5 Rooibos Tea Benefits
November 12, 2021
Picture this: It is a slow and chilly autumn morning, and you have nowhere to be except on your couch, curled up with the latest fiction novel you have not been able to put down since you got it. You decide to pour yourself a warm cup of rooibos tea (also known as red tea or red bush tea) to offset the crisp air coming in from the cracked window.
It turns out, this choice will benefit you a lot more than just warming your bones.
So, what exactly is in your mug besides the perfect herbal reading companion? Settle in and read on to take in all the rooibos tea benefits, Sip by Sip.
What is Rooibos Tea?
With so many different varieties of tea, it can be hard to keep track of the characteristics and benefits of each type. Whether you are new to rooibos or have been a connoisseur for years, we put together a list of essential facts to expand your knowledge on what is in your mug and where it came from.
Here is what you need to know:
- To start with the name itself: Rooibos (ROY-boss) comes from the Afrikaans language and can be translated as “red bush.”
- It is derived from a plant called Cape fynbos, whose Latin name is Aspalathus linearis. This plant is native to South Africa and has thrived for years in Cederberg’s sandy, mountainous region.
- To identify the plant, look for its characteristic, needle-shaped leaves that are green in color. The average height of the Aspalathus linearis can vary but may grow up to about six feet (two meters) tall, and when flowering in the spring and early summer, its branches may produce small yellow flowers.
- Does Rooibos tea have caffeine? If you are searching for a jolt of caffeine, you will have to turn to other teas, such as black tea, for the answer. As an herbal tea, rooibos is caffeine-free. It also has low tannin content, which makes it less bitter than black tea or green tea.
- Rooibos tea can be found in both fermented and unfermented forms. Traditional rooibos teas are oxidized, giving the leaves a dark red color. Green rooibos, on the other hand, is unoxidized, preserving the original color of the plant’s leaves.
- For centuries, rooibos tea has been a key ingredient in traditional South African medicine. It has been used to alleviate asthma and allergies to soothe a wide variety of skin conditions.*
Top Benefits of Drinking Rooibos Tea
Now that you have been acquainted (or perhaps re-acquainted) with rooibos tea, it is time to take a closer look at some of the potential therapeutic benefits it may provide for our essential organs and overall health. Here are five of the top benefits of rooibos tea:
#1 May Benefit Your Bone Health*
Take a minute to hop back in your mind to your high school science class. Does the word osteoblast ring any bells? Whether or not your memory has been jogged, the important thing to know is that these are bone-forming cells essential to building and maintaining bone density over time. Studies have shown that regular intake of tea, especially by postmenopausal women, has been connected to higher bone mineral density.*
Further research has also yielded results indicating that rooibos tea may be linked to the production of osteoblast activity and inhibition of osteoclasts, bone-dissolving cells.* So, whether osteoporosis is a concern for you or a family member or you are simply prioritizing healthy bones, rooibos tea could give you the boost you are looking for with flavor to match.*
#2 May Improve Your Heart Health*
Healthy blood flow and efficient transfer of nutrients throughout the body are rooted in the heart. Looking after your heart health means helping your body maintain a steady weight, improving your blood pressure, and even reducing stress. Since heart disease is the primary cause of death in the United States, it is important to start taking proactive steps towards preventing it.
Studies have yielded promising results regarding the effectiveness of fermented rooibos tea in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. One reason behind this is that rooibos tea is rich in polyphenols, chemical compounds that combat inflammation*. The consumption of six cups daily revealed noteworthy improvement of the lipid profile in the adults who participated in the study.* Rooibos tea also contains the flavonoid Chrysoeriols, which can aid blood circulation*. Translation? Rooibos tea could be an essential piece of the puzzle regarding lowering cholesterol levels and keeping hearts healthy and strong.* Aside from that, Rooibos tea also may help balance the good HDL cholesterol*.
Aspalathin, one of the antioxidants found in Rooibos tea, also helps reduce blood sugar levels and boosts insulin resistance, potentially preventing type 2 diabetes*.
#3 May Reduce the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease*
We are all bound to be a bit forgetful at some point, whether it is forgetting where you put your keys or the name of that movie you just watched. As we age, it is natural for these instances of forgetfulness to become more prevalent. However, those living with Alzheimer’s Disease experience feelings of forgetfulness, confusion, and disorientation much more frequently and intensely than someone with healthy brain function would.
In the same way that antioxidants may suppress oxidative stress and free radicals in other areas of the body, they can also do so for the brain. Where can you find an antioxidant-rich beverage to supplement your diet? The answer is packed into a cup of rooibos tea.
#4 May Support Liver Health*
Along with your brain, your liver is another essential organ that your body needs to function properly. It is where things like fats and carbohydrates are metabolized, and several vitamins and minerals are stored for safekeeping.
According to research published in Sci Forschen, consumption of unfermented rooibos herbal tea could lead to increased antioxidant capacity in the liver and reduced damage caused by toxins, improving overall liver health and possibly reducing the risk of liver disease down the line.
People with kidney problems can also enjoy rooibos tea because it doesn’t contain oxalic acid, the compound that increases the risk for kidney stones. For the liver, rooibos herbal tea increases antioxidants, thereby reducing damage by toxins.*
#5 May Help Build a Stronger Immune System*
Maintaining a strong immune system is essential to our bodies year-round but particularly so when sniffle season is approaching. With coughs, colds, and cases of the flu threatening to set you back, many people will take the time to prioritize boosting their defenses by making changes to their diet or increasing the number of dietary supplements taken each day or week.
Polyphenols are the powerhouse antioxidants in rooibos tea that make it so much more than a sweet, herbal beverage. In fact, it is these polyphenols that may very well be the answer to your flu-season concerns.* Whether you plan to combine the forces of rooibos tea and other antioxidant-dense foods (such as blueberries, cherries, and dark chocolate—yum) or simply rely on rooibos itself, your body may thank you later if it manages to avoid a cold or two this year.
Ready, Set, Steep!
Now that you are well-informed about the many potential benefits of rooibos tea, it is time to get to brewing. However, not all teas are steeped the same and, surely, as a tea enthusiast, you will want to know the best way to drink rooibos tea. Follow along with these steps for tea that not only tastes delicious, but is also steeped to perfection:
- Gather all of the essentials: your favorite rooibos tea, a go-to mug, and water that will elevate all of the right flavors—filtered, bottled, or straight from the spring tend to be your best bet.
- Bring the water to a boil in a teapot or kettle.
- Once boiling, pour the water over the tea and into a mug. Whether you are using whole-leaf tea or a teabag, you will want to use about one teaspoon of tea for every six ounces of water. You may prefer, of course, to add more if you would rather have a stronger flavor.
- The last step is steeping the Rooibos tea leaves. How long does it take to steep Rooibos tea? For the tastiest flavor, we recommend leaving the tea to steep for five to seven minutes. After that, remove the tea leaves from your mug and enjoy.
Tap Into the Benefits of Rooibos Tea with The Republic of Tea
From the perfect reading companion to an overall wellness aid, rooibos tea is more than just tea. So, whether you have decided to add rooibos tea to your diet to reap some of its many health benefits or you simply enjoy drinking it for its naturally sweet flavor, The Republic of Tea has a selection of premium rooibos teas sure to tickle your fancy. Try the Good Hope Vanilla Red Full-Leaf Tea to blend the familiar flavor of rooibos with the delectable taste of vanilla beans. Or, surprise a health-conscious friend with a seasonal rooibos gift set.
Either way, dear Citizens, you can be sure to get goodness in every sip when you join the community of socially impactful and environmentally responsible tea enthusiasts at The Republic of Tea. Fill your cup with us.
*The Site cannot and does not contain medical/health advice. The medical/health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical/health advice. Information and statements about the products on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
South African National Biodiversity Institute. Aspalathus linearis.
Sci Forschen. Rooibos Tea and Health: A Systematic Review of the Evidence from the Last
NIH. Comparison of black, green and rooibos tea on osteoblast activity.
NIH. Heart-Healthy Living.
NIH. Effects of Consumption of Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and a Rooibos-Derived Commercial Supplement on Hepatic Tissue Injury by tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide in Wistar Rats.