Top 10 Benefits of Rooibos Tea

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Benefits of Rooibos TeaIt’s unlikely that just when rooibos tea was truly discovered will ever be determined, since natives of the South African area where the plant occurs naturally had already long been using it when Europeans stumbled into the region looking for medicinal plants in as early as the 17th century. Though almost always enjoyed at tea, rooibos is an unrelated plant that is rather frizzy looking and is also referred to as “red bush.” Like traditional tea, rooibos can be prepared in an oxidized or non-oxidized “green,” method for beverage use but the latter is still quite expensive and as a result, rooibos almost always refers to the brownish-red dried version. The benefits of rooibos tea are still being explored and are already yielding amazing potential.

In recent years, rooibos has become more popular and it’s available commercially in already prepared tea bags. Finding the loose leaves is possible, but pricier and perhaps not beneficial. One simple and easy rooibos tea recipe uses already ready tea bags (six of them) combined with twenty fresh mint leaves, a gallon of boiling water and one sliced lemon. The mixture should be removed from heat and allowed to steep until cold, and the brew can be strained and placed into the refrigerator. Not all herbal tea recipes lend themselves well to iced variations of the beverage, but this one in particular can make a delicious cold, not hot, refreshing drink. The benefits of rooibos tea are thought to be numerous, providing another important reason to consider enjoying the African gem, like the ten found here below.

1. Insomnia

The caffeine content of traditional tea makes it a poor choice for those with insomnia or other trouble sleeping. But, rooibos lacks the caffeine found in coffee and tea without missing out on any flavor as a result, and it’s therefore become a very popular beverage to enjoy before bed in some parts of the world. This association with the bedtime benefits of rooibos tea may also be related to the plant’s lack of tannins that have been linked to digestive discomfort in some, which can be specifically problematic before bed.

2. Asthma

Many plants found in nature contain chemical compounds called flavonoids, and rooibos is no exception. These important constituents may benefit asthmatics or those with other issues related to the bronchi because flavonoids may possess antispasmodic elements to bring about symptom relief.

3. Inflammation

Many different illnesses and diseases are characterized by or their symptoms are brought about as a result of uncomfortable inflammation. The brew may have anti-inflammatory properties that nicely complement some of the other benefits of rooibos tea, such as in cases of allergies or asthma where both inflammation and spasms may occur.

4. Blood Sugar Control

Further study will be needed in order to completely evaluate the effects that rooibos has on glucose levels in the blood. But, it’s been suggested that the tea may not only boost insulin secretion after eating, but also the uptake of glucose as well.

5. Kidney Stone Prevention

For many people, beverages hold the key to what may be causing or contributing to the excess formation of kidney stones. Not only can replacing problematic beverages like soft drinks with rooibos tea be beneficial at reducing this occurrence, but because the plant doesn’t contain any of the compounds associated with kidney stone formation, it’s less likely to be a factor in their formation. In time, more evidence to support these benefits of rooibos tea may come to light.

6. Immunity Boost

Much of the immune system applications of herbal remedies come simply from their nutritional content. Rooibos is no exception and the plant contains important nutrients like copper, zinc, calcium, manganese, potassium, and more. It’s probably the vitamin C found in the tea that makes it highly regarded for immunity support, however.

7. Prevention of DNA and Cell Damage

Antioxidants have been widely discussed recently, and their role in the prevention and delay of disease and degeneration is often a topic of hot debate. The benefits of rooibos tea include a healthy helping of antioxidants which may slow cell degeneration as well as help fight off invading dangerous cells known as free radicals, for better overall health.

8. Lowering Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Just a few years ago, a study was conducted on the way that chemicals in rooibos affected cholesterol, triglycerides and other factors associated with heart disease risk and found that the plant’s constituents were effective at reducing risk factors like bad cholesterol and triglycerides, furthering the notion that the benefits of rooibos tea may include a reduced risk of heart disease.

9. Cancer Prevention

Polyphenols that occur in rooibos are found in other plants that may indicate a reduced risk of certain types of cancers. More research will be needed however to determine just how the compounds in the plant work to stave off cancer, if proven.

10. Skin Conditions

Long before modern store shelves were lined with creams and lotions, herbs served as a means to treat annoying trouble with the skin including rashes, eczema and acne. Rooibos has long been used externally for these types of problems with the skin, and since alpha hydroxy has been found in the plant’s leaves, this is not surprising. However, the benefits of rooibos tea are also thought to include the skin, and given the nutrition content of the herbal remedy, this seems plausible.