Did you know Rooibos (pronounced as ROY-bos) is an herbal tea that can help regulate blood sugar and is known to help lower blood pressure?
What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos is an indigenous plant (Aspalathus Linearis, the botanical name) is often called “red tea” or “red bush tea” because of the bright red color the leaves become during fermentation (oxidation) to enhance their flavor and aroma. Rooibos organic greens grow almost exclusively in the Cedarberg region of South Africa.
The Rooibos leaves are used to brew a sweet and mild-tasting medicinal tea. Rooibos is considered healthier than Black or Green Tea, and it’s because of these associated health properties that it is gaining worldwide popularity.
Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free and has very little tannin when compared to Camellia sinensis (Black) tea. Tannins are phytochemicals present in tea that inhibits the body’s ability to absorb important minerals like Iron.
Rooibos tea is rich in minerals and has an abundance and complex mix of flavonoids (compounds widely found in plants that are known to have health benefits) including; Aspalathin, Nothofagin, Quercetin, Rutin, Isoquercitrin, Orientin, Isoorientin, Luteolin, Vitexin, Isovitexin, Chrysoeriol, and also polyphenol antioxidants (Antioxidants are the organic substances that protect healthy cells from free radical damage and helps in fighting and preventing disease).
Rooibos is unique to other herbal teas in that it has the compound aspalathin which has been shown to be more effective at neutralizing free radicals than EGCG. Currently, rooibos is the only known natural source of aspalathin.
The unfermented or unoxidized rooibos leaves keep their green color. This green rooibos variety has a greater concentration of antioxidants because they undergo less processing, and so, are considered more health-promoting. However, this is similar to the example we find when comparing Green Tea vs. Black Tea where each tea has its own health properties but each benefits the body in different ways.
Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea are:
Studies have shown that Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants and can increase the productivity of carcinogenic detoxifying enzymes, as well as be protecting cell proteins, cell fats, and DNA. Antioxidants help reduce free radical damage occurring in the skin, hair, bones, and other organ systems.
Rooibos tea also has anti-aging effects to improve mental clarity and cognitive ability, because it reduces the impact of oxidative byproducts in neural pathways, enhancing mental clarity and focus.
Rooibos tea’s unique combination of antioxidants and minerals fortify and benefit your immune system by protecting your body against unexpected illnesses and addresses diseases.
The abundance of antioxidants present in Rooibos tea helps slow down the aging process and helps to prevent related diseases.
Rooibos tea is rich in phenolic content and has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties to improve your health, and to help ease allergies like eczema, hay fever, and allergy-related bronchitis.
Stronger bones and teeth
Rooibos is rich in minerals like calcium, fluoride, and manganese that aid in preserving bone density and stronger teeth. Any increased bioavailability of minerals in your system acts like a heal ing agent helping to cut your chances of developing conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic joint pain. Research has shown that manganese stimulates the required enzymes to build new bones and repair damage.
Rooibos tea naturally has no caffeine (most herbal teas don’t). Research has shown that the tea is able to reverse the negative effects of stress on the brain and body making it a good aide to cut headaches and irritability.
The antioxidants and antispasmodic agents found in Rooibos tea can relieve stomach cramps and abdominal pains, and it’s known by mothers to lessen colic in their infants.
Rooibos is very good for your skin because it has alpha hydroxy acid and zinc. These are often used in the cosmetic industry to cut the signs of wrinkles and other signs of premature skin aging. Rooibos is sometimes prescribed to help in the treatment of several skin conditions and itching (Dermatitis, also known as eczema).
Rooibos is known to relieve stress, nervous tension, and hypertensive conditions. Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure. Rooibos tea not only greatly reduces blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease but also relieves respiratory conditions.
Rooibos has the anti-inflammatory antioxidant Quercetin which has been linked to preventing many heart conditions and reduces blood pressure.
The rare antioxidant Aspalathin found in Rooibos has some unique properties, including helping to balance blood sugar, improve insulin resistance, improve the glucose absorption by muscles, and boost the insulin secretion from the pancreas. This can help prevent type 2 diabetes and also regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Minerals in Rooibos Tea
Calcium – Builds stronger teeth and bones as well as delaying the process of de-calcification in the body.
Fluoride – strengthens tooth enamel and prevents decay.
Iron – this is one of the most important minerals body needs. It is an important part of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body.
Magnesium – is important as it’s needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to regulate body temperature, maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, and helps to build your bones stay strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein decreases the frequency of migraines, delays the onset of osteoporosis, lowers type 2 diabetes risk, and reduces symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Potassium – is also an electrolyte, and is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. It regulates blood pressure and heartbeat and protects against cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Sodium – Sodium (not from table salt) is necessary for a variety of the body’s functions. Sodium not only helps keep up a healthy fluid balance, but it also contributes to proper muscle contraction and nerve impulse conduction.
Zinc – is an essential mineral and found in cells throughout the body. It aids cell division, cell growth, the immune system in healing wounds, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.and body immune system. Zinc is also needed for skin, nail health and the senses of smell and taste.
Trace minerals – Copper and manganese
CAUTION: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should consult with a doctor before use. If you are on any medications or suffer from any form of liver disease, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before consuming rooibos tea.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, test, cure or prevent any disease.
Rooibos references and further reading: