So many things can be used to make tea, but for those who need an alternative to the usual Camellia sinensis, the first go-to will be the backyard. Such is the case for rooibos, a common South African herb tea brewed from a local shrub.
There are many types of tea that claim to hold a great number of health benefits to people who consume them, and many of them really do. However, one such type that undoubtedly possesses several health benefits is the rooibos tea.
For a long time rooibos, also known as red tea or red shrub tea, has been linked to a number of significant health benefits. Science has now proven that rooibos has several properties at par with the best medicinal herbs. Without further ado, let’s start looking into them.
Here are a few of these health benefits:
Rooibos Tea Benefits
1. Rooibos tea is anti-oxidative
To start it off, the first thing best to mention is that rooibos tea does not have any caffeine in its content. Meaning, it won’t make you stay up at night leading to lack of sleep. In fact, it can help you improve your sleeping quality, which enhances your energy and reduces stress levels throughout the day.
Many people drink regular tea for its anti-oxidative effects, but you’re not losing any of that even if you switch to rooibos. According to a study, rooibos can significantly reduce the oxidative effects caused in the brain by prolonged exposure to psychological stress.
Aside from keeping a sharper mind, it also helps in the reduction of neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, the experiments showed that Rooibos was capable of reversing the increase in the compounds that cause oxidation, while also restoring the level of degradation caused by repetitive stress.
One of the most important, if not THE most important advantage of rooibos tea is that it can protect against one of the most difficult diseases known, cancer. This is due to the antimutagenic activity properties it claims to contain.
Also, since it is full of antioxidants helpful in removing toxins from our system, it can be beneficial in aiding the fight against the development of cancerous cells.
2. Rooibos tea enhances sperm velocity
This is for the men out there who are having difficulty fathering children — rooibos may just be your cup of tea. A study has found that sperm cells exposed to rooibos extract exhibited higher sperm velocity, and had better survivability in storage since its protective membranes were better preserved. This means that your sperm cells stay potent for longer, therefore increasing the chance of them meeting with the female egg cell.
3. Rooibos tea helps reduce liver injury
The antioxidant properties of rooibos also helps reduce the effect of liver injuries. In a 2014 study, liver damage is simulated and exposed to a treatment containing fermented rooibos extract. The treatment showed that the harmful substances that caused liver deterioration were substantially reduced, and the resulting inflammatory response was also suppressed.
4. Rooibos tea can potentially help with diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases in the world, and rooibos has also shown potential in reducing its effects as attested to by a study. According to the experiments, rooibos can significantly help those with diabetes mellitus by providing a good alternative in terms of management. This is in contrast to several pharmaceutical remedies common nowadays, which could have unwanted side effects.
It is an amazing advantage with rooibos tea towards the crucial part it plays in the defense against diabetes, specifically type 2. This is attributed to the fact that it excels in keeping sugar and glucose levels in the blood on perfect balance, while boosting the creation of insulin.
The tea does also certainly helps people who already have diabetes by balancing sugar/glucose/insulin grades.
5. Rooibos tea has chemopreventive properties for the skin
Another study has shown that like other types of tea, rooibos has chemopreventive properties — meaning it can stop the proliferation of potentially malignant cells. The chemopreventive activity of rooibos has been shown in studies to be significant enough that it is at par with the same effects of green tea.
It is also widely accepted that this type of tea can improve the condition of your skin. This is because of being full with alpha hydroxy acid and zinc, two nutrients known for their abilities to battle many skin diseases such as acne.
6. Rooibos tea has antiinflammatory and antispasmodic effects
A study that also looked at the previously-mentioned chemopreventive properties of rooibos on skin has shown that the same herb also has antiinflammatory properties. When the skin is inflamed due to overexposure to light, rooibos’ properties helped reduce the symptoms, along with its potential anti-carcinogenic effects.
Rooibos tea can also make a big difference on your digestive health. In case you are experiencing constant stomach cramps or abdominal pain, it can provide relief with its antispasmodic effects.
Furthermore, it is helpful in digestion and the processing of food-metabolism, improving the overall health of your stomach.
7. Rooibos tea helps maintain respiratory and cardiovascular health
With all the positive effects of rooibos tea on health, it also improves the function of the respiratory system by increasing airflow in the lungs. As a result, it provides better protection against many disorders with sufficient oxygen supply, from simple cold to a heart attack.
Now that we mentioned positive effects on the respiratory system, it’s good to acknowledge the big role it plays in boosting cardiovascular health. It does this by simply increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL) and decreasing the “bad” cholesterol (LDL).
One study specifically looked at the effects of rooibos on the oxidative stress produced by smoke particles from diesel engine exhaust. The study found that rooibos helped reduce these levels of stress increasing the overall cardiovascular health of the test subjects. Overall, rooibos has been assessed to help prevent the toxic effects of diesel exhaust particles, making it a good supplement especially for people living in areas with high levels of air pollution.
What more interesting, it promotes better circulation of the blood, assisting in the reduction of possible inflammation in our system.
- Akeem O. Lawal, Dare M. Oluyede, Monsurat O. Adebimpe, Lateefat T. Olumegbon, Olamide O. Awolaja, Olusola O. Elekofehinti, & Olamide O. Crown (2019). The cardiovascular protective effects of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) extract on diesel exhaust particles induced inflammation and oxidative stress involve NF-κB- and Nrf2-dependent pathways modulation.
8. Rooibos tea has antibacterial effects
Rooibos has also been proven to contain antibacterial effects, with its natural compounds capable of eliminating various common microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus and Eschericia coli.
A study looked at this antimicrobial property, along with the antioxidant effects of rooibos. It has been found that artificially-prepared infusions do not have the same antibacterial properties, hinting at the fact that rooibos has a cocktail of potentially helpful compounds that cannot be simply artificially isolated.
- Madeline J. Simpson, Daisy Hjelmqvist, Camilo López-Alarcón, Nadja Karamehmedovic, Thomas G. Minehan, Akop Yepremyan, Baback Salehani, Eduardo Lissi, Elizabeth Joubert, Klas I. Udekwu, & Emilio I. Alarcon (2013). Anti-Peroxyl Radical Quality and Antibacterial Properties of Rooibos Infusions and Their Pure Glycosylated Polyphenolic Constituents.
9. Rooibos tea helps protect the heart and brain
We’ve already covered cardiovascular issues caused by oxidative stress from air pollution, but it turns out rooibos also has significant cardioprotective properties against other sources of oxidative stress. Another study has looked at the link between diabetes and heart failure, and observed a positive effect of rooibos’ polyphenols and flavonoids in keeping the heart healthy despite hyperglycemia-induced stress.
We also should not forget to point out that it possesses the ability to not only relieve but also prevent hypertension. This is achieved with its effect on lowering the blood pressure. Ingredients of the tea are known for doing well, as mentioned earlier, in providing positive effects on blood flow.
Benefits on the brain may not be well-known but some experiments have shown that rooibos tea can help in maintaining your brain’s health while keeping it in excellent condition. It protects the brain from lipid peridoxation – a course that causes constant degradation of the brain and therefore allowing many mental diseases to develop.
10. Rooibos tea protects the pancreas
The pancreas is among the many underrated organs of the body, thankfully it also falls within the purview of rooibos’s effectiveness. A 2016 study has found that components of rooibos, specifically its phenylpropanoic acid glucoside content, helps maintain pancreatic health by reducing the impact of lifestyle issues.
Last but not the least, but shouldn’t be missed, it also keeps your bones and teeth in a top state for it is extremely rich in calcium and some other minerals like fluoride, making them denser and stronger.
To sum it up, above are some of the best health benefits rooibos tea is known for. It is certainly a great supplement to your diet you may want to start consuming today.
Brewing Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is brewed from leaves, much like the regular tea. It is recommended to steep the leaves in boiling water to make sure the flavors are extracted completely. The steeping time takes longer than 5 minutes, and will depend on how strong you want your brew to be. The ratio of leaves to water is usually one teaspoon of rooibos leaves for every cup of water.
When storing rooibos tea, make sure to keep it in a cool, and dry place. Keep it away from any light or air by storing it in an opaque, airtight container. This makes sure the leaves don’t spoil, and that the health benefits get locked in until you brew them.
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