Rooibos tea, also referred as red bush tea, African red bush tea, or red tea, is made by fermenting leaves from a shrub called Aspalathus linearis, commonly grown on the western coast of South Africa. This fermentation process gives the leaves a reddish-brown color.
A green version of the unfermented tea is also available and it has a more grass-like flavor. Due to the fact that green rooibos contains higher amounts of antioxidants than red bush tea, it is commonly more expensive.
It Contains Potent Antioxidants
This tea has grown in popularity partly due to its high levels of health-promoting antioxidants. These include quercetin and aspalathin.
Quercetin is a type of flavonoid antioxidant which is found in plant foods, like fruits and vegetables. Quercetin is technically considered a “plant pigment,” that is exactly why it is found in deeply colored fruits and vegetables.
More importantly, quercetin works as an antioxidant. It fights oxidation effectively, that is a typical phenomenon associated with aging. Also, this flavonoid is known as a natural antihistamine which relieves food and seasonal allergies.
According to a randomized, double-blind, crossover study which evaluated the effect of quercetin supplementation, study participants experienced a stabilization in systolic, diastolic and average arterial pressure.
Another reason why quercetin is important is that it can help the immune system to fight allergies by blocking the mast cells, a type of white blood cells which “master regulators” of the immune system.
Acne is the most frequent skin condition in the US and can affect anyone regardless of race, age, or sex. This skin disorder affects the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles.
Rats which received rooibos showed reduced levels of inflammation, according to a 2009 study which was published in the “Pediatrics International.” Chronic inflammation is one of the underlying triggers in the development of acne. Apparently, this tea is able to slow this process, therefore, it may definitely reduce the symptoms of acne as well.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease which occurs when the human body makes too little bone, loses too much bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall.
This bone condition affects women and men of all races. However, Asian and white women — particularly older women who are past menopause — are at highest risk.
Key risk factors for osteoporosis include:
- chronic inflammation;
- a diet rich in animal protein;
- low body weight;
- lack of calcium and vitamin D;
- history of rheumatoid arthritis;
- excessive alcohol consumption;
- cigarette smoking or regular exposure to second-hand smoking.
Red tea is rich in manganese, calcium, and fluoride – essential minerals which maintain stronger teeth and good bone structure.
This tea is naturally caffeine-free, that makes it a good alternative to green tea and black tea.
Red tea has potent anti-inflammatory agents that can help soothe the scalp and fight dandruff. In addition, the high levels of copper present in this tea help prevent premature graying of hair.
Cancer has a major impact on society in the US and across the world. The four most common cancers occurring worldwide are female breast, bowel, lung, and prostate cancer. In 2016, over 17 million new cases of cancer occurred worldwide. More than 40 percent of cancers occurring worldwide are in countries at a low or medium level of Human Development Index.
Although research is still in the preliminary stages, the antioxidants in red tea can both destroy cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth.
An estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in the US. Over 33 million Americans have diabetes (9.7% of the U.S. population).
This tea contains potent compounds which have therapeutic effects on diabetes and heart diseases, according to a research conducted by the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.
African red bush tea contains a substance called chrysoeriol, that has been found to improve circulation. Also, chrysoeriol can lower your body’s LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Between 40 and 60 percent of people over the age of 60 suffer from some form of sleep problems. Also, over 30 percent of the population suffers from insomnia. Common symptoms of insomnia include:
- increased errors or accidents;
- low motivation or energy;
- inability to focus or concentrate;
- daytime sleepiness;
- mood disturbance;
- poor memory.
Rooibos tea may alleviate stress and anxiety levels, as per a study conducted at the Stellenbosch University. This may result in a good night’s rest.
Acid reflux is a condition which features a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area. Common risk factors for acid reflux disease may include:
- taking ibuprofen, aspirin, blood pressure medications, or certain muscle relaxers;
- laying down right after a meal;
- eating large meals;
- being pregnant;
- being overweight or obese;
- smoking tobacco;
- drinking certain beverages, like – carbonated drinks, alcohol, energy drinks, coffee, or tea;
- eating certain foods, like – citrus, chocolate, tomato, mint, garlic, onions, or fatty foods;
- snacking close to bedtime.
This tea does not contain caffeine. This is important for people with acid reflux since caffeine should be avoided if you experience heartburn.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia, and it usually occurs when the human body doesn’t have sufficient of the essential mineral iron. The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the protein in your red blood cells (also called erythrocytes) which is responsible for transporting oxygen to the tissues.
Rooibos is low in tannin, an astringent, polyphenolic biomolecule which binds to iron, making it difficult for people to absorb non-heme iron. This means that the tea is advisable for individuals with iron deficiency to drink it after meals.
Side Effects of Rooibos Tea
Some people may experience side effects after drinking red bush tea. They include:
- shortness of breath;
- chest tightness;
- chest pain.
In 2010, there was a report about a patient who developed hepatotoxicity after drinking red tea. Hepatotoxicity is a medical term which is used to describe liver injury with possible hepatic dysfunction.
Is Rooibos Tea Safe To Drink During Pregnancy?
Some studies indicate that red tea could be beneficial for pregnant women, especially thanks to its antioxidative properties, however, more research is needed.
It is far less bitter than green or black teas and less sour than most herbal teas.
Store this tea in a cool, dark place away from light, heat, and moisture.