Rooibos Tea Health Benefits and Side Effects
What is Rooibos Tea | Rooibos Tea Benefits ?
Rooibos Tea, also known as Redbush or Red Tea, is not an actual tea derived from the Camilla Sinensis plant. Rooibos comes from an herb, which is indigenous to the Cederburg area of South Africa. Rooibos herbal tea or infusion has no caffeine and only half the tannin of ordinary brew. .
Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea
Apart from being a tasty, enjoyable beverage that can be drunk instead of true tea or coffee, Rooibos has the added benefit from its natural minerals and health-preserving antioxidant.
Scientists from Japan, who did studies in the 1960’s, discovered Rooibos contains powerful antioxidants that are thought to retard aging and have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, the herb is also found to contain the flavanoid, aspalathin, which counteracts the atherosclerotic processes that result in heart disease. Additional research by the French revealed that hair lotion containing Rooibos promoted faster hair growth with improvement in the hair condition — and caused no allergic reactions.
South African researches found that the polyphenol content in Rooibos is similar to green tea. Polyphenols help protect the body from damage by free radicals.
Other studies link Rooibos tea to helping lessen digestive problems, nausea, stomach cramps and constipation.
Drinking the brew can have a calming effect and has been shown to help with irritability, insomnia and depression.
Rooibos Tea During Pregnancy
Is it ok to drink rooibos tea during pregnancy? Well first of all rooibos is technically not a tea. . Rooibos is in fact a veggies from the aspalathus family.
As a consequence of this rooibos is naturally caffeine free and very low in tannins which brings many health related benefits to everybody drinking it.
The strong and aromatic taste makes it a natural substitute for coffee especially in the time of pregnancy when caffeine intake should be limited or avoided completely.
The tannins present in large amounts in teas can cause a lower iron absorption in the blood stream. As anemia is quite frequent in pregnancy or breastfeeding the low tannins in rooibos can be quite beneficial to this cause. Some studies have shown that adding vitamin C to Rooibos tea can greatly increase the body’s capacity to absorb iron and antioxidants.
Aside from that Rooibos tea can have a major role in the life of a pregnant woman, easing many symptoms that come with particular state.
Rooibos can be beneficial in states of constipation, nausea or stomach cramps. Further it can improve liver function and help in states of anxiety and depression.
A word of caution however. In many cases Rooibos is mixed with other herbs and those herbs might cause some undesired effects during pregnancy.
How To Brew Rooibos Tea
First warm the tea pot with boiling water and then place one teaspoon of Rooibos or one tea bag per cup required in the pot.
Pour over boiling water and let infuse for a few minutes. The longer it is left before drinking the more antioxidants the brew will contain.
Rooibos has a distinctive red hue and a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. The herbal infusion can be served plain, with hot or cold milk or lemon. It can be lightly sweetened with honey or sugar or just left without any sweetening. Rooibos also makes a wonderful ice tea.
In South Africa, Rooibos tea is often used in daily meal preparation because of the important minerals and antioxidants it adds to the diet. It also enhances the flavor of select foods. Just replace the water in a recipe with the brewed tea.
See my other article about Rooibos tea allergies and rooibos tea reactions
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