What Is Rooibos? Are its medicinal benefits anywhere near what distributors and consumers of this red tea say they are? Rooibos is Afrikaans for “red bush”. Its scientific name is aspalathus linearis and is a member of the legume family of plants . Rooibos is an herb found in a small area in the the Cedarberg Mountains of South Africa. The herb is used to make a tisane, or herbal elixer, with many health benefits. Popularly known as “red tea” or “redbush tea”, it is not related to tea from the camellia sinensis plant as is green or black tea.
“What is Rooibos” by Sean Hand, was originally posted on www.nuancecoffeeandtea.com, an informative and useful website for coffee lovers with an experienced coffee roaster and maven named Sean Hand at the helm.
The plant is actually green in color until going through an oxidation or fermentation process. Rooibos tea or red tea does not contain caffeine making it suitable even for children. No sugar may be added because it is naturally sweet.
Antioxidants and Rooibos:
The predominant antioxidants in rooibos are nothofagin and aspalathin. Nothofagin can be found in other plants, but aspalathin is unique to rooibos. It also contains flavonoids like orientin, isoquercitrin, luteolin, quercetin, iso-vitexin, vitexin, chrysoeriol, iso-orientin and rutin. These compounds are all beneficial to good health.
Minerals in Rooibos:
Apart from antioxidants, rooibos tea also contain many minerals which can aid in maintaining a healthy nervous system, and metabolic processes, giving you healthy bones, teeth and skin. Copper, iron, mangnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium are some minerals which can be found in rooibos tea. Rooibos tea is good for people who are prone to kidney stones since it does not contain oxalic acid. Compared to black and green teas, the tannin content, of rooibos, is quite small helping your body absorb more iron, and other minerals, and it aids in good digestion.
What Is Rooibos?
Rooibos has been used for centuries, in Africa, to aid in with many health problems including insomnia, nervous tension, hypertension, irritability and headaches. Its can also relieve colic, in infants, and stomach cramping. Allergies such as asthma, hay fever, and eczema can be treated by drinking a rooibos tisane. It can also be applied, as a topical treatment, to combat irritated skin and minor wounds. Its antioxidant properties are naturally anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial making it good for this type of application.
Health Benefits of Rooibos:
Rooibos is a good alternative for NSAIDs to relieve inflammations. NSAID drugs can be detrimental to your health especially the gastrointestinal tract when taken for a prolonged period of time. Rooibos tea has no side effects making it a healthier alternative to an anti inflammatory. Free radicals are the beginning of potential oxidative damage to your body’s cells. Antioxidants, in rooibos, can neutralize free radicals before they do any damage to your body.
Rooibos has many uses
Rooibos has been included as an ingredient in soaps, face creams, lotions and shampoos. People claim that it makes their skin softer and more supple. Some say that it clears up acne psoriasis.