benefits of rooibos tea

The Benefits of Rooibos Tea

The Benefits of Rooibos Tea


If you’re not a tea aficionado, you may be wondering “what the heck is rooibos, anyway??” Rooibos quite literally means “red bush” in Afrikaans, and is produced by the Aspalathus linearis plant native to South Africa. Interestingly, there are two types of rooibos tea, red rooibos and green rooibos, and whether rooibos is considered green or red depends on the level of oxidation in the leaves and stems. Higher oxidation causes these parts of the plant to turn reddish brown, so red rooibos refers to teas made from plants exposed to high oxidation, while green rooibos is produced from plants exposed to minimal oxidation. 


Red rooibos is made with the fermented leaves of the Aspathalus linearis plant, and is restorative, nourishing, and warming. Some of our customers love to incorporate a relaxing tea ritual while enjoying their rooibos tea, but it can be enjoyed hot or cold, on the go or as part of a relaxing self care ritual. We are big fans of incorporating relaxation and repose when drinking our tea, because life is much too fast-paced sometimes, but you do you!


Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine free, so it’s perfect for enjoying any time of day. It’s a great alternative to black or green tea, offering many of the same health benefits with low tannins and a mellow but complex taste. While rooibos tea doesn’t boast significant levels of vitamins and minerals, it is very high in antioxidants, which have been shown to lower inflammation and increase immunity. It’s low tannin level also means that it doesn’t interfere with the absorption of minerals, as some high-tannin teas have been known to do. 


What are the benefits of rooibos tea?


While perhaps not as widely known as other popular teas such as black or green tea, the benefits of rooibos tea are plentiful.


  1. High in antioxidants - the high antioxidant content of rooibos are thought to help protect against free radical damage in the body which can contribute to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

  1. Low in tannins - while not necessarily harmful, tannins can cause digestive issues in some people who are sensitive to them, and are found in numerous teas, including the popular black variety. Rooibos tea is a great alternative to those with tannin sensitivities due to its low tannin content. As mentioned above, rooibos’s low tannin levels also mean that it’s ok to drink around meals, since it won’t interfere with the absorption of minerals. 

  1. Naturally caffeine free - Rooibos tea is a great option for those looking to partake in the enjoyment of a warm beverage without the stimulating effects of caffeine. It’s taste is mellow yet complex and since it’s naturally caffeine free it’s a perfect choice for people who appreciate the full bodied taste of coffee or black tea but don’t want the caffeine.

  1. Heart healthy - Tea in general can help lower blood pressure, since enjoying a warm cup of tea is such a relaxing ritual in and of itself. Beyond that, rooibos itself has been shown to have numerous beneficial cardiovascular effects, including the lowering of blood pressure. According to BBC’s Good Food:

Drinking rooibos appears to have beneficial effects on blood pressure by inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which causes blood vessels to contract and blood pressure to rise. The high flavonol content of rooibos tea also supports the cardiovascular system because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as its positive effect on blood fats, including cholesterol.


  1. Helps control blood sugar - Studies have shown that the antioxidant aspalathin, found in rooibos tea, may help to control blood sugar and vascular inflammation, and is beneficial for people with diabetes. Because vascular inflammation can be caused by high blood sugar and lead to a variety of heart problems, reducing this inflammation by drinking rooibos tea can be a natural way to assist diabetes treatment in combating these issues. 

  1. May assist in weight management - Rooibos tea increases the body’s leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone which helps to regulate food intake and let the body know when it has had enough food. It may help to reduce the appetite of those trying to maintain a healthy weight. It has also been shown to increase the metabolism of fat in the body.  

How to prepare rooibos tea


Rooibos tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. We love adding some almond milk and honey for a tasty flavorful treat, or drinking plain to enjoy the complex flavor or rooibos on its own. To prepare rooibos, boil water and add about 1 tablespoon of rooibos. Allow the tea to steep for at least 5 minutes. If you happen to go over the recommended time, no worries, as rooibos is a mellow tea that won’t turn bitter if steeped a little bit too long. But a tea tip is to set yourself a timer as your tea is steeping so you can always enjoy it at its peak. 


If you prefer to enjoy your rooibos iced, simply strain the tea once it's finished steeping. You can then pour it over ice and enjoy immediately, or refrigerate it until it’s at your desired temperature. Rooibos is delicious on it’s own, but you can also add a bit of milk and honey, which is especially delicious in iced rooibos tea. 


To enjoy rooibos hot, once your tea has steeped we recommend finding a quiet spot to sit and enjoy it. Allow yourself these few minutes of peace and tranquility. Warm your hands with the heat from the mug, and breathe deeply to enjoy the earthy aroma of your rooibos tea. Savor the flavor of your tea as you slowly sip and give yourself this time with your thoughts, or allow your brain to shut off and just enjoy the stillness. Grant yourself permission to relax and enjoy this cup of nourishment. 


Do you need to incorporate this tea ritual to enjoy your rooibos tea? Absolutely not - but doesn’t it sound wonderful? And don’t you deserve it??

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