When was the last time you sat down with a steaming cup of rooibos tea? You may want to consider doing it more often. Research shows surprising and powerful health benefits from drinking rooibos tea — also called red tea — from improving digestion to fighting cancer. This red tea is an herbal, fermented, caffeine-free beverage with a lot to offer. Keep reading to find out how you can benefit from drinking rooibos tea.
Rooibos tea is filled with antioxidants which fight chronic disease and inflammation. One such antioxidant found in rooibos is called chrysoeriol, and it has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve circulation, and lower bad cholesterol levels. The inflammation-reducing compounds — such as aspalathin and nothofagin — in rooibos prevent the hardening of arteries and buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis) that can be very damaging to cardiovascular health. In severe cases, atherosclerosis can lead to coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, stroke, or heart attack.
Rooibos tea contains minerals that are crucial in maintaining bone structure and strength, including calcium, manganese, fluoride, copper, and zinc. Like many other teas, rooibos has been shown to increase the activity of osteoblasts — cells that create bone mass. This means that it can help to fight bone conditions like osteoporosis.
Studies have found therapeutic effects of a specific antioxidant found in rooibos tea called aspalathin. This compound is anti-diabetic because it helps to control blood-sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. That means that it can help to prevent and control type 2 diabetes. Just don’t add sugar to the tea!
Whether you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, or constipation, rooibos tea may be the fix. Digestive problems are more prevalent today than ever before due to the Western diet, which is full of processed foods, chemicals, and many toxic ingredients. These foods wreak havoc on the digestive system, causing a whole host of symptoms you may not realize are due to your diet. Rooibos tea is an all-natural beverage filled with nutrients and antioxidants that seek out those toxins to destroy them. The compounds in rooibos act as antispasmodics, treating cramps, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Those antioxidants in rooibos are no joke. They have some very important work to do in the body; that is, seek out free radicals and destroy them. Free radicals are toxins that are released in our bodies due to exposure to pollution, harmful light, unhealthy foods, and other things. These free radicals interact with molecules in the body, leading to a process called oxidation, and causing oxidative damage — the prerequisite to chronic disease and cancer. Free radicals directly affect cells in the body, causing mutations and changes in healthy cell DNA. Our best defense against these rascals are antioxidants. Since rooibos tea is chock-full of powerful antioxidants, it can help defend our bodies against cancer.
People with kidney stones are usually instructed to avoid tea, chocolate, and certain fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is due to the presence of oxalic acid, a naturally occurring component which can combine with minerals and cause them to crystallize, leading to kidney stones, bladder stones, and other issues. Rooibos tea does not contain oxalic acid, so you won’t need to worry about avoiding this tea to prevent kidney stones.
This naturally caffeine-free has many relaxing and soothing properties that may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. Children in South Africa are often given this tea to drink in the evening to promote sleep quality, soothe an upset stomach, and relax the muscles. If you have insomnia, you may want to consider adding a cup of rooibos tea to your bedtime routine to improve sleep quality.
Rooibos is full of polyphenols — antioxidants which reduce inflammation and aid in fat-burning. Rooibos aids in weight loss for the same reasons green tea does, only it doesn’t contain caffeine. It’s a good choice if you’re avoiding caffeine, or if you’re reaching for your second or third cup of tea of the day. One reason rooibos may be effective in promoting weight loss is that it increases the secretion of leptin, the “satiety hormone,” which signals to your body that it is full and satisfied. This will reduce your cravings and get your metabolism running.
Some of the naturally occurring compounds in rooibos tea are excellent for skin health. Alpha hydroxy acid and zinc in red tea treat skin conditions like acne, sunburn, and other problems. Alpha hydroxy acid helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging like fine lines and age spots. You can apply the tea directly to your skin to benefit from these nutrients.
South Africans are already aware of the amazing allergy alleviating effects of rooibos tea. The tea contains quercetin, an antioxidant which blocks “mast cells” — immune cells which trigger allergic reactions. Red tea may be effective in treating all types of allergic reactions including skin reactions, asthma, hay fever, and allergy-related bronchitis. So, can a cup of tea a day keep the doctor away? Get some rooibos tea and find out for yourself!
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.