Rooibos tea, also known as Red Bush, is a caffeine-free herb made from Aspalathus Linearis , which is grown only in the South African highlands. Rooibos is said to have 50% more antioxidants than what is found in green tea. Antioxidants are believed to scavenge free radicals, the toxic by-product of natural biological processes that can damage cells in the body, leading to cancer, aging, and other forms of oxidative stress such as heart disease. In addition to an abundance of these disease-fighting compounds, Rooibos tea is rich in fluoride, copper and contains the following other minerals:
• Alpha-hydroxy (great for the skin)
Rooibos tea is low in tannins, the residue in teas that can sometimes cause digestive problems. Drinking Rooibos tea is said to actually sooth digestion, and is commonly used in South Africa to treat babies that have colic and stomach cramps and to calm intestinal spasms and digestive upsets in adults. The lack of tannins allow for a mild fruity taste that we find much more pleasant compared to green and black tea, which eliminates the need for harmful sweeteners. The low tannin content is also beneficial for those who suffer from low iron, as tannins bind iron; black and peppermint tea are said to inhibit iron as much as 80-90%.
The health benefits of tea are said to derive from antioxidant compounds known as “polyphenols” which have anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity. These properties may indicate Rooibos helpful in protecting against allergies, respiratory disorders such as asthma, immune disorders, radiation damage and damage to the liver to name a few. There is significant literature from animal studies showing that green tea may prevent heart disease and cancer.
“It turns out that polyphenols in tea prevent oxidation,” says John Weisburger, PhD of the American Health Foundation, who explains that it is the oxidized form of cholesterol that damages veins and arteries, leading to heart disease. Lenore Arab, PhD, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health says there is a “large and convincing body of evidence that tea is chemo-preventive” and what has impressed her the most is the accumulating evidence of tea’s protective role in prostate cancer. Arab says she and other tea researchers have seen a protective effect against colon and rectal cancer among tea drinkers in Russia. Some studies suggest tea may help prevent osteoporosis and tea may yield anti-aging effects when applied directly to skin. Worth noting, the role of tea in preventing disease has only been studied in the past 10 or so years, and studies have focused mainly on green and black teas. Additional and more expansive studies could yield data confirming these health benefits and others.
We see significant benefits in the hydrating properties of Rooibos tea alone. It is a tastier and healthier alternative to green tea without any known side effects, and since it lacks caffeine you can enjoy sipping Rooibos tea throughout the day and night! Unfermented, or green Rooibos, is said to have more antioxidants than red bush but for practical purposes it should not make a difference. We love this vanilla-flavored Rooibos made by the Republic of Tea. The longer the tea is brewed, the more the ingredients in the herbs will seep into the water. Try to steep for 10 minutes.
Disclaimer: The information in this article and on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. None of the products mentioned in this article or on this website are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to provide personal medical advice, which should be obtained from a medical professional. This information is made available with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical, psychological, or nutritional counseling services on this site. The information on this Web site does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, and interactions. Liability for individual actions or omissions based upon the contents of this site is expressly disclaimed. This information has not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. FDA.