Why You Need to Know About Rooibos

By on August 17, 2020

Rooibos, meaning ‘red bush’; is a broom-like member of the plant family Fabaceae that grows in South Africa’s fynbos. The leaves from this bush are used to make herbal tea and cosmetics with high levels of antioxidants. The names used are Rooibos, bush tea, red tea, or red bush tea due to the reddish color of the tea.

It is a little secret that has been hidden in Southern Africa for centuries. Now that the secret is out, it is now becoming a beloved drink around the world.  It is growing in popularity as a drink due in part to its delicious flavor. It is also a great caffeine-free alternative to black and green tea. Advocates praise this “red bush” for its potential health benefits, claiming that its antioxidants can protect against cancer, heart disease, and stroke. 

What Is Rooibos Tea?

The “Red Bush” tea name comes from the reddish color of the tea once it is fully steeped. The leaves undergo oxidation (often termed “fermentation” in common tea processing terminology). This process produces the distinctive reddish-brown color of rooibos and enhances the flavor. The unoxidized “green” tea is also produced, but the more demanding production process for the green version (similar to the method by which green tea is produced) makes it more expensive than traditional red tea. It carries a malty and slightly grassy flavor somewhat different from its red counterpart.

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Chemical Composition

As a fresh leaf, rooibos contains a high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is lost when made into tea. Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine and has low tannin levels compared to black tea or green tea. Rooibos contains polyphenols, including flavanols, flavones, flavanones, dihydrochalcones, aspalathin, and nothofagin. The processed leaves and stems contain benzoic and cinnamic acids.

Why this “Red Bush”?

Drinking the tea improves your health due to its high levels of health-promoting antioxidants, which include aspalathin and quercetin. In one 15-person study, blood levels of antioxidants increased by 2.9% when participants drank red rooibos and 6.6% when they drank the green variety.

Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Free radical molecules are produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to toxins or radiation.

Where Else Do You See Rooibos?

Drawing antioxidants out of our skin is an important step to skincare and antiaging serums. Since Rooibos is not considered to offer long-lasting antioxidant levels, it is a perfect ingredient to include in face masks and serums. The antioxidants found in the rooibos leaves are known from studies to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). ACE indirectly increases blood pressure. Rooibos antioxidants counteract this and reduce the contraction of blood vessels.

A source for diabetes relief

The tea is the only known natural source of the antioxidant aspalathin, which animal studies suggest may have anti-diabetic effects. One study in mice with type 2 diabetes found that aspalathin balanced blood sugar levels and reduced insulin resistance, which could prove promising for people who have or are at risk of type 2 diabetes.

All-Natural options are here for your healthy bodies. Rooibos is a great ingredient that we will start to see more and more of in the future. This is why you need to know about Rooibos and the powerful opportunities that products containing this potent gift from nature offer you.

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Why You Need to Know About Rooibos