Rooibos Tea: From the land of the wild, South Africa comes an unassuming, yet salutary herbal tea, made from the stems and leaves of the rooibos plant, also known as the red bush. Conventionally, rooibos is a legume, but people commonly consume it in the form of tea. Though initially popular only in South Africa, the demand for rooibos tea is increasing immensely in other parts of the globe with every passing day, owing to its pleasant taste, distinctive flavor, and copious health benefits.
1. Improves Sleep
Rooibos has mild sedative properties that can help you sleep. It also is found to have a relaxing and calming effect on the mind, which can help one have restful and deeper sleep.
2. Can Improve Skin Health
Rooibos tea, being rich in alpha hydroxyl acid and zinc, can play a pivotal role in maintaining skin health. These can revitalize the skin and give it a natural glow. The tea can also help heal wounds and offer protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Have you ever considered rooibos tea for acne? When it comes to acne, rooibos tea can do wonders. Acne can be a nightmare, can’t it? Even when it heals, it leaves its mark behind. Rooibos tea, when applied topically, helps to treat and reduce the acne scars. The tea’s high antioxidant content increases blood flow to the skin, thereby speeding the healing process. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help in the soothing inflamed skin.
You might as well stop worrying about sunburns when you have rooibos tea ready in your kitchen. Yes, basking in the sun does feel great at times, but it can also be one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Too much exposure to the sun can make you susceptible to sunburns and even skin cancer. Rooibos tea, when applied topically, helps in the soothing inflamed skin caused due to sunburn, eczema, or acne.
3. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Rooibos tea has properties that can help reduce the risk of cancer. It has been found that for many centuries, the indigenous Bushmen of South Africa have sworn by the many healthful benefits of the tea. Research conducted has suggested that the tea has the potential to ward off cancer.
Rooibos is found to increase those enzymes in the body that help in detoxification, which eventually helps slow down DNA mutation.
The advantage rooibos tea has over other herbal teas (like green and black teas) is that it is free of caffeine. Hence, it has close to zero toxicity, thereby being a more effective form of chemoprevention.
According to a study conducted in Japan, rooibos tea has a large number of flavonoids and acts as a potent antioxidant. Hence, it can offer protection against cancer. Another North American study has also come up with similar findings.
A study conducted by Nutrition and Cancer in 2011 discovered the cancer preventive ability of unfermented rooibos when it helped reduce the size of papilloma esophageal in rats.
This protective benefit of rooibos is due to the counteractive activity of its flavonoid groups on cancer cells. Rooibos also contains antioxidants that protect the body cells from oxidative damage and hence lower the risk of cancer.
4. Can Benefit Infants
We know how delicate infants are. Owing to the degrading environment and rising levels of pollution, infants are more susceptible to oxidative stress, which ultimately leads to cell and tissue damage. This is where the antioxidants in rooibos tea come into play, as they protect the infants from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
Rooibos tea is known to treat a number of ailments related to infants – like colic, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. The tea, being naturally high in vitamin C and antioxidants, can fight diseases caused by free radicals.Rooibos tea is also low in tannins that, otherwise, can interfere with your baby’s digestive functionalities. However, remember that rooibos tea is just a supplementation and not an alternative to breast milk.
5. Can Help Treat Diabetes
Rooibos tea contains aspathalin, a powerful antioxidant that is known to have the potential to offer protection against diabetes.
In one Japanese study, studies conducted on diabetic rats suggested that aspathalic has anti-diabetic properties. Another Japanese study had come up with similar findings with regard to type 2 diabetes as well.
In another Korean study, aspathalin, and nothofagin, the two antioxidants present in rooibos tea, were found to have significant benefits in the treatment of diabetes.
The glucose-lowering effects of aspathalin in rooibos tea were also found in a South African study, proving the efficacy of the tea in aiding in the treatment of diabetes.
6. Has Anti-Aging Effects
Drinking rooibos tea can help you stay young for long. The antioxidants present in rooibos tea prevent oxidative stress, one of the biggest causes of premature aging.
In one Thailand study, a formula containing tea and rooibos was found to show the best efficacy in reducing wrinkles.
7. Can Cure Headache
According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, rooibos tea is one effective herbal remedy for a headache.
Headaches are generally caused due to muscle contractions in the face or head. Rooibos tea, owing to its relaxing properties, can make you less tense and more rested, thereby eliminating the chance of contracting a headache in the first place.
8. Prevents Heart Disease
As established earlier, rooibos tea provides protection against oxidative damage, and thus prevents the oxidation of essential cellular components as fats. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As per a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, rooibos tea helps lower the levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, that clogs the arteries and increases the risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, it increases the levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, that helps carry fat deposits out of the arteries to the liver. It is especially a great beverage for those with a history of heart diseases in the family.
In another South African study, rooibos tea was found to offer cardiac protection to a rat on whom the test was conducted, suggesting a similar possibility in humans as well.
9. Can Be A Good Remedy For Inflammation
As per one Japanese study, the flavonoids present in rooibos tea have antioxidative properties, which can help treat inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory effects can also be attributed to quercetin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory agent present in rooibos tea.
In another study, rooibos tea, when taken in conjunction with red palm oil, was found to protect against inflammation.
A study conducted in the Republic of Korea had suggested that aspalathin and nothofagin, the two major antioxidants in rooibos tea, possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Helps Relieve Anxiety And Mental Stress
Rooibos tea also helps relieve nervous tension because of the presence of magnesium, zinc, and iron in it. These minerals help to create a systemic balance in the brain. The tea thus promotes improved functioning of the nervous system.
It is often prescribed as an anti-depressant due to its nerve-calming benefits.
Stress is one of the biggest problems today and is responsible for a number of health issues like heart diseases, obesity, asthma, anxiety, and gastrointestinal troubles. A study conducted by Stellenbosch University found that the aspalathin and nothofagin compounds in rooibos tea can help reduce anxiety and stress as they help to lower the production of cortisol – the stress hormone.
Hence, there’s no need to rely on chemical drugs to counter stress when you can enjoy the goodness of a natural mood enhancer!