The health benefits of rooibos and red tea are often underestimated. Rooibos tea may not be as famous as regular tea, but its health benefits have been noted. We make this tea from the long, needle-like leaves of the rooibos plant. The leaves all turn red during fermentation, giving it this bright red hue and sweet, earthy feel. There is also green rooibos tea, which is unfermented and has a bluish taste.
And here’s the best part – the ideal levels of antioxidants, enzymes and botanical compounds in rooibos tea offer immense health benefits. Let’s explore more the benefits of drinking rooibos tea and find out why rooibos tea has become so popular among health-conscious people.
What is rooibos tea?
The origin of rooibos tea or red tea is Aspalathus linearis A plant that grows in South Africa. Make this herbal tea using rooibos tea leaves. It has long been popular in Southern Africa and is now trending all over the world.
The best part is that it adds this wonderful earthy flavor and bright red color. It’s also caffeine-free, so this is a great alternative if you don’t want to consume caffeine regularly.
This red tea can be made just like regular black tea, just steep the leaves in boiling water. You can enjoy it as is, or add milk, lemon, honey or sugar to make it even tastier, or get creative and make different types of rooibos tea. You can also enjoy it as an iced tea or latte.
And here comes the health bonus – the antioxidants in rooibos tea are good for your health. Some animal studies suggest additional benefits, but more studies in humans are needed. So, let’s take a look at the potential health benefits of drinking a cup of rooibos tea.
How to make the perfect rooibos tea?
Rooibos tea has this smooth taste, a kind of earthy, nutty flavor, but not too intense. Very light and easy to drink. You can also customize your tea by adding other ingredients. To make a perfect serving of rooibos tea, you’ll need:
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powdered rooibos tea
- 1 cup filtered water
Brewing procedure rooibos chai
- First, boil a cup of water to 100°C. Don’t forget to use extra water to warm the teapot.
- Next, put the powdered rooibos tea in a tea bag and place it in the teapot.
- Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- When finished, remove the tea bag or strain the tea and pour it into your favorite cup.
If you’re in the mood for something cool and refreshing, you can also make iced rooibos tea.
- Simply place the powdered rooibos tea in a tea bag and pour room temperature water into the pitcher.
- Place the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill for about 12 hours.
- Stir well occasionally.
- Once chilled, remove the tea bag, pour the tea over ice, and enjoy your delicious iced rooibos tea.
What is Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea is not just delicious. It’s also packed with great ingredients like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and alpha hydroxy acids (1). So, when you enjoy this delicious drink, you’re giving your body powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and aspalathin, which offer many health benefits. Let’s explore further the benefits of drinking rooibos tea.
Ten Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea
1. Rich in antioxidants
Most of the potential benefits of rooibos tea are due to its antioxidant content. Antioxidants such as aspalathin and quercetin in rooibos tea can fight harmful free radicals. Therefore, by preventing underlying damage, these compounds can protect you from chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer (1), (2).
2. Caffeine-free and low in tannins
Unlike black or green tea, rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it an excellent option for those looking for a non-frustrating alternative.3). In addition, rooibos tea has a low tannin level, so it does not interfere with the absorption of iron and other nutrients like other teas (Four). This does not affect iron levels either.
3. Potential Heart Health Support
Rooibos tea is also good for the heart. Studies suggest that blocking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) may lower blood pressure (Five). This enzyme indirectly increases blood pressure by constricting blood vessels. Therefore, blocking this will improve blood circulation and help heart health. Aspalathin in rooibos also helps prevent inflammation in blood vessels, keep your heart healthy, and improve blood flow (6).
That’s not all! It may also lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and raise good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) in people at risk for heart disease (7).
4. Weight loss aid
Rooibos tea is low in calories, and if you don’t add milk or sugar, it has almost no calories, so it’s great for people watching their weight. Some studies even say it helps with weight loss. It does this by increasing a hormone called leptin. Leptin tells your brain that you’re not that hungry and helps you control how much you eat (8). In addition, it may speed up metabolism and prevent the formation of new fat cells, which may help with weight management (8).
5. Potential Cancer Prevention
Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants that fight cancer cells and prevent tumor growth (9). Additionally, the presence of quercetin and luteolin in rooibos tea may play a role in suppressing cancer cells, but more human studies are needed to confirm these results.Ten).
6. Allergy relief
One of the biggest benefits of drinking rooibos tea is its ability to reduce allergies. Rooibos tea contains flavonols such as quercetin and luteolin that have the ability to block the release of histamine, a key component of allergic reactions (11). This effectively relieves allergy symptoms and acts as a natural antihistamine without causing drowsiness.
7. Analgesia and anti-inflammatory effect
Rooibos tea has anti-inflammatory properties, so drinking it is very effective. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in tea help reduce inflammation and provide relief to people suffering from pain, especially those with conditions such as arthritis. (12).
8. Potential Benefits for Diabetes
The immense benefits of rooibos red tea can also help people with diabetes. Animal studies suggest that aspalathin in rooibos tea may lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, which may help people with type 2 diabetes. (13). More research is needed, but it’s a great possibility.
9. Improving skin appearance
The benefits of rooibos tea to the skin are due to the presence of antioxidants and minerals contained in rooibos tea. The flavanols in rooibos tea act as antioxidants, reducing wrinkles and fine lines (14). Containing zinc and superoxide dismutase, this tea also helps treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne while slowing the aging process (15).
10. Simplify digestion
Rooibos tea is gaining recognition for its potential to aid digestion. It contains a variety of antispasmodic nutrients that help prevent stomach pain and discomfort. Studies have found that compounds such as quercetin, orientin and vitexin in rooibos tea relax the digestive system and reduce discomfort.1). Additionally, the tannins in rooibos tea may reduce symptoms of diarrhea.
Some have suggested that rooibos tea may be good for bone health by helping build strong bones. But we still don’t have enough evidence to fully prove it. More research is needed to be certain.
Does rooibos tea have side effects?
The potential benefits of rooibos tea have made it a popular herbal beverage. It is also known for its pleasant taste and beautiful color. If you are considering adding this tea to your diet, it is essential to be aware of possible side effects and interactions with medications. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know.
Rooibos tea has estrogenic properties and promotes the production of the female hormone estrogen.16). It’s usually fine for most people, but if you have breast cancer or other hormone-sensitive issues, it’s best to talk to your doctor before drinking rooibos tea.
2. Drug interactions
Like many other teas, rooibos tea contains natural compounds that can interact with some medicines. Therefore, if you are taking medication, it is important to consult your doctor before adding rooibos tea to your diet. Because research is still ongoing, we recommend that you do not replace prescription drugs with rooibos tea without your doctor’s advice.
3. Liver enzymes
Back in 2010, there was a case study that showed higher liver enzymes with daily consumption of rooibos tea (17). This may indicate liver problems. But that’s just one example, and consuming moderate amounts of rooibos tea as part of a balanced diet is usually fine for most people.
Overall, red rooibos tea is safe to drink with minimal side effects. It mainly affects certain groups or when rooibos tea is consumed in large amounts. Still, it’s a good idea to be aware of drug interactions and talk to your doctor if you’re concerned. Like anything else, it’s best enjoyed in moderation, and more research on humans is still needed to know all the details.
The health benefits of rooibos tea have made it a popular drink these days. Drinking moderate amounts of rooibos tea is not only delicious, but also a smart choice for your health. It’s a great addition to your diet as it strengthens your immune cells and aids digestion. Antioxidants fight stress and inflammation, reducing the chance of heart attack and diabetes. The best part is that it is completely caffeine free and suitable for most people. Always consult your doctor if you have certain health conditions or are taking medication. That way, you can enjoy its beneficial effects without worrying about its downsides.
Also read: 16 Unexpected Health Benefits of Drinking Chamomile Tea