Rooibos tea comes from South Africa and can be a good alternative to normal tea. It does have a slightly different taste to standard black tea but it is great to know that it genuinely doing your bodies a lot of good. The health benefits of rooibos tea are quite extraordinary – why not give it a try
1. Caffeine free – The rooibos plant grows naturally without any caffeine. This is important, as it means it does not need to undergo a chemical process to remove the caffeine. It also means that anyone can drink it, including those who do not want to drink caffeine such as children & pregnant women. The other key benefit of no caffeine is that rooibos tea can be drunk in unrestricted amounts, in fact, the average South African will consume 5-6 cups per day.
2. Contains powerful antioxidants – Rooibos tea contains a huge array of antioxidants, which help to protect the body in a number of ways. Two polyphenol antioxidants called aspalathin and nothofagin are found in high concentrations in rooibos tea. These antioxidants protect the body by fighting free radicals. These are unstable cells, which attack healthy cells in order to stabilise themselves. The polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties and can safeguard against heart disease.
3. Prevents against some cancers – Some studies have demonstrated a link between consumption of rooibos tea and a reduction of cancer-causing chemicals. This is because of the high level of dominant antioxidants, some of which have anti-mutagenic properties. This means that they defend cells & DNA against damage and inhibit them from developing into cancer.
4. High mineral content – One of the key health benefits of rooibos tea is that it contains several minerals that are vital to health. These include: magnesium – essential for the nervous system, calcium & manganese – essential for strong teeth and bones, zinc – important for metabolism and iron – critical for helping blood & muscles distribute oxygen.
5. Improves circulation – One of the many potent antioxidants in rooibos tea is called Chysoeriol. It can improve circulation by preventing the activity of the enzyme that triggers cardiovascular disease. Drinking rooibos tea also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
6. Relieves stomach complaints – As rooibos tea contains high levels of flavonoids, especially one called quercetin, it has the ability to relieve numerous abdominal ailments such as cramps, diahorrea and indigestion. This is because the flavonoids help to reduce spasm, inflammation and allergies. It has also been widely stated that the health benefits of rooibos tea extend to alleviating colic in babies. As it is totally caffeine free, it is perfectly safe for them to drink rooibos tea.
7. Aids absorption of iron – Unlike most black teas, which prevent the body from absorbing iron effectively because of the tannins they contain, rooibos tea supports the body in absorbing iron. This is because rooibos tea contains less than half the tannins of black tea.
8. Can relieve skin conditions – A more recent discovery of the benefits of rooibos tea is that it can help you to look more beautiful! Rooibos tea contains phenyl pyretic acid, which can help to improve acne, psoriasis and eczema. You can apply a freshly brewed and cooled tea bag to the affected areas and it will soothe and heal any inflammation.
9. Can protect against Parkinsons/Alzheimers disease – drinking rooibos tea regularly can protect against a process known as lipid peridoxation. This is where free radicals damage brain cells and nerve tissue. If this is prolonged, it can lead eventually to progressive and deteriorating brain disease, such as Alzheimers. Laboratory tests on rats showed little difference in brain function from a group of older rats given rooibos tea to the brains of newborn rats.
10. Encourages restful sleep – One of the many health benefits of rooibos tea is that it can be drunk as often as you wish and at any time of day. Many people choose to drink it before bedtime as it can help with insomnia. Due to its high mineral content and lack of caffeine, it helps people to feel calm and relaxed.