Rooibos-also known as “red bush”-”is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants” (Wikipedia) that grow in “the natural shrubland or heartland vegetation occurring in a small belt of the Western Cape of South Africa” (Wikipedia). This shrubland is known as fynbos. People have harvested the leaves of rooibos for centuries and used them for many healing purposes. While this herb originated in Africa, the popularity of rooibos spread to other countries in the early 1900s.
In 1904, a Russian immigrant by the name of Benjamin Ginsberg started trading rooibos. Coming from a large family of tea-makers he was able to produce a tea which spread in popularity throughout the countries. People loved the sweet taste of this tea and found out that they did not have to add any sweeteners to enhance the flavor. Since it was more affordable than many other types of teas during that time, especially during World War II, this tea increased in popularity. Asides for its delicious flavor, there are many health benefits of drinking rooibos tea.
Rooibos tea is a natural pain reliever because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. People who suffer from headaches, migraines, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, toothaches, arthritic pain, sprains and joint and muscle pain can find immediate relief by drinking a cup of this tea.
Rooibus tea is an excellent way to aid to your digestive system. If you eat a spicy meal or over indulge at the all you can eat buffet, a rooibos tea goes a long way in relieving symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, bloating, nausea and vomiting. Since it is safe for children, it helps babies who are suffering from colic.
Rooibos tea contains antiviral properties. If you are suffering from the stomach flu, drinking this tea will help relieve you of vomiting and diarrhea. If you include rooibos tea in your daily diet, these antiviral properties of this herb may protect from catching the stomach flu and other viral infections.
With a person without diabetes the sugar is absorbed by the body’s cell. However, if an individual has diabetes the sugar is built up in the blood. When this happens, the sugar levels continue to build up. This in turn can eventually lead to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. If you are diabetic or want to prevent yourself from getting this disease, drinking rooibos tea will help you by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the blood. This tea is high in magnesium and manganese. These both play a role in lowering blood sugar. These two minerals also play a role in reducing water retention and protects the liver from lipidosis or adipose dystrophy. It also activates the enzymes that are responsible for increasing metabolism and decreasing Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as the bad cholesterol.
Rooibos tea boosts your immune system because it is high in Vitamins C and E. Also, it is loaded with many minerals. With some many viruses flying around, you want to do anything to prevent yourself from getting sick. By having a daily cup of rooibos tea, you are protecting yourself from many illnesses.
Rooibos tea is a major source of iron and helps stimulate the production of the red blood cells in the body. An anemic person will benefit from drinking this tea. Not only does this drink increase the number of red blood cells and make them stronger, it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system.
Rooibos tea contains expectorant properties. If you are suffering from a cold and flu, drinking a cup of tea or even inhaling the steam will help clear up coughs and other flu-like symptoms. Rooibus tea is also effective in treating respiratory problems such as:
Rooibus tea is a natural blood thinner. When you have high levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream, your arteries get clogged up with fatty buildup. This causes high blood pressure, because your heart has to work faster to move the blood through the arteries. This in turn can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Drinking rooibos tea can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol. Therefore it also can reduce the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke by at least twenty percent.
When you have a daily diet that does not contain enough potassium, you run the risk of getting high blood pressure. Even if you have a healthy blood pressure, you want to be able to maintain it by eating food that is high in potassium. Since rooibos tea is high in potassium, including it in your daily diet is a heart healthy choice for you.
Rooibos tea is an excellent source of calcium. Some individuals do not get enough dairy into their diet. Some people just do not like drinking that glass of milk. Others are lactose intolerant and cannot have any dairy products. By drinking a cup of rooibos tea each day, you are helping your body by increasing bone density.
Rooibos tea contains a powerful antioxidant known as aspalathin. This plays a role in protecting our bodies against free radicals or damaged cells. These damaged cells will attack the good ones and damage them as well. Aspalathin helps destroy the bad cells before they cause any further damage.
Rooibos tea contains calming properties. If you are facing a lot of stress, drinking a cup of this tea will help calm you down and relax. Since this tea is safe for children to drink, you can give it to children who are hyperactive. These calming properties will help the individual who is suffering from insomnia. While you can drink rooibos tea, you can also use it externally. Putting two tea bags in a tub of hot water and soaking in it for fifteen minutes, not only will help you relax, but also will help promote healthier and younger looking skin because of it anti-aging and astringent properties. You can clear up skin conditions such as acne, dry skin, skin rashes, exzema, psoriasis and diaper rash in infants. It has even been said that rooibos tea-because of its anti-aging properties to reduce and prevent wrinkles. You can also use rooibos tea to treat your itchy scalp and get rid of dandruff.
Where to purchase Rooibos Tea
You can purchase rooibos tea at your local health food store. Wegmans even carries this in their organic food aisles. Asides for tea, you can purchase rooibos products as:
If you cannot find rooibos tea or other products locally, you can find products on sites such as EBay.com and Amazon.com.
While rooibos tea is safe to use on infants and while you are pregnant or nursing, it is best to talk to your doctor before using this tea,