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Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

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The Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea range from weight loss management, positive cardiac effects to gut soothing properties for this South African red bush caffeine free beverage.

What is rooibos tea?
What is the difference between red and green rooibos?
How to prepare rooibos tea
6 Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Favorite Organic Rooibos Blends
Is Rooibos Tea Good for Weight Loss?

 

What is Rooibos Tea?

Rooibos Tea (pronounced as Roy-boss) is also known as red tea, red bush, bush tea and red bush tea and it comes from the shrub Aspalathus linearis. Aspalathus linearis has needle-like leaves and is native to the mountainous regions of Cederberg, South Africa. Rooibos is not really a “true tea”. Instead, rooibos is a member of the legume family. Rooibos is a caffeine free naturally sweet herbal infusion. In order for a tea to be a “true tea”, it needs to come from the Camellia sinensis tea plant. You can read more about this on our article Health Benefits of Drinking Tea Everyday.

What is the Difference between Red Rooibos and Green Rooibos?

Red rooibos and green rooibos come from the same Aspalathus linearis shrub. However, what differs between these two types of rooibos is how they are processed.

Fermented Red Rooibos undergoes oxidation (exposure to oxygen) which turns the tea a deep rich red brown. It becomes naturally sweeter as it oxidizes. First, the Aspalathus linearis shrub is cut and bundled. Then, the needle – like leaves are chopped, spread out in piles in the sun, water is added and then spread thin to oxidize. From there, red rooibos is gathered up and packaged. Because of its tremendous popularity, you might be more familiar with the fermented red rooibos version.

Unfermented Green Rooibos does not go through the oxidation process (no exposure to oxygen). Instead, the Aspalathus linearis shrub is cut and dried right after harvesting. Immediate drying without exposure to oxygen keeps the color green, promotes a fresh flavor and preserves the antioxidant levels. The oxidation process is halted by steaming the leaves right after picking so when exposed to sunlight it does not oxidize. Unfermented green rooibos is said to have a higher level of flavonoids compared to fermented red rooibos, according to Bramati et al 1. We will be discussing how these higher levels of flavonoids can positively impact your health.

Immune Boosting Orange Ginger Rooibos Latte

How to Prepare Rooibos Tea

Rooibos, unlike black or green tea, has lower levels of tannins. Tannins are chemical compounds known as polyphenols. You can learn more about polyphenols in our article Benefits of Drinking Tea Everyday. Tannins give black and green tea their flavor and color but also can cause your tea to turn bitter, if steeped too long. Rooibos tea is lower in tannins and can be steeped longer without bitterness.

We recommend heating your water to 195 degrees F (or 90 degrees C). Add either one Fraser Tea Non-GMO Pyramidal Tea Bag or one teaspoon of our loose leaf organic rooibos to your mug. Steep rooibos for 2-3 minutes. If you want to make cold brew iced tea, we recommend adding two sachets or two teaspoons of loose leaf per serving.

We think rooibos has a slightly nutty and almost sweet as honey flavor. There is no need to add sugar or milk to this tea as it is delicious all on its own. As a matter of fact, it has been studied by Lorenz et al 2, that if you add milk to tea, it can bind to the chemical in the tea and prevent the absorption of iron and reduce some health benefits. Most likely, it may have the same consequences with rooibos, but more studies are required.

 Rainbow Rooibos Organic Rooibos Tea

6 Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Lowers Blood Pressure

The best cardiovascular benefit is rooibos tea’s ability to reduce blood pressure. Angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) and nitric oxide were reduced 30 to 60 minutes after drinking rooibos tea, in a study performed by Persson et al 3. ACE controls blood pressure by regulating the volume of fluids in the body. It also helps with the conversion of hormones that makes your vessels contract and this controls your blood pressure.

Soothing Properties

For generations, mother’s in South Africa have been giving Rooibos tea to their infants as a supplement to baby milk to reduce colic, allergies and upset tummies. Mother’s knew this worked but scientists Guilani et al 4, wanted to test this hypothesis. They found that rooibos tea has shown to produce spasmolytic, antidiarrheal and antisecretory activities by activation of potassium ions in the body without antagonizing the activities of Calcium.

In addition, Rooibos’ anti-inflammatory properties in the form of quercetin, may provide some relief from eczema, rashes and hay fever. However, more research is required 5.

Heart Protection

Rooibos has a high level of flavonoids. These flavonoids are a good anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and may help reduce cholesterol 6. The main polyphenolic compounds in both fermented rooibos and unfermented rooibos were evaluated for its cardioprotective effects against an ischemia and reperfusion injury in a study by Pantsi et al 7. One group consumed rooibos and the other was given green tea. The group that consumed rooibos may have a larger cardio-protective property compared to those drinking green tea. They found that the inhibition of apoptosis, which is the death of cells, can possibly be related to the higher flavonol content of this unique South African herbal tea.

Cancer Prevention

Did you know that unfermented (green) rooibos compared to fermented (red) rooibos has higher levels of polyphenols? Be sure to try our Organic Green Rooibos Tea and Go Go Goji Turmeric Organic Herbal Tea for a delicious healthy cup any time of the day. Many polyphenol antioxidants can be found in rooibos tea such as aspalathin, nothofagin, quercetin, rutin, isoquercitrin, orientin, isoorientin, luteolin, vitexin, isovitexin, and chrysoeriol.

In a study by Lee et al 8, the flavonoids quercetin and luteolin in rooibos tea showed it may help protect against the free radical damage associated with cancer.

Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Diabetes

What if you replaced one cup of coffee per day with a cup of rooibos tea? There have been studies done that support that rooibos tea may help prevent type II diabetes. Aspalathin is an antioxidant found in green rooibos tea 9. To test this hypothesis, mice were fed an aspalathin-containing diet for 5 weeks. The effects of aspalathin on fasting blood glucose level and glucose intolerance was evaluated. According to Son et al 10, they found out that aspalathin may have a strong anti-diabetic potential by stimulating glucose uptake in muscle tissues and insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells.  

Bone Health

Did you know that people who drink tea every day have higher bone mineral density, particularly in postmenopausal women? Great news for us tea drinkers. This association may be due to its polyphenols and resulting protective antioxidant effects.

According to Moosa et al11, certain bone destructive diseases, such as osteoporosis, are characterized by overactive osteoclasts. They performed a study and found out that fermented rooibos tea caused a greater reduction in osteoclast activity compared with unfermented rooibos tea. Therefore, drinking fermented red rooibos tea may have a beneficial effect on bone health.

Cautions

Generally speaking, organic rooibos tea is safe for everyone to consume. However, there are a few groups of individuals that should speak with their primary care physician before adding rooibos tea to their diet.

  • Patients with hormone sensitive cancer should avoid rooibos tea because some compounds found in rooibos tea act like estrogen in the body.
  • If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy, you need to check with your oncologist as some herbs can change the effectiveness of your current medical protocol.
  • Patients with liver disease or elevated liver enzymes should consult with their primary care physician before drinking rooibos regularly.

Favorite Organic Rooibos Blends

Our Organic Rooibos Teas have a sweet and mild flavor. They have zero calories, no caffeine and are lower in tannins. Try our green, red and specialty organic rooibos tea blends. Some favorites are…

Vanilla Rooibos Organic Tea
ImmuniTea Organic Rooibos Tea
Coconut Chai Organic Rooibos Tea
Rainbow Rooibos Organic Herbal Tea
Rooibos Tea Sampler

 Health benefits of Rooibos tea

Is Rooibos Tea Good for Weight Loss?

Coconut Chai Organic Rooibos tea not only has all the health benefits of rooibos tea but also the benefits of cinnamon too. We love Coconut Chai Organic Rooibos tea for two reasons.  First, it’s a great evening beverage to help you overcome the midnight munchies. Secondly, the bold flavor of cinnamon and the boost of antioxidants of the rooibos is just what you need to maintain your health goals.

Want to learn more? Be sure to Explore our website and learn more about tea basics, wellnessorigins of teatea traditions and new recipes using tea.

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Please Note: Before starting any change to your diet and routine, you should always discuss this with your primary care physician first and make sure that it does not interfere with any health conditions or your current medications.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended for the purpose of medical advice. All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Sources

  1. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2002, 50, 20, 5513-5519 (Article). Publication Date: 2002 August 20 Unfermented Rooibos Tea:  Quantitative Characterization of Flavonoids by HPLC−UV and Determination of the Total Antioxidant Activity Lorenzo Bramati, Francesca Aquilano, and Piergiorgio Pietta https://pubs.acs.org
  2. European Heart Journal (2):219-23. Publication Date: 2007 January 28 Addition of milk prevents vascular protective effects of tea Mario Lorenz, Nicoline Jochmann, Amélie von Krosigk, Peter Martus, Gert Baumann, Karl Stangl, Verena Stangl https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Public Health Nutrition 2010 May;13(5):730-7. Publication date: 2010 Feb 10Effects of green tea, black tea and Rooibos tea on angiotensin-converting enzyme and nitric oxide in healthy volunteers Ingrid A-L Persson, Karin Persson, Staffan Hägg, Rolf G G Andersson https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. Basic Clinical Pharmacological & Toxicology Publication Date: 2006 October 31 Antispasmodic Effects of Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis) is Mediated Predominantly through K+‐Channel Activation Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Arif‐ullah Khan, Muhammad N. Ghayur, Syed Faizan Ali, Joachim W. Herzig https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com
  5. Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunology Publication Date: 2011 June10 Quercetin as a potential anti-allergic drug: which perspectives? Salvatore Chirumbolo https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  6. Agric. Food Chem. 2017, 65, 47, 10270–10281 Publication Date:  2017 October 24 Analysis of Phenolic Compounds in Rooibos Tea (Aspalathus linearis) with a Comparison of Flavonoid-Based Compounds in Natural Populations of Plants from Different Regions Maria A. Stander, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Malcolm J. C. Taylor, Helen S. Long https://pubs.acs.org
  7. Phytomedicine 2011 Nov 15;18(14):1220-8. Publication Date: 2011 October 5 Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) offers cardiac protection against ischaemia/reperfusion in the isolated perfused rat heart W G Pantsi, J L Marnewick, A J Esterhuyse, F Rautenbach, J van Rooyen https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  8. Anticancer Research May-Jun 2002;22(3):1615-27. Publication Date: 2002 June 22 Blockade of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase activity by quercetin and luteolin leads to growth inhibition and apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells Lung-Ta Lee, Ying-Tang Huang, Jiuan-Jiuan Hwang, Ping-Ping H Lee, Ferng-Chun Ke, Madhavan P Nair, Chithan Kanadaswam, Ming-Ting Lee https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  9. Phytomedicine Volume 16, Issue 5, May 2009, Pages 437-443 Publication Date: 2009 May Hypoglycemic effect of aspalathin, a rooibos tea component from Aspalathus linearis, in type 2 diabetic model db/db mice Atsutoshi Kawanoa, Hiromichi Nakamurab, Shu-ichi Hatabi Miki Minakawaa,Yutaka Miuraa, KazumiYagasakia https://www.sciencedirect.com
  10. European Journal of Nutrition 2013 Sep;52(6):1607-19. Publication Date: 2012 Dec 13. Aspalathin improves hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance in obese diabetic ob/ob mice Myoung Jin Son, Miki Minakawa, Yutaka Miura, Kazumi Yagasaki https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  11. Food & Function 2018 Jun 20;9(6):3301-3312. Publication Date: 2018 Jun 20 Rooibos tea extracts inhibit osteoclast formation and activity through the attenuation of NF-κB activity in RAW264.7 murine macrophages Shaakirah Moosa, Abe E Kasonga, Vishwa Deepak, Sumari Marais, Innocentia B Magoshi, Megan J Bester, Marlena C Kruger, Magdalena Coetzee https://pubs.rsc.org