We know you’ve heard of green tea and black tea, but have you ever heard of rooibos tea? It hasn’t been around quite as long, but it has quickly gained popularity. It’s best known for its red coloring as well as its sweet, nutty flavor. In its native South Africa, it’s typically served with milk and sugar, but it’s just as delicious plain or with a little bit of honey.
History of Rooibos Tea
Rooibos Tea, also called red bush tea, is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the rooibos plant. Rooibos is grown in the Western Cape of South Africa—the Cederberg region. It was rediscovered in 1772, and in 1904, it began to gain a wider appeal when it was marketed as “ Mountain Tea,” an herbal alternative to tea. However, it wasn’t until World War II, when importing Asian tea because difficult, that rooibos tea began to be enjoyed around the world. Then, in 1968, when Annique Theron published a book about the amazing health benefits, its popularity really took off.
Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea
The health benefits of rooibos tea are abundant. First, it has no oxalic acid, and so is safe to be consumed by people who have kidney stones. It’s also rich in many minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, copper, fluoride, manganese, zinc, magnesium, and alpha hydroxyl acid. You’ll also find the antioxidants aspalathin and nothofagin within rooibos along with potent and versatile phenolic compounds.
- Polyphenols: The polyphenols in rooibos tea have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-mutagenic qualities. These polyphenols act as free radical scavengers to protect your immune system from all types of diseases and conditions.
- No Caffeine: Rooibos tea is completely caffeine-free, so it’s great for individuals who suffer from insomnia and have high stress levels.
- Health: Rooibos tea has been shown to help with hypertensive conditions, bone health, cardiovascular health, infant health, and diabetes.
- Skin: The alpha hydroxyl acid and zinc in rooibos tea are very good for the skin. It’s been shown to help relieve acne, pimples, sunburns, and other skin-related conditions.
- Allergies: Rooibos tea is also great for treating allergies like eczema, hay fever, and allergy-related bronchitis, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.