What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the rooibos bush, or red bush.
Rooibos is native to the Western Cape province of South Africa. In fact, it ONLY grows in this small region of the world – so if you’ve had a glass of rooibos, it’s almost certainly imported from South Africa.
The rooibos plant, or Aspalathus linearis, is a bush-like member of the Fabaceae family. Its leaves have an earthy flavor that some liken to yerba mate. It has a subtle natural sweetness and just a hint of vanilla flavor, making it a tasty tea to enjoy on its own.
Rooibos is naturally caffeine free, so a lot of people like to enjoy a cup in the evening. It also has natural antioxidant and and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular choice for health-minded individuals.
Uses & Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Rooibos is of course used as any other tea – brewed simply and enjoyed as desired with sweeteners or milk. But beyond the obvious use as a beverage, rooibos has some potential medicinal properties that are worth exploring. Some potential rooibos benefits include:
- Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory: Rooibos is a good source of natural antioxidants, which help to protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. A flavonoid called quercetin is one of the primary compounds in rooibos that is thought to be responsible for these effects. Quercetin is a potent antioxidant with a host of health benefits, and drinking rooibos tea is a good way to get a lot of quercetin.
- Heart health: Rooibos has some properties that are thought to potentially benefit heart health. Chrysoeriol, a flavonoid in rooibos, has been shown to help reduce blood pressure and potentially lower bad cholesterol. More research is needed.
- Diabetes: The potent antioxidant activity of rooibos may help to lessen the symptoms of diabetes and protect the heart. An animal study showed it may even help to prevent diabetes, but human trials and necessary to confirm these results.
- Cancer: Quercetin, a flavonoid found in rooibos tea, may help to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells. Rooibos also helps to strengthen the immune system, helping it to create antibodies necessary for recovering from diseases. Much more research is needed on the relationship between rooibos and cancer, but there is some promising evidence so far.
- Digestion: In some cases, drinking rooibos tea may help aid digestion. Rooibos has antispasmodic effects and can help to prevent abdominal pain and reduce the likelihood of diarrhea. More research is needed.
- Weight management: Rooibos has a rich flavonoid content, and certain flavonoids may help you lose weight, when combined with diet and exercise. A South African study found that drinking rooibos helped to increase satiety, or the feeling of fullness. It also showed an increase in fat metabolization, although more research is needed in this regard.
How to Take Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea can be brewed using your favorite brewing techniques. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, and with or without added flavoring and sweeteners.
As for rooibos brewing guidelines, you can follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. When using loose leaf tea, the typically recommendation is to use 1.5 teaspoons of tea per 8 oz of boiling water.
Steeping time should be at least 5 to 6 minutes, although longer a longer steep may help to extract more antioxidants from the tea.
Rooibos Tea Side Effects and Precautions
Rooibos tea is very safe to drink, and typically will not cause any side effects.
There have been a few rare cases where rooibos showed estrogenic activity, meaning it affected the production of estrogen. For this reason, some experts recommend that people with hormone-sensitive conditions including breast cancer may wish to avoid drinking rooibos.
Other than that, rooibos should not have any side effects. It’s caffeine free, so you won’t have to worry about any of the side effects associated with caffeine and other stimulants.
What to Look for in a Good Rooibos Tea
Most rooibos tea comes plain, although flavored options are certainly available. Rooibos has a pleasant, earthy-vanilla and slightly sweet taste to it. However, if you’re someone who would prefer a stronger flavor, look for a specially flavored product.
Beyond that, consider whether you want loose leaf tea or pre-bagged tea. Tea bags are definitely more convenient, but typically more expensive. Loose leaf tea is a bit more of a hassle to brew but can save you some money in the long run.
Additionally, when choosing from the best rooibos teas, try to think about what certifications and factors are important to you. Do you want an organic product, a fair-trade product, etc? There are tons of organic rooibos teas available, although they are usually a bit more expensive than conventional options.
Lastly, keep the reputation of the product and company in mind. Has it earned good reviews? Is the parent company a trusted name in tea? Follow these steps (or choose from our recommendations on this page) and you’re sure to get a great product!
The Red Tea Detox Customer Reviews:
Here is a short review on the red tea detox program from our customer Wendy McClintock from Portland, Oregon
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Thank you so much Liz!
– Wendy McClintock, Portland, Oregon
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