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Rooibos Tea Benefits

Ankana Dey Choudhury
Native to the South African mountainous Cederberg region in the Western Cape Province, which is still enjoyed by the natives with the admixture of sugar and milk, rooibos tea is good for keeping several illnesses and diseases at bay, and staying healthy for longer period. Read on...
Aspalathus linearis or the Afrikaans "rooibos" is a plant, the elongated acuate pointy leaves of which are used to make the herbal tea known as rooibos or red bush tea.
Depending on the method employed to make the tea, rooibos has basically two varieties - red and green. The red variety is produced by picking the stalks and green foliage of the plant, broken up into tinier pieces, and then left to oxidate. This is done through oxidation process, which imbues the green leaf bits with a luxurious amber hue. 
Now, this is the traditional method of producing red rooibos tea, which is why, it also came to be called 'red bush' tea, strongly flavored and sweet, as well as fruity to taste.
The practice of producing the green variety is relatively more recent and the only step omitted in its production is the oxidation process, the output of which is a tea with a slight grass-like malty flavor, which tastes similar to green tea, but sans the astringence. It is just picked and bruised.
Whatever the type you may opt for, the benefits of this tea are numerous. Let us see some of the well-known health benefits, which, even you can start to make the most of, pretty soon.

Health Benefits

► Rooibos tea is extremely rich in powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which are further sub-divided into flavonoids, such as, rutin, orientin, isoorientin, and isoquercitrin. Also, two very essential polyphenols called aspalathin and nothofagin can be found in green rooibos, in pronounced amounts.
These antioxidants are known to potently combat harmful free radicals, which play major roles in weakening the immunity of an individual and quickening the aging process as well. It also has another free radical attacking mimic enzyme of the antioxidant called 'Superoxide Dismutase', 50 times more than green tea.
► The flavonoids of the tea are also known for their antimutagenic activity in the body, wherein, they harness and counter skin tumors. Certain polyphenolic antioxidants make this drink anti-cancerous as well as a care taker of cardiovascular health.
► Being a spasmolyte, this tea is a great concoction to treat gripes in babies. Since, it is a completely natural tea infusion sans the minutest trace of synthetic preservatives and coloring, mothers can actually add a little bit of it to formula or expressed breast milk and feed it to infants.
Even if a lactating mother starts to drink three cups of the tea herself, on a daily basis, her baby soon starts to benefit from it.
► Indigestion issues, such as, constipation, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting can be effectively tackled with the tea. Also, people suffering from stomach ulcers are greatly soothed by this tea.

► It is devoid of any oxalic acid. This makes it a perfect drink for patients suffering from kidney stones.
► It doesn't have any caffeine traces at all. It, therefore, has a rather assuasive effect on the central nervous system, which actually calms a person down. It is, therefore, an effective relaxant and subsequently a sedative for insomniacs, and tends to ease out disturbed sleeping patterns.
For similar reasons and a sound magnesium (0.78 mg/100 ml) presence, rooibos tea relieves headaches, restlessness, high blood pressure, and mild depressive tendencies in a person.
► It builds teeth and bone health with its calcium (0.54 mg/100 ml), fluoride (0.11 mg/100 ml), and manganese (0.02 mg/100 ml) content. Dental caries are prevented due to these minerals.

► The tea is also rich in other beneficial minerals like sodium (3.08 mg/100 ml), potassium (3.56 mg/100 ml), iron (0.035 mg/100 ml), and copper (0.035 mg/100 ml).
► The benefits encompass dermal wellness with the reserves of α-hydroxy acid and zinc (0.02 mg/100 ml). Zinc is known as an astringent that aids the treatment of acne as well as burns, cold sores, canker sores, surgical incisions, skin ulcers, rashes, diaper rashes, and a variety of other skin irritations.
Also, since it is anti-inflammatory in nature, rooibos tea proves to be very effective against skin problems like eczema. It also works wonders as a remedy for allergic health problems such as, asthma and pollinosis.
► It enhances the protein and iron absorption in the body, as it lacks in tannins, which trusses non-heme iron, thus inhibiting the body's absorption prowess.
► Certain research projects have yielded results that clearly indicate that this tea can keep the accumulation of lipid oxidation products in various portions of the brains, at bay, thus preventing the brain from suffering the blows of age. However, the study was done on rats and, therefore, one would have to wait till human experiments take place.

How to Make the Tea?

You can drink rooibos tea without adding any milk or sweetener, as it has a naturally redolent taste of its own, even though South Africans tend to add the two other ingredients. For preparing the red bush tea, you need,
  • Water, 4 cups
  • Rooibos leaves, 4 tsp.
  • Sugar, to taste
Simply, boil the water and add the tea leaves to it. Turn off the heat and let the water stand covered for about 5 minutes. Add sugar if you like and then drink up this elixir to be left contented and relaxed.
Spelled 'rooibosch' at times, the green variety of the tea is said to be more potent and beneficial than the red variety, as proven by a recent study conducted by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, and the Medical Research Council of South Africa.
According to the study, the oxidation procedure robs the rooibos leaves of their polyphenolic antioxidants by at least 25%. So, it is recommended to enjoy the unfermented green variety to make the most of green rooibos benefits. 
You can even make an acne treatment mask by mixing together 50 ml of warm tea to 30 ml of flour and 5 ml of apple cider vinegar. Blend them well and then apply evenly on your face, neck, and back. Wait for it to dry and then rinse off with some cold tea. So, enjoy the natural bounties of nature and reap their benefits optimally sans hesitation!