The tea has long been heralded for its health boosting properties. The health benefits of Rooibos has been researched since the 1960s and the tea is a good source of antioxidants, which is said to have cancer fighting properties.
This year the South African Rooibos Council is ramping up their research efforts to understand the full extent of the health benefits the tea provides. R4.5 million has been injected into research to understand how the tea can reduce the prevalence of allergies, heart disease, diabetes and skin cancer between now and 2020. Other research being conducted includes looking at how Rooibos can improve athletes’ sport performance, the impact it has on gut flora, and to what extent it can lessen the effects of antiretroviral therapy.
For now, keep warm with a cup of Rooibos while enjoying these benefits:
Boost Immunity and Allergies
Public transport and open plan offices are breeding grounds for germs. One of the ways to fortify your body against illness is by sipping on a cup of Rooibos throughout the day. The tea contains polyphenols known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. These polyphenols are strong antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin which help boost your immune system. Research is also currently being conducted by Professor Jonny Peter to show how drinking Rooibos could help alleviate allergic rhinitis (inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose).
If you’re struggling to sleep at night, reach for a cup of Rooibos tea. The potent antioxidants found in the tea has been found to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body allowing you to have a good night’s rest. The tea also contains high concentrates of calcium and magnesium – both of which enhance the quality of your sleep. It helps that the tea is caffeine free, which means you can drink it right before you fall asleep.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
The antioxidants found in Rooibos fight free radicals to repair the damage done to your skin. Its anti-viral and antibacterial properties could also help those who struggle with acne and other skin conditions. Currently, further research is being conducted at CPUT to determine how Rooibos could protect the skin against the onset of skin cancer.
It’s Good for Your Heart
In South Africa, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the second leading cause of death. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, over fifty thousand people die from CVD every year. One of the ways to decrease your chances of contracting the disease is by making healthier lifestyle choices and exercising frequently. Studies also show that drinking six cups of Rooibos tea a day could also reduce your chance of developing heart disease. A Swedish study showed that drinking Rooibos tea significantly suppresses the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 30 to 60 minutes after consumption. The enzyme is said to play a role in the development of heart disease. Another study showed that drinking six cups of Rooibos tea for six weeks decreased LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increased HDL cholesterol.
BONUS: Soothe Your Pet’s Irritation
While the prevalence of Rooibos in skincare products has increased over the years, Rooibos is also good for your pets. The tea’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties extend to pets too. It helps soothe irritations and itchy, dry skin.