Rooibos tea, (pronounced “ROY-boss”) has gained global popularity in recent years. You’ve likely seen it on your local grocery store’s shelves marked as Red Bush tea, which is what its original Afrikaans name translates to. The rooibos bush is indigenous to South Africa’s fynbos family and is noticeable by its little sunshine-yellow flowers. Dried and brewed as a herbal tea, rooibos has a distinctly dark red colour (go figure) and nutty taste. And take it from this South African journalist – a morning (or evening, or pretty much anytime in between) is not complete without a warm cuppa. Build a new relationship with the red bush by reading our Top 5 Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea!
1. Skin Care
One of the amazing characteristics of rooibos is that it contains alpha hydroxy acids – compounds usually only accessible through chemical products that are great for revitalizing your skin and reducing acne. A herbal tea or a chemical peel? You can probably guess which one we’d prefer!
2. Healthy Bones & Teeth
Rich in manganese and calcium, rooibos tea is an excellent aid for maintaining good bone structure. The lesser-known manganese mineral functions on a deeper level by helping to stimulate enzymes that are necessary to build new bones and repair damaged ones.
Due to its antispasmodic agents, rooibos tea is a superhero when it comes to things like diarrhoea, intestinal issues, stomach cramps, and nausea. It’s a little sciencey, but basically, these agents activate potassium ions in your body and potassium, in turn, helps to ease your gastrointestinal tract, making rooibos the perfect tea for a happy tummy.
4. Easy Breathing
If summer is a perpetual paradox of sun tanning whilst sneezing your eyes out due to allergies and hay fever, rooibos tea might just be the thing for you. The herbal tea acts as a bronchodilator, which basically means it helps dilate your bronchi and bronchioles – the tubes in your lungs – helping you to breathe easier.
5. An Antioxidant Powerhouse
Rooibos is rich in antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, which are antiviral and anti-inflammatory chemicals that act as microscopic hunters of free radicals throughout your body. Rooibos also contains aspalathin, another miracle antioxidant (and antimutagenic) that works to balance your glucose levels, support insulin resistance, and boost insulin. This can help reduce your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as help those who already suffer from it.
Now that we’ve got that covered, it’s little wonder that South Africans practically grow up on rooibos tea. It’s also as versatile as it is healthy, and can be sipped on in myriad ways. Organic rooibos – both in loose-leaf tea form or in regular teabags – is your best bet, and can be enjoyed on its own, or with a teaspoon of honey or agave nectar for a calming, sweet cuppa. Pro-tip: top it up with some plant-based milk as a healthier alternative to your regular tea, or cool it by having it on the rocks (ice) for the perfect all-natural ice-tea! Have a love affair with the African reds? Tell us how it makes you feel by commenting below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. (Sip on these other tea articles and Top 5’s to help Keep YOUR Fit ON!)