For some of us rooibos tea is still fairly unheard of. I’ll be the first to admit I recently came across rooibos tea several months ago, and have been fascinated by it ever since. It made me want to dig deeper and research all I could about the different health benefits of rooibos tea.
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of tea, rooibos is a type of herbal tea. It comes from a plant called Aspalathus linearis, which is a shrub found in South Africa. Rooibos is commonly referred to as red bush, due to the way it looks. It’s usually reddish-brown in color, and has long, thin, leaves that closely resemble small pine needles.
You can find rooibos tea in two types of colors. The most common is reddish-brown rooibos, with the second being green rooibos. The colors vary due to how the leaves are produced for tea consumption, a process called oxidation. Green rooibos has a similar process as green tea. I find the taste of red rooibos tea to be smooth, rich, and sweet, whereas the taste of green rooibos tea reminds me of green tea.
What are the Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos is a fascinating tea because it’s good for so many different areas of the body. It’s packed with many rich minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, magnesium, aspalathin and nothofagin, just to name a few.
Rooibos has many health benefits that help aid many different areas of the body. Below are the most common top 10 health benefits of rooibos tea.
1. Rooibos is Caffeine Free
You may be wondering how much caffeine rooibos tea has?
The answer is – none!
Since rooibos is a type of herbal tea, it does not contain any caffeine. This makes for a perfect tea to have in the evening or before bed. It’s also good for people who have a hard time falling asleep or have insomnia. It is said a cup of rooibos tea before bed may help you sleep better.
Next time you have a hard time falling asleep, try brewing a cup of rooibos. I always find it to be calming and soothing, and it is a better alternative than over the counter sleep aids or sleep pills.
2. Good for Bones and Teeth
Rooibos tea is rich in several minerals that are commonly found to promote healthy bones and teeth. Some of these minerals are calcium, fluoride, manganese. Calcium helps to promote healthy and strong bones and teeth. Fluoride also helps to promote healthy teeth and is a common ingredient found in many toothpastes and mouthwashes. Manganese is a mineral that stimulates enzymes in the body to help absorb nutrients, heal wounds, and build more bone mass.
Drinking even a small amount of rooibos tea every so often can help prevent many health conditions associated with arthritis, osteoporosis, and joint pains.
3. Settles an Upset Stomach
Rooibos tea has a soothing and calming effect on the digestive system and supports it in many ways. It contains an anti-inflammatory called quercetin, which helps to ease abdominal and digestion pains as well as stomach cramps. It is commonly used as a natural remedy to relieve irritable bowel syndrome. Rooibos tea can also help soothe an upset stomach, relieve diarrhea, and nausea. It can also help prevent colitis, which is an inflammation of the colon lining.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
As mentioned earlier, rooibos tea is rich in many minerals and antioxidants. Antioxidants are wonderful because they are good for the body in so many ways.
Two powerful antioxidants found in rooibos tea are aspalathin and nothofagin, a type of polyphenol antioxidant. They help to protect the body from cell damaging free radicals (unstable cells that attack healthy cells in order to stabilize themselves) along with other diseases and illnesses. It is also said that the antioxidants found in rooibos tea can also help to reduce the appearance of anti-aging and wrinkles.
5. Improves Skin
Another health benefit of rooibos tea is that it helps to improve and clear skin, such as blemishes, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Rooibos tea contains zinc and alpha hydroxy acid, which are active ingredients that help to promote clear and healthy skin. Alpha hydroxyl acid is commonly found in many high end facial creams due to its anti-aging claims and reduction of wrinkles. It also found as an ingredient in chemical peels as well.
If you prefer using tea bags when steeping rooibos tea, you can apply the cooled tea bag to an area of your skin you would like to soothe an inflammation or blemish.
6. Good for the Hair
Since rooibos tea is rich in many minerals, it also helps to promote healthy hair. It is said to help reduce dandruff and prevent hair loss, by eliminating dead skin cells that may block hair follicles from further growing. It may also help hair growth and prevent hair loss, while keeping hair soft and shiny.
7. Improves Blood Circulation
Rooibos tea is also good for the heart as it helps to reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It contains a flavonoid called chrysoeriol which helps blood circulation by preventing certain enzymes that contribute to cardiovascular diseases. It is said that regular consumption of rooibos tea can help to reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure.
8. Helps Absorb Iron
Another health benefit of rooibos tea is that it aids in iron absorption. It is commonly drunk by those who are anemic as it helps to absorb iron and other nutrients. Since rooibos tea is a type of herbal tea, it is very low in tannins, and contains half the amount of tannins than black (more on that below).
9. Low in Tannins
Since rooibos is low in tannins, caffeine free, and packed with minerals and anti-oxidants, it is a popular tea among those who have low iron, are pregnant, or nursing. Rooibos tea is also drunk by small children.
High amounts of tannins can irritate your bowels, prevent iron absorption, and affect digestion. The small amount of tannins found in rooibos is why it does not have a bitter taste like some other teas that are high in tannins do.
10. Calming Properties
As mentioned earlier rooibos tea is caffeine free. Rooibos helps to relieve stress and calm nerves. It keeps the body’s cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone, down. It helps to feel calm and relaxed, and makes for a nice cup of tea after a long hectic day. As a caffeine free tea, it allows you to reap all the health benefits of rooibos without the dangers of becoming addicted to it.
How to Make Rooibos Tea
One of the things I really like about rooibos tea, other than the many health benefits it provides, is that it tastes good as a hot tea and as an iced tea.
Below are two methods I use to steep rooibos tea.
How to Make Hot Rooibos Tea
- Boil one cup of water to about 205 degrees Fahrenheit, or 96 degrees Celsius.
- Use one teaspoon of rooibos tea leaves and place inside a tea infuser. I recommend using a tea infuser that has very fine mesh holes, such as the Finum Brewing Basket which you can find on Amazon.
- Rooibos tea leaves are very fine and can easily slip through tea infusers that have larger holes or gaps in them.
- Place your tea infuser inside your cup of hot water and steep for about 5 minutes. Rooibos tea is low in tannins and is an herbal tea, so if you over steep it slightly it should not become too bitter.
How to Make Iced Rooibos Tea
My personal preference is to use twice the amount of rooibos tea leaves when making an iced tea.
- Steep for about 5 minutes.
- Use two teaspoons of rooibos leaves and place inside your tea infuser. I like to use a teaball infuser when making iced teas. Because the leaves are so fine, I have to make sure to carefully close the teaball so no leaves spill out.
- Boil one cup of water to about 205 degrees Fahrenheit or 96 degrees Celsius and place your tea infuser inside your cup to steep.
- After steeping you can add in your choice of sweetener if you prefer a sweeter tea. Once the tea has cooled down, pour over ice and enjoy!
Where to Buy Rooibos Tea
Due to recent popularity and health benefits of rooibos tea, there are lots of options to choose from when deciding where to buy. I like to purchase tea from my local tea shop as well as online. Amazon has several great rooibos brands to choose from, including Rooibos Rocks.
Rooibos tea has recently become a super tea due to the many health benefits it can provide. It is an herbal tea that is caffeine free and low in tannins. It is good for many areas of the body such as the skin, heart, bones, and mind. However, it’s important to remember that too much of anything isn’t good for you, and therefore you should always drink tea in moderation.
What are your thoughts on rooibos tea? Do you prefer to drink it for its taste, health benefits, or both? Feel free to share your thoughts or tips that you found helpful in the comments below.