting in the prevention of dangerous cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
Rooibos tea is completely caffeine-free and is therefore recommended for patients suffering from insomnia. A cup of rooibos beverage just before going to bed can help you sleep better, according to a study published by Julia Morton, botanist, and director of the Morton Collectanea at the University of Miami.
By removing caffeine from your diet, you may also lower your stress levels, improve mood, and heart health. Organic caffeine-free rooibos tisane gives you the energy and health benefits without this dangerously addictive substance.
Prevents Kidney Stones
People with kidney stone problems can drink red rooibos tea as there is no oxalic acid in the beverage. Many times, people with kidney stones are discouraged from drinking too much tea because of this exacerbating ingredient.
Oxalic acid is a crystal-forming substance, so it can make the presence of calcium stones or other painful growth in the kidneys even worse by making them larger. So, people with kidney stones can keep rooibos tea bags handy whenever they want to have a healthy beverage!
The antioxidants present in rooibos tea slow down the aging process and boost the strength of the immune system. Researchers at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa found that the local herb helps slow down the degeneration of fat cells, thus inhibiting the formation of wrinkles. Antioxidants in the tea seek out free radicals that damage the skin, hair, bones, and other organ systems by making them vulnerable to diseases and degeneration.
Antioxidant-rich rooibos tea is one of the most potent beverages which helps keeps the body young. It also has anti-aging effects in terms of cognitive ability, because it reduces the impact of oxidative byproducts in neural pathways, thus stimulating concentration and focus.
Red rooibos tea is an excellent thirst quencher and does wonders for athletes, hyperactive children, and those who travel often, whether for pleasure or business. Most people prefer to brew red rooibos loose leaf tea in its natural form without using any sweeteners. For those who simply want a refreshing drink, caffeine-free rooibos tea is an ideal choice.
Contains Rare Nutrients
Rooibos tea is said to contain rare nutrients like quercetin and bioflavonoids that assist in good blood circulation and obstruct hemorrhaging.
Where to Buy Red Rooibos Tea?
It is easy to make this tea at home. All you need is either of these products:
Red rooibos tea bags
Red rooibos loose leaf tea
Both are available online or in gourmet grocery stores. There are flavored versions available too in chocolate, vanilla, and so on to keep the taste interesting.
If you come across green rooibos tea, don’t get confused! Green rooibos tea is when the rooibos herb is steamed and dried immediately. It remains green in color and has a more grass-like flavor.
What Does Red Rooibos Tea Taste Like?
Rooibos tea has a naturally sweet and mild flavor, with nutty tones and can be brewed on its own. However, the traditional South African way of having red rooibos tea is with a splash of milk and a little sugar or honey. So, enjoy your hot cup of tea in your preferred way!
Despite all these health benefits of rooibos tea, there can be a downside for some people. Since rooibos is so powerful, it can interfere with treatments for various conditions, including chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also, rooibos has shown estrogenic activities in certain studies, so it might not be a good idea to use if you have hormone-sensitive cancer like breast cancer. Few cases of liver toxicity caused by intake red rooibos tea have been reported.
- Culled from www.organifacts.net