What is Rooibos Tea Good For?
Native to Southern Africa and increasingly becoming a favorite beverage worldwide, Rooibos tea is a delicious and healthy drink. It is caffeine-free and flavourful and is an excellent alternative to green and black tea.
Some experts have praised the rooibos plant for its health potentials and have claimed that its antioxidants properties may be used to fight backstroke, heart diseases, and cancer. However, most of the potential benefits have no scientific backing yet.
Studies report that it contains polyphenols such as the aspalathin, which is unique as it is absent in other foods. With its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, a cup of rooibos tea a day can keep you hale and healthy.
This article will highlight the top five benefits of rooibos tea and its potential adverse effects. But first of all, we need to answer the question, "what is rooibos tea?"
What Is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea also known as red bush tea or red tea. Its leaves come from a shrub called Aspalathus linearis, which grows on Southern Africa's western coast. Not to be mistaken with black tea or green tea as there is no relation, except that they are all herbal teas.
Rooibos tea is often consumed like black tea, as people add sugar and milk to spice it up and brew it to their taste. The traditional rooibos has its leaves fermented to give it a red-brown color, while the green rooibos does not have its leaves fermented.
Both options are available, but the traditional rooibos is less expensive and has a less grassy flavor than the green rooibos. It also boasts of more antioxidant properties than the green rooibos.
However, rooibos tea is not a great source of minerals or vitamins, except fluoride and copper. It is, on the other hand, power-packed with antioxidants to offer numerous health benefits.
Takeaway: Rooibos tea is a traditional beverage extracted from the Aspalathus linearis shrub grown on Southern Africa's western coast. It is enjoyed in a much similar manner as black tea and is power-packed with antioxidants.
What are the top 5 benefits of Rooibos Tea?
1. It is packed with antioxidants
These antioxidants may help to protect the body cells when free radicals attempt to damage it. Prolonged intake of rooibos tea may boost the system with enough antioxidants to reduce cancer and heart diseases. It does this by increasing the level of antioxidants in the body.
It is full of powerful antioxidants, but the level and constant buildup of antioxidants may be inefficiently absorbed or unstable in the body.
2. Free from Caffeine and Oxalic Acid and Low in Tannins
One of the natural stimulants found in both green tea and black tea is caffeine. However, the excess consumption of caffeine is ill-advisable.
Caffeine in moderate amounts helps boost exercise performances, mood, concentration, and caffeine's excessive consumption associated with headaches, sleep problems and disorders, and increased anxiety and heart palpitations. Hence, the recommendation to avoid or limit caffeine intake.
Luckily enough rooibos tea (like almost all other herbal teas) is naturally caffeine-free, making it a great alternative to green or black tea.
Reports demonstrate that Rooibos is also oxalic acid-free and has lower tannin levels. This reduces the risk of kidney stones and lets your body absorb certain nutrients, especially iron. Tannins interrupt the proper digestion and absorption of iron and specific nutrients, while oxalic acid increases kidney stones' risk.
As compared to the regular green tea or black tea, rooibos is caffeine-free, oxalic acid-free, and lower in tannins.
3. May Boost The Health of the Heart
The high level of antioxidants in rooibos tea is associated with boosting the heart's health and make it healthier. This could come in various ways. Drinking rooibos tea inhibits the ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) and may positively affect blood pressure. This has been reported in several studies.
The ACE causes the contraction of the blood vessels and indirectly increasing the blood pressure. In a recent study, 17 people drank rooibos tea, which inhibited the ACE activity 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion. However, this did not show any effects or changes in blood pressure.
A healthy cholesterol level imbues an extra layer of protection against strokes, heart attacks, and various heart conditions. It may also increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol to prevent the risk of heart diseases.
4. May Reduce Cancer Risk
The presence of antioxidants like quercetin and luteolin can help prevent tumor growth and kill cancer cells. This has been reported. However, the quantity in a cup is very little as compared to various fruits and vegetables.
It is unclear if the amount of quercetin and luteolin that rooibos offers are enough or whether they are efficiently sufficiently to be absorbed by the body and prove useful. Hence, a need for more human studies.
5. May Benefit People With Type 2 Diabetes
Although human studies are needed here, rooibos tea is the only known natural source of aspalathin, which has anti-diabetic properties.
Studies in mice with type 2 diabetes have shown that aspalathin reduces insulin resistance and balances sugar levels.
However, there are some unverified benefits. These include the following:
Helps with insomnia - Due to its richness in magnesium, fluoride, potassium, and iron, minerals that help fight against insomnia, rooibos tea is a great choice.
- Improved digestion
- Aiding sleep problems
- Relieving headaches
- Improved bone health
What are the Side Effects of Rooibos Tea?
In general, rooibos is considered relatively safe, and while adverse side effects are, there have been reported cases. Here are the potential side effects of rooibos tea:
A case study claims that excessive consumption of rooibos tea daily was connected to liver problems because of increased liver enzymes.
Some chemical compounds in rooibos tea can stimulate the production of estrogen, the female sex hormone.
Other sources also suggest that those with breast cancer and hormone-sensitive conditions may need to stay away from rooibos tea.
However, the effects are not that adverse, and only excessive consumption of rooibos tea may cause an adverse effect.
The bottom line is that rooibos tea is a delicious and healthy beverage. It is rich in antioxidants, low in tannins, caffeine-free, and oxalic acid-free.
It also offers a load of nutritional benefits. While the health claims are not based on substantial evidence and are often anecdotal, you can't deny the fantastic benefits rooibos tea has to offer.
Experience the healing benefits of Rooibos by purchasing our tea here.
Explore the origins of Rooibos tea here as well.