A health drink with a rather interesting name – that must be the common description of the Rooibos tea. This tea is a very nutritious concoction made from a genus of plant that exclusively grows in the Western Cape in South Africa. The tea may come with many other names, such as Red Bush Tea, Red Tea, and Bush Tea. It is not really popular as Rooibos in places outside Cape Town.
What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos carries the scientific name Aspalathus Linearis. Literally translated, Rooibos simply means red bush. Looking closer into the tea, you’ll notice that it isn’t made out of the usual dried leaves like what other teas are. This is because Rooibos is broom-like plant with leaves appearing like needles. But although Rooibos grows only in the mountainous region of Caderberg near Cape Town, it is now being shipped all over the world for daily consumption.
Rooibos is naturally sweet and is somewhat delicious. It is a very versatile beverage that can be used to address many health issues. And more than just being a tea, Rooibos can also be used as a vitamin supplement, as a spice, and even as a dye. Some people may also use it for cooking purposes.
The many benefits of drinking Rooibos Tea
There are more than enough healthy reasons why you should take a cup of Rooibos tea every day. Many people from all over the world are now using this tea because of the reasons listed below. Rooibos tea is a:
1. Very powerful antioxidant
The Roobois tea contains many flavonoids that act as potent antioxidants. Two of the highly effective elements present in this tea are nothofagin and aspalathin. They both help in fighting off the free radicals that could be present in the body. Both of these elements have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
2. Guard against heart diseases
Rooibos tea is known to help alleviate high blood pressure and prevent heart failures. The high cardiovascular benefits of this tea have a lot to do with how it decreases the activities of the angiotensin l-converting enzyme, the agent that causes a range of heart diseases.
3. Cancer preventive
The regular intake of Rooibos tea can reduce the presence of certain types of carcinogen in the body. This tea has anti-mutagenic properties that can defend both the healthy cells and the DNA from possible damages, which could lead into cancer.
4. High mineral supplement
There are simply a lot of precious minerals present in every cup of the Rooibos tea and the list includes magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, and iron. Magnesium maintains the functions of the nervous system. Calcium and manganese keep the bones and teeth strong. Zinc improves metabolism and iron maintains the blood’s health.
5. Liver and lung disease fighter
Regular intake of the Rooibos tea can keep the fibrotic tissues in the liver well within healthy levels. Furthermore, it was proven to possess therapeutic properties to keep respiratory ailments at bay. Rooibos contains the chrysoeriol flavonoid that makes all these possible.
6. Skin enhancer
Rooibos tea has properties that can address certain skin conditions. It can bring out the lost glow and beauty of the skin because of the phenyl pyretic acid that it contains. Such active ingredient helps fight eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Aside from taking the tea orally, applying a brewed but cooled tea bag onto the affected areas will soothe and heal skin inflammation.
7. HIV fighter
For the longest time, the ultimate cure for HIV has been very elusive. Rooibos tea provides for that little ray of hope, knowing that it could be the cure that everyone is waiting for. Current studies are underway to further prove the efficacy of the Rooibos tea against the deadly HIV virus.
Rooibos Tea Side Effects
Rooibos tea is clearly good for you. But it may also have are a few side effects. The list below shows the possible interactions and precautions associated to taking this tea on a regular basis:
1. May interact with certain drugs
Rooibos tea is very rich in antioxidants and many other active ingredients. Its very composition could affect the performance of certain drugs, more particularly the ones used for chemotherapy. If you want to drink Rooibos tea on a continued basis while undergoing cancer treatment, talk to your doctor about it first.
2. May be toxic, especially the freshly picked leaves
Most of the Rooibos tea that are packaged and sold around the world have passed the necessary certifications. However, the fresh or raw form of this tea may be contaminated with bacteria and salmonella. Be sure that you’re taking only the best types in the market.
3. May weaken the kidney
The kidney is tasked to filter out the water coming in and out of the body. Almost all types of teas create a certain strain on the kidneys. Therefore, those who are suffering from kidney diseases are advised against drinking Rooibos tea – or any other kind of tea for that matter – on a continued basis. And be sure to tell to your doctor about it.
4. Regular intake not advised for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Just like most concoctions and medications, pregnant and lactating mothers are advised to take extra care with anything they take, eat, or drink. While there is no definite proof that the Rooibos tea can negatively affect them or their child, it always pays to be on the safe side.