It’s on the Starbucks menu, and it’s in bottled “red tea” drinks in retail and convenience stores across the globe; I found it once in a tiny, out-of-the-way noodle bar in the Japanese city of Yokohama. It is rooibos, the uniquely South African herbal tea that is garnering a worldwide reputation its health benefits. Here are some reasons why it should be your daily drink of choice. MS

By Marika Sboros

Strictly speaking, rooibos isn’t a tea, as it is unrelated to the traditional tea plant (Camellia sinensis). It is a herb – a broom-like member of the legume family of plants that includes peas, beans, peanuts and alfalfa.

Apart from the semantics of botanical science, rooibos’s reputation as a health aid is blooming. It dates back centuries, to when it grew wild on the slopes of the Cederberg mountains outside Cape Town, and was a favoured brew of the region’s indigenous people.

The needle-like leaves of the rooibos plant are usually oxidised in a fermentation process similar to that used in tea processing terminology. This produces its distinctive reddish-brown colour and enhances the flavour when drunk as a herbal infusion.

Rooibos (also called “rooibosch” as a nod to Dutch origins, and “red bush” in English) is available in an unoxidised “green” form, similar to the way green tea is produced. That gives it a different colour, and slightly grassy flavor, and makes it more expensive. It comes in organic versions ­ (the only ones I’d ever drink, but that’s not to say there are any fewer health benefits from products that aren’t organic.)

Most research on health benefits is on animals, and while many substances are shown to cure things like cancer in rats, just as many do nothing at all for humans. Experts say proper clinical trials would need thousands of volunteers monitored for 10 years – a big, costly ask.

It helps that rooibos’s active ingredients are bioavailable. Your body is able to metabolise (break down) the key antioxidants in rooibos, and absorb unmetabolised antioxidants into the bloodstream.

The Rooibos Council of South Africa on its website ( ), says there’s a wealth of research in peer-reviewed journals since the 1960s; and scientists locally internationally are investigating the complex composition, chemistry and bioactivity of rooibos to help explain how it protects the human body against disease, and promotes health and longevity.

The Council also says most rooibos researchers recommend the complete rooibos extract (as a tea, and six cups staggered throughout the day) rather than taking individual, isolated compounds.

Here are seven top reasons why you should swig six cups of this brew regularly:

1. Rooibos fights cancer – Rooibos contains powerful antioxidants with strong cancer-fighting effects. Stellenbosch University research published in April 2014, suggests that people who spend a lot of time in the sun should consider using a skin-care product containing rooibos extracts to prevent the development of skin cancer and to delay the onset of malignant tumours.

2. Rooibos is cardioprotective – in other words, it protects your ticker – Rooibos has a high concentration of two polyphenol antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin, that fight free radical damage – toxic by products of the body’s metabolic processes – and have anti-inflammatory properties that protect against heart disease. Small South African studies in humans support the beverage as good for hearts.

3. Rooibos is chock-a-block with minerals – It contains magnesium essential for the nervous system, calcium and manganese for strong teeth and bones, zinc for metabolism and immune system, and iron that is critical for helping blood and muscles get oxygen to all the cells that need it. Most black teas have tannins that prevent iron absorption. Rooibos tea has less than half the tannins of black tea, and actively helps the body to absorb iron.

4. Rooibos is helpful for type 2 diabetics – A team of South African researchers has added more evidence suggesting that rooibos may be beneficial in countering diabetes with glucose-moderating effects. Japanese research suggests that the main antioxidant in green rooibos, aspalathin, helps muscle cells to use glucose more effectively, and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

5. Rooibos protects the liver – It can help to prevent the development of fatty liver disease – a potentially serious condition where fat accumulates in liver cells . It also helps damaged liver tissue to regenerate, and is recommended as an effective way to prevent and treat liver disease

6. Rooibos is a digestive aid – It eases stomach cramps and diarrhoea thanks to the calming effect of its flavonoids on the digestive system.

7. Rooibos protects grey matter – If you want to keep your thinking sharp, and reduce the risk of dementia diseases such as Alzheimer’s, rooibos should be your drink of choice.

There are many other reasons to drink rooibos, including that it prolongs fertility and delays ageing – even if currently only in Japanese quail hens. There is also a lucrative industry of beauty and skin-care products with rooibos as the main ingredient.

The South African Rooibos Council and the industry in general are confident of the plant’s commercial value, and so they should be. The recent reciprocal agreement SA and the European Union protecting the rooibos trademark under Geographical Indicators framework of South Africa’s intellectual property (IP) laws has been hailed as a major step in protecting South African products and promoting economic growth and competitiveness.

There’s even such a thing as a “Rooibosch Curtain”, which I first read about in Biznews recently. It “follows the contours of South African and Namibian national borders, and signifies an invisible line separating modernity inside its geographic enclosure and much more primitive infrastructure, building codes and legal codes governing everyday business practice beyond them into the African wilds”.

*Follow me on Twitter @MarikaSboros

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Rooibos Beauty Tips:

– Rooibos tea works well to combat pimples. This tea leaf contains zinc and alpha hydroxyl acid. Boil the leaves in water and allow to cool. Use a cotton ball to apply the liquid on affected areas.

– Wash your face with cold or lukewarm Rooibos tea instead of water; it is a great alternative skin freshener.

– Rinse dark hair with strong Rooibos to give it a beautiful shine or use as a leave-in for lighter hair to provide a slight reddish tint to your color.

– Treat tired and sensitive eyes to a rinse with lukewarm Rooibos or wipe out eyes gently with a face-cloth dipped in lukewarm Rooibos for instant relief from sore eyes of any kind. Alternatively, you can also hold cold Rooibos tea bags over your eyes to relieve your tired or red eyes.

– The following face-mask method has proven a saviour to many an acne sufferer: take half a cup of strong, plain Rooibos tea (fairly warm); add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar; add 2 teaspoons of oatmeal
( if you’re allergic to oatmeal, use a gluten-free flour); allow the mixture to cool until it’s lukewarm; apply it over your face and neck; lie down and relax for about 15 minutes; rinse off with lukewarm plain Rooibos tea, then press to dry.

– If you have itchy or burning skin, then after a cleansing bath, wipe off your affected skin with a face-cloth moistened in Rooibos tea; press gently to dry ( do not rub, as this will only make the itching/burning worse). Alternatively, you can also add a few Rooibos tea bags to your bath water to sooth your skin.

– If you suffer from eczema, bathing the affected skin areas in Rooibos tea or applying it with cotton wool can provide soothing relief.

Some other useful tips:

– To make a really good cup of rooibos, use freshly boiled water. This ensures you get the best infusion or extraction from the dried leaves. You need to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open, releasing their fragrance and flavor. If using loose-leaf tea, the rule of thumb is one to two teaspoons per cup for two to four minutes, depending on the strength you like. If you prefer tea bags, work on one per cup. A longer extraction time will result in stronger tea. Once it is poured, enjoy immediately.

– Six cups of Rooibos per day holds definite health benefits, and specifically helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body and lower the risk of heart disease. The six cups of Rooibos should be spaced throughout the day to deliver optimum health benefits.

– Rooibos complements fruit flavors well and is therefore a popular ingredient in iced teas. To make a simple, refreshing iced tea, sweeten a strong pot of rooibos with honey and stir until the honey is dissolved. Leave in the fridge overnight and then add a touch of lemon or your favorite fruit juice. Cold rooibos can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. It’s also a healthy way to add flavor to smoothies and fruit shakes. You can also use Rooibos as a meat marinade or simply add it to stews or soups instead of adding water. In some parts of South Africa you can now buy Rooibos-based yogurts and drinking yogurts.

– Pets with allergic skin conditions will definitely benefit from being rinsed with lukewarm Rooibos after a bath.

So in short, Rooibos can be used for achieving healthy skin, delaying the signs of aging, the treatment of acne, eczema, sunburn and tired eyes, offering shine for hair and even protecting your hair colour. And these are just some of the cosmetic benefits. Some of the rooibos health benefits are the prevention of life threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease, providing relief from stomach problems, assisting with detoxing and helping with anxiety or depression.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. And these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Rooibos Tea Benefits Weight Loss, Plus 9 Other Reasons to Drink It

  • The benefits of rooibos tea far surpass green, black, and maybe even matcha tea.
  • Native to South Africa, rooibos has been used to relieve teething gums, soothe colicky babies, and help people sleep for hundreds of years.
  • Keep reading to learn about the benefits of this low-tannin, caffeine-free tea.

Introducing rooibos (pronounced “ROY-boss”), one of the hottest tea varietals to drink right now.

An herbal tea from South Africa, rooibos is a delicious, caffeine-free way to upgrade your tea habit. Boasting 50 percent more antioxidants than green tea, rooibos tea touts more benefits than green, black, and maybe even matcha tea.

While other teas have an acquired taste, rooibos tea has a sweet, mild flavor profile with notes of honey and vanilla. In fact, the red beverage is considered one of the most palate-pleasing types of tea out there.

For centuries, South Africans have used rooibos for its myriad health benefits, including to relieve teething gums, soothe colicky babies, and promote better and deeper sleep. Its anti-inflammatory powers and antioxidant content also show promise in protecting against many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Rooibos tea may even help with weight loss.

Read on to learn about the benefits of rooibos tea, possible side effects and how to brew it.

Free Download: This Yoga Nidra Meditation Will Make You Feel Like You Got a Full Night’s Sleep

What is rooibos tea and what does it taste like?

Rooibos tea comes from the shrub aspalathus linearis, and isn’t actually a true tea — it’s an herb. The leaves are long and needle-like. When it is harvested and dried, rooibos is brewed into a reddish-brown herbal infusion also known as African red tea and red bush tea. The plant is cut by hand and then bruised to encourage oxidation to develop the rich color and flavor. As it oxidizes, rooibos becomes redder and sweeter.

It has a mild, aromatic taste that is sweet and fruity with hints of vanilla and honey. You can drink it just as you would black or green tea — plain, with lemon and sweetener, as a creamy latte, or with butter as a caffeine-free substitute for Bulletproof Coffee.

In the late 1990s, green rooibos tea, a non-fermented, less oxidized type of rooibos, was invented. This less-oxidized version means it maintains a higher integrity of antioxidants. As for taste, green rooibos has a more grassy, mineral-like flavor.

Related: Green Tea vs. White vs. Black Tea – How Do They Stack Up?

The benefits of rooibos tea

Boosts antioxidant levels in the body

Rooibos contains 50% more antioxidants than green tea. Antioxidants clean up the harmful free radicals that can damage cells and cause cancer, curbing cellular damage and inflammation.

Research shows that drinking rooibos tea boosts levels of master antioxidant glutathione in the body. More powerful than any other antioxidant, glutathione protects against inflammation, toxins, free radicals, and pathogens. Think of it as your body’s own natural detoxifier.

Aspalathin — found only in rooibos tea — and nothofagin are two such polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) that have been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting powers.

Improves blood pressure and circulation

Inflammation is a key player in the role of heart disease. A study involving 17 healthy volunteers took a look at the effect of green, black, and rooibos tea had on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme located in the inner layer of blood vessels that causes blood vessels to shrink, thus increasing blood pressure. The study found that one hour after people drank 13.5 ounces of rooibos tea, ACE levels went down, lowering participants’ blood pressure.

Boosts good HDL cholesterol and lowers the bad stuff, too

Another study over a six-week period showed that drinking six cups of rooibos tea daily significantly increased total polyphenol levels, which improved HDL “good” cholesterol. It also lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, another lipid found in your blood.

Keeps hair strong and skin healthy

The benefits of rooibos tea go beyond drinking it. Research shows that applying a 10% rooibos tea extract to hair significantly increased hair growth in almost 90 percent of the volunteers.

Rooibos extract is also recommended to use on the skin for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and soothing properties.

Studies have shown that rooibos tea is pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative on skin cancer cells in vitro and on mouse skin. Translation: it helped destroy cancer cells and keep them from spreading in test tubes and in animal studies. More research on humans is needed to know for sure.

Aids in weight loss

Low calorie and naturally sweet, with the help of the antioxidants and balancing blood sugar, rooibos tea can be a great addition to your beverage choices while trying to lose weight.

Research suggests that aspalathin, an active ingredient in rooibos tea, helps reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, which is also linked to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Data from this study showed that rooibos tea has the potential for preventing obesity by affecting the balance of energy and how it’s used as energy or stored as fat.

To get the most out of aspalathin, choose green rooibos over red.

Related: Kickstart Your Weight Loss With the Keto Diet. Here’s How to Get Started

Treats and prevents diabetes

Researchers studied the effect of antioxidants aspalathin and nothofagin on inflammation caused by high blood sugar and found that it lowered inflammation in the vascular system (aka arteries and blood vessels). People with diabetes tend to have chronic, low levels of inflammation that affects insulin’s function and contributes to the disease. Reducing inflammation may therefore provide major benefits in the treatment of diabetes and diabetic complications.

Another study in type 2 diabetic mice found that aspalathin helped balance blood sugar by stimulating the glucose uptake in muscle tissues.

Related: Reverse Insulin Resistance With Intermittent Fasting

Aids digestion

In a study using rabbits and mice, results showed that rooibos tea benefits the digestive system by reducing diarrhea, calming muscle spasms in the stomach, and decreasing gastric secretions. The presence of flavonoids such as quercetin, luteolin, and others are thought to be the reasons for the beneficial effects on the GI system.

Calms colicky babies

In 1968, Annetjie Theron was a South African mother who was struggling with a colicky infant. She discovered that a rooibos tea infusion calmed her baby of chronic restlessness, vomiting, and stomach cramps. She studied the benefits of rooibos tea and eventually went on to create her own products using Rooibos extract.

May help prevent cancer

While the development of cancer is a complex process, it has been well established that oxidative damage, generally associated with free radicals, is responsible for cancer development. Quercetin and luteolin are two flavonoids found in rooibos tea that have been studied on pancreatic tumor cells, showing they suppress tumor growth and promote cancer cell death.

Boosts bone health

The variety of polyphenols in rooibos tea has been shown to improve osteoblast activity (aka cells that develop bones).

The flavonoids orientin and luteolin were specifically studied on bone cells and showed an increased level of bone growth and mitochondrial activity. These flavonoids enhanced the mineral content of the bone cells used in the study.

How to make rooibos tea

  • 1 teaspoon or tea bag of Rooibos tea
  • 8oz. water

Boil your water and pour over the tea. Infuse for 5-15 minutes covered. You can add a sweetener such as honey or stevia to taste.

You can also make it a part of your Bulletproof intermittent fast by adding grass-fed butter and Brain Octane Oil. It also blends well with vanilla, chocolate, or citrus flavors.

Try: Rooibos Chai Tea Latte Recipe

Rooibos tea side effects

While Rooibos is an incredible product for most, as with any product, there can be side effects for some people. If you have liver or kidney disease, hormonal cancers, or are going through chemotherapy treatment, consult your doctor before using rooibos regularly.

While rooibos can improve sperm production, prolonged exposure in men could also have an impact on male fertility.

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  • Is green tea a fad or a real health boost?

    (HealthDay)—Green tea is a popular health trend, with many people sipping in hopes of deriving benefits from the brew.

    There’s nothing wrong with that, dietitians say—green tea is a healthy drink loaded with antioxidants. But the jury’s still out on many of its purported health benefits.

    “Clinical trials related to green tea are still in their early stages,” said Nancy Farrell Allen, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Fredericksburg, Va. “I say drink it, enjoy it. It’s not going to hurt, and it might have worthy benefits to it. But nutrition is a science, and it takes time for our understanding to evolve.”

    Green tea’s potential health benefits derive from catechins, which are powerful antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, said Chelsey Schneider, clinical nutrition supervisor at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Cancer Center in New York City.

    One catechin in particular, known as EGCG, is found at higher levels in green tea than in either white or black tea, she said.

    “This compound can be even stronger than vitamin C and E, which are very, very strong antioxidants,” Schneider said. Antioxidants help prevent damage to cells.

    Green, black and white tea all come from the same plant, said Allen, who is a spokeswoman for the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition.

    Green tea is made from the leaves of the mature plant, while white tea is made of leaves plucked early in development. Black tea is made from green tea leaves that are laid out and covered with a damp cloth, she said.

    “They dry and blacken and ferment a little, giving black tea that darker, richer flavor,” Allen said. But this process also reduces levels of catechins in black tea.

    Weight loss has been associated with green tea, with experts suggesting that its mixture of caffeine and catechins can enhance a person’s metabolism and processing of fat, according to the University of California-Davis Department of Nutrition.

    But it appears that folks have to drink a lot of green tea to get substantial weight loss benefits and carefully watch the rest of their diet, UC-Davis says.

    Green tea also has been tied to heart health.

    For example, green tea was shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol in a 2018 study of more than 80,000 Chinese published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

    Evidence suggests catechins in green tea also could lower risk of heart attacks, help blood vessels relax and reduce inflammation, UC-Davis says.

    Green tea even has been associated with a lower risk of some cancers.

    The American Cancer Society says studies have linked green tea to a reduction in ovarian cancer risk. And UC-Davis said experimental models have shown that green tea might reduce risk of a variety of other cancers.

    But a 2016 evidence review by the Cochrane Library concluded that there is “insufficient and conflicting evidence to give any firm recommendations regarding green tea consumption for cancer prevention.”

    Schneider said the research is limited. “Some small studies say green tea can maybe be preventative for certain cancers, like breast, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic and oral cancers, but there aren’t so many conclusive human trials that support that,” she said.

    Green tea also might help keep your brain younger. A 2014 study in the journal PLOS One found that Japanese who drank more green tea had significantly less decline in brain function, although researchers couldn’t rule out the possibility that these folks might have other healthy habits that helped keep them mentally sharp.

    One caveat with all of this research is that it tends to take place in Asian countries, where people drink much more green tea. There might be significant differences for Americans.

    And the way you take your green tea could diminish any potential positive effects, Schneider added.

    “A lot of people are adding processed white sugar to their green tea, which really makes something beautiful and healthy into something unhealthy,” she said.

    Adding milk or cream to your tea also might not be a good idea.

    “There are some studies that say having milk in green tea can actually block the effects of you absorbing the antioxidant,” Schneider said. “If it was me, I’d drink it straight up.”

    Explore further

    Gung ho for green tea More information: The University of California-Davis has more about catechins. Journal information: Journal of the American Heart Association , PLoS ONE

    Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

    Citation: Is green tea a fad or a real health boost? (2019, June 24) retrieved 1 February 2020 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.


    Throughout Japan, health benefits associated with drinking Honkaku Shochu have been highlighted in the headlines. The sudden climb to prominence may seem just recent, however, its reputation as a healthy drink is well founded from long back in Japanese history. According to “Honcho-Shoku Kagami”, a food encyclopedia written 317 years ago in 1695, Honkaku Shochu had medicinal applications as an oral remedy as well as an antiseptic.

    Due to episodes of healthy upsides built upover generations along with medical research studies in modern times, knowledgeable Japanese have turned to Shochu as their choice of liquor. The following examines these well-known benefits in health and well-being, associated with drinking Honkaku Shochu.

    1. Shochu to De-StressExcessive stress can lower the immune system in the human body, causing a higher risk for diseases. Consuming alcohol can help the body decompress, and in a social scene, promote a relaxed ambiance where people can unwind.

    2. Shochu Lowers Chances of HangoverA hangover is caused when a person, for reasons such as over drinking, is unable to breakdown acetaldehyde, an organic chemical compound produced in the liver to break down impure substances contained in alcohol. Honkaku Shochu is distilled, thus contains fewer impurities than most alcoholic beverages, leading to lower chances of having a hangover.

    3. Breaks Up Blood ClotsRecent medical research findings show that Honkaku Shochu stimulates Urokinase enzymes that break up thrombus or blood clots within the vascular system. These blood masses can break away leading to embolism with pain and numb symptoms, and in severe cases to cardiac arrests and strokes. The chart below measures the activity level of Urokinase in a human body, an hour after drinking Honkaku Shochu. The findings are astonishingly clear. The activity level of enzymes in Honkaku Shochu that break down blood clots exceeds all other major liquor categories: 1.6 times more than beer, and 1.5 times versus wine. These statistics are not new news to the Japanese, rather, they are common knowledge amongst drinkers. This is the reason why many turn to Honkaku Shochu for a lifestyle of healthy alcohol enjoyment.

    Red wine has been promoted “heart healthy” quite extensively. Polyphenols are anti-oxidants in red wine that promote well-being including preventing blood clots. Though Polyphenols can prevent the formation of blood clots, Urokinase contained in Shochu goes beyond and breaks up blood clots have have already formed.

    4. Shochu as a Low-Cal DrinkObesity is the number one lifestyle-related disease among adults in America. Generally speaking, calories from alcoholic beverages are different from calories gained from sugar, fat and protein. 30% of alcoholic calories are expended when body temperature increases and through simply breathing. Further, vis-a-vis other liquors, Shochu contains 140 kcal per 1 oz, as opposed to 196kcal per ounce of other alcoholic beverages.

    There’s a common misconception that Shochu contains more calories than Sake and wine due to its rather high alcohol content per volume. The fact is, Honkaku Shochu is most often enjoyed mixed with a bit of cold water as a Mizuwari, or with warm water as a Oyuwari so calories decrease even further when diluted. Additionally, Honkaku Shochu is a distilled product containing absolutely no sugar, fat nor protein, and is therefore a low-caloric drink.

    Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea? In fact, tea is the nation’s favourite drink, and a staggering 165 million cups are drunk a day.

    On top of being comforting and delicious, another reason to love tea is that certain types can actually help you lose weight, with many being linked to slimming effects.

    While weight loss typically involves a combination of eating less and moving more, these are the cuppas that are worth curling up with if you want a helping hand.

    Tom MertonGetty Images

    Rooibos tea

    Akin to English breakfast in that it can be enjoyed with milk, the South African tea, Rooibos (red bush) is known for its weight-loss properties.

    Made from fermented tea leaves of the aspalathus linearis shrub, rooibos is a caffeine-free alternative to black tea, with a sweet, delicate and rich, earthy flavour.

    Rooibos contains polyphenols, including flavonoids, which are directly linked to combatting obesity. A 2014 study suggested the tea may have potential to speed up weight loss by increasing levels of leptin.

    Leptin is a very handy hormone, sending signals to the brain to help regulate food intake, letting the body know that it has had enough food, thus combatting over eating.

    On top of containing leptin, Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped show actually revealed that the tea contains a unique compound, proven to reduce the level of fat accumulated in cells. The show also found that the tea contains aspalathin, an antioxidant linked to weight loss.

    Drunk black, rooibos is calorie-free, but adding a splash of milk to the drink will make it feel closer to a traditional brew.

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    Pu-Er tea

    Native to the Chinese province of Yunnan, Pu-Er, (also known as puer or pu-erh), is a variety of fermented tea made by oxidising tea leaves after they have been dried and rolled.

    Traditionally drunk black, the flavour of Pu-Er can differ on each single steeping, known for being sweet, bitter, floral, woody, astringent and earthy.

    The tea was directly linked to weight loss in a 2016 study, where the fat-burning effect of daily consumption of the tea were studied in 59 overweight or obese people.

    The results from the clinical study showed that the daily consumption of the tea was directly linked to significant weight loss, reduced BMI and an improved lipid profile.

    After just four weeks, fat loss was seen on the arms, legs, and middle area of participants, as well as in total mass. A reduction in appetite was also seen by drinkers of the tea.

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    White tea

    Often overlooked by its green-hued counterpart, white tea could actually be one of the most waist-friendly teas around.

    Floral and aromatic, white tea is made using the same leaves as black or green tea, but has lower levels of processing, resulting in a purer beverage, known for its slimming abilities.

    Studies have shown that white tea has one of the highest levels of polyphenols, micronutrients that are packed with antioxidants. It has also been found to inhibit the formation of new fat cells, mobilising fats and stimulating lipolysis, the breakdown of fats.

    Much like black and green tea, white tea is full of caffeine, which is linked to stimulating the nervous system, which then sends direct signals to fat cells and helps them break down.

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    Isabella Sullivan Isabella Sullivan is Prima’s Digital Writer, covering everything from, beauty, entertainment and wellness to style steals and food & drink deals.

    Rooibos Tea For Weight Loss – Benefits And How To Prepare It. Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 May 1, 2019

    Rooibos (ROY-boss) tea is known for its countless medicinal benefits – weight loss being one of them. It gained popularity due to its natural sweetness, unique color, and great taste. According to the South African Rooibos Council, the tea is caffeine-free, loaded with antioxidants, helps protect the heart, liver, and brain, and may fight cancer (1). In this article, we will discuss in detail how rooibos tea for weight loss actually shows results, how to brew it, how many cups to consume per day, and much more. Read on.

    Rooibos Tea For Weight Loss – 10 Ways

    Rooibos tea or red tea is an herbal tea made from the needle-like leaves and thin stems of a South African bushy plant Aspalathus linearis. For thousands of years, it has been used as a natural remedy for various health problems. Now, scientists have put rooibos tea to test and identified a few key properties that contribute to its weight loss aiding property. Here is why you may drink rooibos tea to lose weight.

    1. Low In Calories

    The first and primary reason rooibos tea is great for losing weight is that it is low in calories. A cup of rooibos tea provides 0-2 calories, depending on the brand. This is way less than the calorific content of tea or coffee with milk and sugar. So, basically, when you drink rooibos tea, you consume fewer calories, thereby reducing the chances of the extra calories being stored as fat.

    2. Naturally Sweet

    Rooibos tea is naturally sweet. This prevents you from adding refined sugar or aspartame to sweeten your tea. It is best that you drink rooibos tea in its naturally brewed form without adding any artificial sweeteners to keep its weight loss properties intact.

    3. Antioxidant-Rich

    This tea is loaded with aspalathin and nothofagin, which are antioxidants. They help scavenge the harmful free oxygen radicals that tend to damage the DNA and hinder normal cell functions. The flavonoids in rooibos tea protect the DNA by preventing the splicing of the DNA strands (2). However, the antioxidant levels of the tea depend on the region it was grown, the fermentation process, brewing technique, etc.

    4. Reduces Oxidative Stress

    An increased and continuous state of oxidative stress can lead to fat accumulation, especially in the belly region. Drinking rooibos tea can help reduce the oxidative stress levels, thereby aiding weight loss (3). This also helps protect the brain from oxidative damage (4).

    5. Anti-Inflammatory

    Scientists have found that aspalathin and nothofagin, the two major antioxidants found in rooibos tea, have anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers found that they blocked the inflammation precursors, which prevented a full-blown inflammatory response (5). In another study, scientists found that supplementing lab rats with rooibos tea helped lower DNA damage and inflammation (6). We are well aware that inflammation for a prolonged period can lead to inflammation-induced obesity. Drinking rooibos tea can help prevent this.

    6. Regulates Blood Sugar

    High blood sugar is a condition where your body is either not producing enough insulin or has become insulin resistant. In this case, the body is not able to use up the circulating glucose as energy. As a result, there is a spike in the glucose levels, leading to diabetes. A study published in Phytomedicine (2009) stated that treating diabetic type 2 mice with aspalathin significantly increased glucose uptake and insulin secretion, lowered blood glucose levels, and made the mice insulin sensitive (7). So, rooibos tea can help prevent type 2 diabetes, the early symptom or sign of which is weight gain.

    7. Improves Lipid Profile

    If you want to be healthy, you need to have a normal lipid profile. The higher the triglyceride levels, the more you are at the risk of disrupted body functions, inflammation, weight gain, and heart attack/stroke. Drinking rooibos tea, which is loaded with antioxidants, can help improve the lipid profile (8).

    8. Reduces Blood Cholesterol

    Cholesterol is of two types – good (HDL cholesterol) and bad (LDL cholesterol). LDL cholesterol is bad because it forms plaque or gets deposited on the walls of arteries, leading to narrowing of the artery passages. This, in turn, restricts blood flow and puts your heart health at risk. Drinking rooibos tea helps lower the LDL cholesterol levels, which improves metabolism. Scientists also found that drinking rooibos tea can help improve the HDL cholesterol levels (9).

    9. Prevents Metabolic Diseases

    Metabolic diseases have crippled a majority of the world’s population. Rooibos tea can help lower triglyceride and LDL levels, improve HDL levels, lower blood sugar, and prevent obesity, which are usually the precursors of metabolic diseases. Hence, drinking rooibos tea regularly can prevent you from falling prey to these fatal diseases.

    10. Improves Sleep

    Rooibos tea can help improve your sleep quality. It does so by reducing the oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. This helps your brain and body cells function better. And when you get better rest and sleep, you will lose weight naturally.

    These are the 10 reasons you should choose rooibos tea for weight loss. Now, let me tell you about the correct way of brewing it.

    How To Brew Rooibos Tea For Weight Loss

    Brewing rooibos tea is easy, but you should know the correct method to do it. Here’s how you should go about it.


    • 1 teaspoon of rooibos tea leaves
    • 1 cup of water

    How To Prepare

    1. Bring a cup of water to a boil.
    2. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for a minute.
    3. Add the rooibos tea leaves and steep for 3 minutes.
    4. Strain the tea before drinking.

    There you have it – a yummy cup of rooibos tea. But did you know you can add other weight loss promoting ingredients to it to enhance its benefits? Well, let me share some delicious rooibos tea recipes with you.

    Rooibos Tea For Weight Loss – Recipes

    Adding a few natural ingredients to your cup of rooibos tea will accelerate the weight loss process and benefit your overall health. Here are a few recipes.1.

    1. Rooibos Tea And Lemon


    • 1 teaspoon of rooibos tea leaves
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
    1. Bring a cup of water to a boil.
    2. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for a minute.
    3. Add the rooibos tea leaves and steep for 3 minutes.
    4. Strain the tea into a cup.
    5. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Your tea is ready!


    Lemon juice fortifies the tea with vitamin C, which builds immunity. It also enhances the taste and flavor of the tea.

    2. Rooibos Tea And Mint

    • 1 teaspoon of rooibos tea leaves
    • 1 cup of water
    • 5 mint leaves
    1. Bring a cup of water to a boil.
    2. Add the mint leaves to it and let it boil for 2 minutes.
    3. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for a minute.
    4. Add the rooibos tea leaves and steep for 3 minutes.
    5. Strain the tea into a cup and sip!

    Adding mint leaves to you rooibos tea will have a cooling effect and help improve digestion.

    3. Rooibos Tea And Cinnamon

    • 1 teaspoon of rooibos tea leaves
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 inch of Ceylon cinnamon
    1. Boil a cup of water.
    2. Add the cinnamon stick to it and boil for 3 minutes.
    3. Remove from the heat and let it cool down for a minute.
    4. Add the rooibos tea leaves and steep for 3 minutes.
    5. Strain the tea into a cup before drinking.

    Ceylon cinnamon is known for promoting weight loss. It boosts your metabolism and enhances the flavor of the tea.

    You can also add other natural weight loss ingredients that have worked for you previously to the tea. The next question is, is rooibos tea better than coffee or green tea for weight loss? Let’s find out.

    Is Rooibos Tea Better Than Green Tea Or Coffee?

    Rooibos tea is, hands down, the best option if you are not a fan of caffeine. It contains no caffeine and is naturally sweet. So, if you are new to trying weight loss-promoting natural drinks, rooibos tea is your best bet. You do not have to add artificial sweeteners to it. Moreover, coffee makes it difficult for you to fall asleep, whereas rooibos tea helps promote better sleep. Green tea is healthy and good for you, but its taste can put you off. So, yes, rooibos tea is a better option.

    Now, the next big question is, which variety of rooibos tea is better? Here’s what you need to know.

    Which Is Better – Fermented Or Unfermented Rooibos Tea?

    Fermented rooibos tea is red, and the unfermented or unoxidized variety is green. Of the both, fermented rooibos tea contains fewer antioxidants. However, you can drink both to lose weight. The fermented variety is widely available and is therefore used more for losing weight.

    Well, you know how to prepare rooibos tea for weight loss, but you aren’t aware how many times you should drink it to lose weight. Let’s look into it.

    How Many Cups Of Rooibos Tea Per Day Will Aid Weight Loss?

    Scientists have found that drinking 6 cups of rooibos tea per day can help you lose weight. Have it 20 minutes before every meal. You will feel less hungry, which will make you consume fewer calories, and you will slowly start to lose weight.

    By drinking rooibos tea several times a day, you will improve your health in the following ways.

    Other Benefits Of Rooibos Tea

    • Treats headache.
    • Helps treat nausea.
    • Improves bone strength.
    • Fights cancer.
    • Helps reduce pain and swelling.
    • Reduces sinusitis pain.
    • Improves heart health.
    • Prevents kidney stones.
    • Reduces muscle spasms.
    • Treats allergies.
    • Improves skin health.
    • Delays aging.

    Before we conclude, let’s take a look at the precautions you must take.


    Avoid rooibos tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor or dietitian before incorporating rooibos tea into your diet.

    Remember, nothing will work unless you make it work. Eat well, in the right portions, at the right time, and workout regularly. Rooibos tea is definitely a wonder drink that promotes weight loss. So, get your pack of rooibos today and start leading a healthier life. Cheers!

    Recommended Articles:

    • Green Tea Diet – How To Lose Weight With Green Tea
    • 8 Effective Benefits Of White Tea For Weight Loss
    • Peppermint Tea For Weight Loss – Health Benefits And Recipes
    • 3 Effective Benefits Of Dandelion Tea For Weight Loss

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    Charushila Biswas

    Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

    4 ways rooibos tea helps with weight loss

    Drinking a cup of rooibos tea every day can help you lose weight, and keep it off too. Many celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta Jones and supermodel Cindy Crawford have already discovered this best kept secret.

    Here’s why rooibos tea is one of the best teas to drink to help with weight loss:

    1. Rooibos tea contains no fat or carbohydrates

    2. Rooibos tea contains only 2 – 5 calories per cup. Compare this to a cup of regular coffee (with milk and a spoonful of sugar) that has 35+ calories or a carbonated drink with 100+ calories

    3. Rooibos tea is naturally sweet so you do not need to add any sugar or artificial sweeteners to your drink

    4. The unique antioxidant found in rooibos tea, Aspalathin, helps to reduce stress hormones in the body that can lead to an increased appetite and fat storage; typically associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes

    Try red espresso® rooibos. It contains 10 x more of this unique antioxidant than a regular cup of brewed rooibos tea meaning the health benefits of the tea are concentrated tenfold in a 60ml shot of red espresso® rooibos. Plus, red espresso® rooibos is available in a range of deliciously healthy sugar-free flavoured capsules, including chai and vanilla, all 100% compatible with Nespresso machines. Ideal for weight loss and suitable to drink anytime of the day or night because it is naturally caffeine-free too.

    The tea that is 10 times better than green tea

    For years, green tea has gotten high marks for its amazing health benefits. It’s antioxidant rich, great for your heart and gives your brain a bump. But a tea called matcha, which is a powder made of ground green tea leaves, can boost those benefits ten-fold

    For years, green tea has gotten high marks for its amazing health benefits— it’s antioxidant-rich, great for your heart and gives your brain a bump. What if you could boost those benefits ten-fold?

    Enter matcha, a powder made from young green tea leaves. The leaves are placed in shade for two to four weeks before harvesting.

    “When it’s shaded for that long, you up the chlorophyll, you up the antioxidant level, and it just completely changes the profile of the plant,” said Dr. Mariza Snyder, author of “The Matcha Miracle.” “After they harvest, they steam, dry, then grind it with a stone grinder. You’re consuming the entirety of the leaf.”

    Matcha has ten times more antioxidants than green tea, Snyder said. Chlorophyll, which she likened to blood for the plant, is detoxifying.

    The tea itself has a taste that is similar to green tea.

    “It has a really wonderful mouthfeel… a very vegetable type of taste, and it’s very savory,” Snyder said.

    Matcha originates from Japan, where only royalty, Buddhist monks, and the samurai drank it. Samurai would drink it before battle to get hours of sustained energy— it can give four to six hours without a crash, like coffee can.

    The antioxidants in matcha— 14 times that of wild blueberries— are especially beneficial because EGCG, which may boost heart health, lower cholesterol, prevent cancer and type 2 diabetes, and improve concentration. Matcha also contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that may improve mental alertness. One cup a day is all you need, Snyder said.

    The most traditional way to make matcha is to whisk it with water that is hot but not boiling to preserve the antioxidants.

    “You put in three ounces of water… then you just whisk in this “M” and “W” motion, like a zig-zag back and forth,” said Jessica Lloyd, co-founder and COO of Panatea, a matcha company based in the U.S. “It becomes this frothy, almost espresso shot amount of liquid.”

    Matcha comes in different grades; ceremonial is delicate and meant to be whisked and can be enjoyed as a shot, with milk, hot, or cold. Culinary grade matcha is bolder and can be mixed into baked goods and smoothies.

    “We try to incorporate matcha into a lot of different food and beverage options here,” said Michelle Gardner, owner of Chalait café in New York City. “We want to show off the versatility.” Their offerings include matcha Greek yogurt, a matcha latte, and matcha-infused salad dressings.

    It’s more expensive than regular green tea bags, because making the powder is labor intensive— one tin takes about an hour to make. Pick the most vibrantly colored tea— which indicates a high level of chlorophyll— you can buy for a better taste and quality.

    For Lloyd, drinking matcha has improved her overall health.

    “Our skin was better, our focus was more in tuned, our energy levels were higher and more sustained,” she said of her experience with co-founder and husband, David Mandelbaum. “We realized that this was a superfood that really made us feel better.”

    In recent years, matcha has become one of the most popular drinks in the tea world. Let’s get to know the difference between matcha and green tea, and what to look for in your next purchase.


    Widely studied for its medicinal purposes, green tea contains some of the highest concentrations of the catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Catechins belong to the family of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol with strong antioxidant activities that have been linked to having anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as metabolic and cardiovascular benefits. Research suggests that consuming green tea regularly may boost metabolism, and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Matcha is a highly concentrated form of green tea. Green tea is comprised of tea leaves picked from the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis. The leaves are grown in the shade to minimize oxidation, enhance chlorophyll production, increase the presence of the amino acid theanine, and enhances the deep green color in the leaves.

    After the leaves are picked, they are dried and ground into a fine powder. Since the entire leaf is used in matcha rather than steeping green tea leaves with water, matcha tea is more concentrated in both caffeine and antioxidants than green tea. In fact, matcha has about 3 times more antioxidants than green tea!

    Here are a few tips to drinking your matcha:

    Add some lemon

    Adding a squeeze of lemon (high in vitamin C) to your green tea or matcha may increase the amount of antioxidants that your body can absorb.

    Look at the quality

    There are many grades of matcha tea powder, high grade matcha will be more expensive due to the processing cost. Do your homework, just like the supplement industry there are many sub-par companies boasting false advertising claims, so it is best to search for a reputable brand.

    Also be sure to watch out for lead contaminants! Lead, which comes from the ground, can be absorbed by the green tea plant. Some tea brands have higher traces of lead than others, meaning there may be concerning levels of lead in your matcha since the whole leaf is consumed.

    Consumer Labs, which is an independent 3rd party verification group, can be a helpful resource for determining safe levels of lead in various green tea products. In a recent report published by Consumer Labs, it appears that green tea originating from China tends to carry higher traces of lead, than greens teas originating from Japan.

    Watch out for the sugar

    Additionally, watch out for added sugar. Many companies are trying take advantage of the matcha trend by selling sugar and matcha blends. This significantly reduces the cost of matcha, and significantly increases the sweet taste. One example is Starbucks Green Tea Latte which is a blend of sugar and ground Japanese Green Tea.

    While both matcha and green tea are healthy choices, you may want to stick with green tea if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Additionally, they both have different flavor profiles, so you might prefer the taste of green tea to matcha, or vice versa. Both matcha and green tea are great alternatives to coffee, particularly if you’re sensitive to caffeine or experience acid reflux.

    If you are sensitive to caffeine, there are many wonderful herbal tea alternatives, like ginger, lavender or camomile. A daily ritual of tea is a great way to increase water intake and stay hydrated throughout the day.

    Happy sipping!

    Kim Denkhaus, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. She has been in the health and wellness industry for over 8 years, and is passionate about helping individuals reconnect with food in a sustainable, healthier way that will help them appreciate where their food comes from and empower them to use use whole foods to fuel and nourish their bodies.

    What are the best teas for health?

    If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works.

    It’s likely that we all enjoy a hot cup of tea — or herbal infusion — at least from time to time, if not on a daily basis. But what are the most important health benefits that some of these soothing teas can bring us? Read on to learn more about the top teas for our health.

    Share on PinterestSome teas and herbal infusions have long been appreciated for their alleged health benefits, but what does research have to say?

    “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage,” writes 19th-century Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzo in his infamous publication The Book of Tea.

    In it, he speaks at length about the history of tea and the philosophy of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

    Kakuzo was correct: modern research about the history of tea-drinking in the world confirms that this beverage was originally consumed less for pleasure or as a mindfulness aid, calling for the drinker to take slow sips and be in the moment.

    Instead, as shown by Prof. Victor Henry Mair — from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia — in The True History of Tea, early in its history, the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) became popular for its medicinal properties.

    The tea plant’s main varieties — Camellia sinensis sinensis and Camellia sinensis assamica — are responsible for most of the tea brews that we are accustomed to: black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea.

    There are many other types of teas and infusions using various other plants, such as Aspalathus linearis, which is better known as “rooibos” or “redbush.” In this Spotlight, we’ll give you an overview of the top five teas that can benefit your health.

    1. Green tea

    A favorite with tea drinkers everywhere, green tea has been praised for its medicinal properties for years. Some recent studies have now confirmed some of these benefits, suggesting that green tea may protect various aspects of our health.

    Share on PinterestGreen tea can increase cognitive functioning.

    To begin with, this beverage has been found to enhance cognitive functioning, with one study connecting it to better working memory, the type of we use on a day-to-day basis.

    Researchers from the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland found that healthy people who agreed to consume a soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract exhibited more intense activity in brain areas linked to working memory.

    Therefore, participants who had ingested the green tea extract had better connectivity between the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain, which are two regions involved in aspects of learning, memory processes, and decision-making.

    The health benefits brought about by green tea have been linked with their content of polyphenols, which are micronutrients with antioxidant properties. As antioxidants, these substances can protect against the action of free radicals, which induce the type of cellular damage consistent with aging.

    A 2017 study that was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society found that one such polyphenol found in green tea — called epigallocatechin gallate — may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by interacting with the “building blocks” that form beta-amyloid plaques.

    A buildup of these plaques in the brain is typical of this condition and impairs brain cell signaling. Epigallocatechin gallate, this study suggests, could stop beta-amyloid from forming into plaques, potentially helping to keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

    This same green tea polyphenol has also been said to slow down the growth of tumor cells of certain types of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer.

    Research that was led by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in California has shown that epigallocatechin gallate can disrupt the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells, thereby impairing their growth.

    2. Jasmine tea

    What we refer to as “jasmine tea” is a type of beverage that usually has green tea at its base, to which jasmine flowers are added for an enriched aroma.

    Share on PinterestJasmine tea is an important component of the diet of one of the longest-living populations in the world.

    But the benefits of jasmine tea aren’t solely due to the antioxidant effects of the tea plant, since jasmine blooms also bring their own medicinal properties to the mix.

    In the book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, authors Héctor García and Francesc Miralles note that the inhabitants of a healthy, long-lived community in the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan are avid drinkers of Sanpin-cha, a special blend of green tea and jasmine.

    “Okinawans drink more Sanpin-cha — a mix of green tea and jasmine flowers — than any other kind of tea,” they write, suggesting that this blend may play a role in keeping the inhabitants of Okinawa healthy and mentally agile well into old age. This may be because, like the tea plant, jasmine flowers contain antioxidants — which may protect cells from age-related damage.

    Jasmine itself has been linked with improved physical well-being and is said to reduce the impact of stress. That is why some researchers have experimented with compounds derived from this plant in the search of better therapies.

    For instance, Prof. Eliezer Flescher — from Tel Aviv University in Israel — noticed that methyl jasmonate, which is a compound obtained from jasmonic acid, found in the jasmine plant, induces the death of cervical cancer cells.

    And, if you happen to enjoy drinking jasmine tea simply because you love the way it smells, there’s actually a good reason for that. Research that was published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology explained that the smell of jasmine tea is soothing, able to calm nerves, and able to help regulate mood.

    3. Rooibos tea

    Another type of tea with antioxidant properties is rooibos, or “redbush tea,” which is prepared from the Aspalathus linearis plant native to South Africa.

    Share on PinterestRooibos tea may protect liver health.

    Research has suggested that the antioxidant effects of rooibos are similar to, if not quite as strong as, those of green tea.

    A recent study on the rat model has suggested that the antioxidants in rooibos tea may protect the liver from oxidative stress, helping to render this organ more resilient to induced damage.

    The researchers who conducted the study noted that their findings suggest that rooibos tea or rooibos-derived dietary supplements may offer a useful health boost.

    “Results from this study suggest that the daily intake of unfermented rooibos herbal tea or a derived commercial rooibos supplement may benefit human health by providing the liver with an enhanced antioxidant capacity to reduce damage induced by toxicants.”

    Moreover, rooibos has also been cited as helpful in lowering blood pressure and relaxing tense muscles, suggesting that the active ingredient in this instance might be one of the flavonoids (pigments) that it contains: chrysoeriol.

    Unlike green or black tea, rooibos does not contain any caffeine, so it won’t have the same stimulating effects. This makes it safe to drink well into the evening.

    4. Hibiscus tea

    Those of you who enjoy the refreshing taste of a more sour brew may also be familiar with herbal infusions of hibiscus, a plant whose flowers can be used not just to make invigorating beverages, but also to give a subtle “punch” to salads, or as an elegant garnish for sophisticated dishes.

    Share on PinterestHibiscus tea is an antioxidant and may bring cardiovascular benefits.

    The most commonly used variety is Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as the “roselle.”

    For the tea — or, more correctly “tisane” (herbal tea) — its calyces are typically used, although other parts of the plant, such as the leaves, seeds, and roots, are safe for consumption.

    Studies have suggested that extracts from the hibiscus calyx and hibiscus leaves have antioxidant and antitumoral effects.

    Therefore, they may protect against the aging action of free radicals at a cellular level, as well as fight certain types of leukemia cells.

    Hibiscus tea has also been tied to cardiovascular benefits, helping to regulate systolic and diastolic blood pressure — that is, blood pressure during and in-between heart beats, respectively.

    Though not so commonly used to brew tea, hibiscus leaves have also been linked repeatedly to a wide array of health benefits. Thus, the polyphenols in hibiscus leaves may help to induce tumor cell death in skin cancer, according to a 2015 study.

    Another study from the same year also argued that hibiscus leaf extracts could inhibit the action of prostate cancer cells.

    5. Lemon verbena tea

    Another herbal tea whose medicinal properties are getting increasingly recognized is that made out of lemon verbena, scientifically dubbed Aloysia citrodora.

    Share on PinterestInfusions with lemon verbena are said to help with weight management.

    It is the citrus-flavored cousin of a better-known plant that has been used in herbal infusions for years: verbena, or vervain (Verbena officinalis).

    Infusions made with lemon verbena are great for those who, like me, prefer a subtler citrusy aroma in their hot drinks, rather than the strong, lemony flavor of commonly commercialized citrus tea blends.

    The first time that I came upon this plant sold as a tisane herb was in a local organic shop that was selling it as “weight loss tea.”

    In fact, studies have shown that the polyphenols in this plant can decrease the formation of fatty acids, marking its potential use in the treatment of obesity-related health issues.

    Researchers have also suggested that lemon verbena extracts may help to lower inflammatory markers’ levels in the blood of some people with multiple sclerosis.

    “Results demonstrate that supplementation with lemon verbena extracts may affect the cytokine profile depending on the clinical subtype,” the study authors conclude.

    Having a cup of your tea — or tisane — of choice may be a pleasant way to carve out some self-indulgence time and stimulate your bodily and mental well-being in a subtle way.

    But always keep in mind that, as the saying goes, “one swallow does not a summer make,” and the most potent health benefits are best reaped by leading a healthful, wholesome lifestyle.

    It’s become common knowledge that many teas, especially green tea, offer a number of impressive health benefits, but did you know that certain herbal teas (those that are caffeine-free) do, too?

    One such example is rooibos tea, which is considered an excellent anti-inflammatory drink that fights a large range of diseases. Believe it or not, certain types of rooibos leaves have been shown to contain as many, or even more antioxidants than green tea, although they seem to be absorbed less easily.

    Based on this tea’s nutrient density, there is almost no part of your body that can’t benefit from rooibos, including your skin, heart and bones. Additionally, it may offer some protection against common conditions such as diabetes and obesity, when consumed as part of a healthy diet.

    What Is Rooibos Tea?

    Rooibos tea (pronounced ROY-boss) is an herbal tea that’s native to South Africa. It’s sometimes also called red tea or red bush tea.

    What is rooibos tea made out of? It comes from a plant that’s a member of the legume family (its official plant name is the Aspalathus linearis). Something that makes it unique is that it can only be found growing in one location: the mountains near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

    What is the rooibos tea good for? Jam-packed with nutrients, it’s is a zero-calorie, caffeine-free, low-tannin tea that has been used in many countries for its anti-inflammatory effects for centuries.

    Rooibos tea contains small amounts of some minerals, including calcium and fluoride, plus alpha hydroxy acid. It’s also high in many flavonoid antioxidants, such as aspalathin and nothofagin. Because of these compounds, research suggests that health benefits of rooibos tea range from supporting healthy bones to promoting weight loss.

    Health Benefits

    1. Packed with Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties

    Two of the most noteworthy health benefits of rooibos tea are its ability to act as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Studies suggest drinking it may protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals and inflammation.

    Green rooibos tea is especially rich in antioxidants, including quercetin and aspalathin. Lab studies have also found that the rooibos plant contains flavonoids including nothofagin, rutin, isoquercitrin, orientin, isoorientin, luteolin and others.

    Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant pigment (flavonoid) found in many foods and plants, one of which is rooibos tea. It has widespread uses when it comes to protecting against disease, including cardiovascular diseases like hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol and high blood pressure, diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, ulcers and more.

    Meanwhile, rooibos is actually “the only known natural source of aspalathin, according to the American Botanical Council.

    2. May Support Heart Health

    Rooibos tea contains chrysoeriol and other flavonoids that may have positive cardiovascular effects, such as by helping to decrease blood pressure and improving blood circulation. It’s also linked in certain studies to lowered cholesterol levels, although studies have found mixed results regarding all of these effects.

    A 2012 study found evidence that benefits of rooibos tea may include lowering hypertension and regulating hormones secreted from the adrenal gland.

    Heart health is especially important in patients with diabetes. One common complication of diabetes is atherosclerosis, a form of arteriosclerosis that causes hardening and inflammation of the arteries caused by high glucose levels. Aspalathin and nothofagin, two chemical compounds present in rooibos tea, have significant effects on inflammation of the entire vascular system and are thought to be key in treating possible complications from diabetes relating to the heart.

    Aspalathin is an extremely novel antioxidant, as it’s only found in rooibos and no other food or beverage. It not only helps protect against vascular inflammation, but studies suggest it can protect the heart against oxidation and ischemia (a lack of blood supply to the heart) related to diabetic cardiomyopathy.

    Additionally, a 2019 study showed that it can protect the heart and blood vessels against toxicity and damage due to chemical exposure.

    3. May Help Manage Diabetes

    Strongly connected to rooibos’ ability to strengthen your heart is its direct effect on diabetes. When tested against both diabetes and cancer, rooibos tea showed “significant therapeutic potential for either the prevention of the onset of the two diseases or their progression,” according to research published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.

    Fascinatingly, another study published in 2013 that focused specifically on the impact of aspalathin demonstrated that aspalathin specifically has anti-diabetic potential. This research, along with further studies, show rooibos tea makes a great addition to any diabetic diet plan.

    4. Linked to Potential Cancer Prevention

    Many doctors report effectively prescribing quercetin in supplement form to help treat cancer, as there’s evidence it can help suppress malignant tumor growth by stopping the processes involved in cell mutation.

    In addition, rooibos tea seems to help the immune system produce antibodies that are necessary to prevent and heal from a variety of chronic diseases, potentially including some cancers, viruses and allergic reactions.

    5. Can Support the Liver and Digestion

    The best way for your body to operate at optimal digestive health is to eat nutrient-rich foods free of the problematic chemicals and ingredients that processed foods contain.

    Drinking rooibos tea is one helpful way to maintain healthy liver function and good digestive health, especially if you suffer from frequent abdominal pain or diarrhea. Several compounds found in the tea operate as antispasmodic nutrients, preventing abdominal pain and reducing the occurrence of diarrhea.

    Certain studies have also linked rooibos consumption to enhanced antioxidant status of the liver, including among individuals with tissue damage of the liver due to oxidative stress.

    6. May Support Strong Bones

    Rooibos tea contains many minerals that support the growth of healthy bones, including manganese, calcium and fluoride.

    One well-known benefit of all teas is increased bone strength, because tea increases “osteoblast activity.” Osteoblasts are cells that create bone mass, so increased activity in these cells means that bones are stronger, denser and healthier.

    This tea also contains two specific flavonoids, orientin and luteolin, that may help increase mineral content in bones, according to research findings. This is especially significant because it contains no caffeine, meaning that it can potentially be given to elderly or sensitive patients unable to consume other traditional teas.

    7. Might Be Helpful for Weight Loss

    Compounds found in certain foods that may help promote weight loss include polyphenols, types of antioxidants that are available from rooibos leaves.

    A number of studies have found evidence that rooibos may have anti-obesogenic effects, while researchers point out that more well-controlled studies are still needed.

    While findings have been mixed overall, rooibos seems to support metabolic health by: preventing lipid peroxidation and protein degradation, regulating glutathione metabolism, and modulating changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes.

    In one that was conducted to discover how the nutrients in rooibos tea fight obesity, researchers found that consuming rooibos caused increased leptin secretion. Leptin is known as the “satiety hormone” and is part of how your body knows it has had enough to eat.

    Rooibos also prevented new fat cells from forming and caused existing fat to metabolize faster, according to the findings published in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology.

    8. May Help Treat Allergies

    Quercetin is capable of blocking “mast cells,” which are immune cells critical in triggering allergic reactions. In fact, studies show that quercetin may have a huge anti-allergenic potential and treat allergies as effectively as some prescribed medications, without high risk for any side effects.

    Interestingly, the bioflavonoids (another term for flavonoids) are useful both for treating seasonal allergy symptoms and food allergies, as well as asthma and skin reactions.

    9. Can Keep Skin and Hair Young

    Many people throughout the world consume rooibos tea for its benefits for skin and hair, as the alpha hydroxy acid found in these leaves is not common in other foods.

    This type of acid is safest when consumed in natural sources, rather than used in dangerous processed methods, such as chemical peels. Because of this alpha hydroxy acid and prevalent antioxidants, rooibos may have a significant effect on wrinkle reduction. In addition, its antioxidant properties can help protect hair follicles from damage.

    10. May Have Antimicrobial Effects

    A study published in the Journal of Food Science discovered that rooibos might be a useful natural food preservative, due to its ability to prevent growth of harmful bacteria. The study, conducted by the Department of Food and Nutrition at Kyung Hee University in Korea found that rooibos specifically can work as a preservative for meat products.

    Interesting Facts

    • While references to rooibos tea can be found in documents as early as 1772, this incredible tea has only been commercially traded since 1904.
    • It took many years to determine a method of germinating the plant that would allow the tea to be more widely produced.
    • Dr. Pieter Le Fras Nortier is often considered the father of the rooibos tea industry, as it was his research that led to the global distribution of this red tea.
    • Rooibos is an iconic national beverage of South Africa and is also now considered a commodity in many places around the globe.

    How to Make

    Where can you buy rooibos? Look for it in health food stores, large grocery stores and speciality stores that sell dried herbs. There are two main types: red and green rooibos. Red tea is made by fermenting the leaves, which turns them a darker color. Green rooibos is not fermented and has been shown to contain the most antioxidants, however it’s less popular and harder to find. Studies have demonstrated that in general, the more processed that a tea is — such as undergoing sun-drying, sieving, steam pasteurization and fermentation — the more that antioxidants and other compounds may potentially become destroyed. Therefore buying high-quality tea leaves, such as green rooibos if possible, is important for reaping the most benefits, One of the best parts about rooibos tea is that it’s so low in tannins, meaning it shouldn’t have a bitter taste. Most people find that rooibos tea tastes naturally sweet and flowery, even though it’s sugar-free. It’s delicious both hot and cold, so you can use it to take iced tea or a cozy, warm cup.

    • One difference between rooibos and most other teas is that it should be brewed longer.
    • When brewing the tea, it’s recommended to put one teaspoon to one tablespoon of tea into an infuser and pour boiling water over it, then steep between five and 15 minutes and sweeten to taste with honey or another natural sweetener.
    • To make rooibos iced tea, double the amount of tea and allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes before chilling and then adding ice cubes.

    How much should you consume? Drinking several cups per day is linked with the most benefits, assuming each cup is made with about 750 milligrams of tea leaves. A range of about 750-3,000 milligrams per day of rooibos tea leaves has shown the most effects across studies.

    Risks and Side Effects

    Is there caffeine in rooibos tea? No, it’s naturally caffeine-free, making it a good choice for those who are sensitive to even low levels of caffeine in other traditional teas.

    Does rooibos tea make you sleepy? It shouldn’t, however drinking herbal tea in general might help you to feel calmer, which can possibly make it easier to fall asleep. In fact, it’s common for parents in South Africa to give it to their children to help them sleep, even though it doesn’t have any proven sedative effects.

    Although it’s safe for most people to consume, rooibos tea side effects are still possible. You should take precaution if you plan on drinking large amounts of red rooibos tea, as research suggests that when consumed in large amounts it may have a subtle impact on male fertility (although in “regular” amounts, it seems to cause sperm to be more concentrated).

    Unlike other teas, rooibos tea contains no oxalic acid, which is great news for those suffering from kidney stones, as this tea is safe for them to drink. However some physicians suggest that this tea may negatively affect patients with liver disease, kidney disease and certain hormonal cancers. It’s also possible that it interfere with chemotherapy treatments. If you suffer from any of these conditions, consult your physician before introducing it into your regular diet.

    Is rooibos safe for pregnancy? According to the American Pregnancy Association, most commercial brands of herbal teas are thought to be safe for pregnant women to consume in reasonable amounts. However herbal teas that are not made commercially, and those made with excessive amounts of herbs may not be safe. To be safe, use pre-made tea bags and stick with 1-2 cups daily.

    Final Thoughts

    • What is rooibos tea? It’s an herbal tea made with leaves from a plant that’s a member of the legume family (Aspalathus linearis).
    • Rooibos tea benefits are due to its high content of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Benefits of this herbal tea include: helping to improve heart health, manage diabetes, aid in digestion, support strong bones, help you lose weight and achieve satiety, treat allergies, and keep your skin and hair young.
    • Does rooibos tea have caffeine? It’s naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed at any time of day, whether used to make iced tea or a hot cup. It isn’t just a health drink — it also tastes delicious and is naturally sweeter than other teas.
    • Side effects are rare, but still possible. Experts recommend sticking to moderate amounts to avoid side effects that affect the liver, kidneys and reproductive organs.

    Green rooibos tea benefits

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