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7 health benefits of rooibos tea

Rooibos tea is a unique variety of tea that provides numerous health benefits. Here’s how to incorporate this delightful tea into your daily routine.

If you love herbal tea, and love trying new variations you must add rooibos tea into your routine. Rooibos tea has a sweet, subtle, earthy flavour. Not only is it rich in taste, it also contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and aspalathin, which are extremely healthy for you. The antioxidant aspalathin has only been found naturally in rooibos tea. It also contains minimal caffeine and tannins, which are often found in other green or black teas. If you are seeking a caffeine-free or naturally sweet tea with no bitterness, rooibos tea can be beneficial.

What is rooibos tea?

Rooibos tea is a red herbal tea that comes from the fermented leaves of the asphalatus shrub from South Africa, even unfermented rooibos green tea is available and many people drink it in place of green tea or black tea, as found in a study published in the Nutrition and Food Technology Journal. It has an earthy and sweet flavour with a lot of antioxidant properties which will benefit heart health and liver. It is also a great option for those who want to replace caffeine with a healthier alternative such as rooibos tea. In Japan, it is also called long lived tea because of its benefits. This herbal tea can be enjoyed in both hot and cold tea forms like green tea.

What are the health benefits of rooibos tea?

1. Caffeine-free

Caffeine can be found in black tea, green tea, coffee, and other beverages. While most people can safely consume low to moderate amounts of caffeine, excessive consumption can lead to health problems. But rooibos tea is caffeine-free, making it suitable for people who want to avoid or reduce caffeine intake, according to a study published in the Journal of Public Health of Africa.

tea
Rooibos tea contains many healthy properties that could be beneficial for you. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Rich in antioxidant

Rooibos tea includes numerous antioxidants, with the green type having a higher concentration than the red, as found in a study published in the Plos One Journal. The tea contains several significant antioxidants, including quercetin and aspalathin. Antioxidants are beneficial to human health because they prevent free radicals from harming cells.

3. Low in tannins

“Red rooibos tea contains low levels of tannins, which are naturally occurring compounds present in plant-based foods, especially in green tea or black tea. Tannins interfere in the absorption of iron in the body, especially nonheme iron present mainly in plant-based food,” says Nutritionist Samreen Saniya.

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4. Helps in weight loss

Rooibos tea is low-calorie tea which is a great option for those planning for weight loss or maintaining healthy weight, the tea stops new fat cell formation and helps in quick fat metabolism. According to a study published in the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, this tea may also help with weight management by raising leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that regulates food intake and signals to the body when it has had enough.

5. Promotes heart health

Antioxidants present in rooibos tea are good for heart health, hence providing cardiovascular benefits and maintaining good cholesterol in the body. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 40 people at risk of cardiovascular disease had six cups of this tea per day for six weeks. At the end of this period, the individuals had significantly lower low-density lipoprotein, or bad, cholesterol levels and significantly higher high-density lipoprotein, or good, cholesterol levels than the control group.

6. Helps to manage diabetes

Rooibos tea is good for diabetes as it helps maintaining normal sugar levels in the normal range. The antioxidant aspalathin present in it also has antidiabetic potential that helps maintain sugar levels in the normal range, as found in a study published in the Journal of Public Health of Africa.

7. Reduces insomnia

If you are suffering from insomnia, consuming a cup of this tea at bedtime can provide you with peaceful sleep with its soothing and relaxing properties. However, there is limited medical evidence on the benefits of this tea for insomnia.

How to prepare rooibos tea?

Ingredients:

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  • 15 grams of rooibos tea leaves
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Method:

  • Boil the water on medium heat in a pan.
  • Add the tea leaves and boil for 5- 6 minutes on low flame.
  • Switch off the flame and strain the tea into a cup.
  • Now add honey and lemon drops.
  • Mix well and serve hot and enjoy.

Preparation time: 8-10 minutes

A woman drinking tea
Rooibos tea can be prepared in just 10 minutes. Image courtesy: Freepik

Are there any side effects of rooibos tea?

Rooibos tea is generally very safe, with few side effects. However, a higher intake of tea may lead to anxiety, palpitation, insomnia, and headaches. People with cancer such as breast cancer should avoid drinking too much rooibos tea and people with oestrogen sensitivity should avoid drinking this tea. Drinking excessive amounts of this tea regularly increases liver enzymes, which may cause a disturbance in liver function. Moderation is key when it comes to drinking this tea, says the expert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Rooibos better than green tea?

Rooibos contains no caffeine, making it a healthier alternative to black or green tea. It also has fewer tannins, which might interfere with your body’s capacity to absorb certain nutrients, like iron.

2. What is the best time to consume rooibos tea?

It can be consumed any time of the day except with your meals. The best time to take it is early morning on an empty stomach, mid-morning, evening, or before bed.

3. Do you add milk to rooibos tea?

With its rich, nutty flavour, it is a wonderful herbal alternative to regular tea and coffee. It is also refreshing and can be consumed on its own while maintaining a full colour, taste, and aroma. Rooibos is the only infusion that pairs nicely with milk, much like normal tea.

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