Rooibos, (Afrikaans for red bush; pronounced [ROY-BUS]; scientific name Aspalathus linearis) is a member of the legume family of plants and is used to make a tisane (herbal tea). Commonly called african red tea, the product has been popular in South Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries.
Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly amongst health-conscious consumers, who appreciate it for its high level of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), its lack of caffeine and its very low tannin levels (since tannins can affect the metabolism by decreasing absorption of certain nutrients like iron and protein) as opposed to fermented black tea or unfermented green tea leaves. Like tea leaves, rooibos can be served fermented (red) or unfermented (green), with the unfermented version theoretically having more antioxidants intact.
- Acts as an antioxidant that slows the aging process, prevents cancer and lowers the risk of cardio-vascular disease. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants and have more antioxidant activity than vitamin C. Rooibos is packed full of flavonoids and, therefore, the antioxidant activity of rooibos is much stronger than that of black or green tea.
- Acts as a digestive aid and is anti-spasmodic therefore relieves stomach cramps and colic in babies
- Helps manage allergies
- Acts as a bronchodilator, easing chest congestion by opening breathing passages
- Soothes skin irritations when applied directly to the affected area
- Replenishes iron levels, therefore is very good for pregnant women
- Calorie free
- Boosts the immune system
- Aids health problems like insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension and hypertension
- Low tannin content (only1-4%); easy on the digestive system
- No colorants, additives or preservatives
- No caffeine
- No oxalic acid, therefore, it can be safely consumed by those prone to kidney stones
- Contains copper, iron and potassium
- Healthy skin minerals: zinc, sodium and alpha-hydroxy acid
- Contains calcium, fluoride and manganese for strong bones and teeth
- Magnesium for the nervous system