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7 Medicinal Properties of Rooibos Tea

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Over hundreds and hundreds of years, human civilization has taken advantage of the properties of Rooibos tea and a wide variety of infusions from different sources. Nowadays, it is quite common to come to a restaurant and order red tea, green tea and different more complex types.

We assume it as a substitute for coffee and for caffeine and relaxing contribution. However, within its components we find many benefits in this reddish infusion. That is our goal, to describe in the most scientific way possible the benefits of enjoying its properties and a good cup of tea.

Origin of red tea

properties of Rooibos tea

The Rooibos tea, from the leaves of Aspalathus linearis (known as red bush). This infusion is distinguished from other teas that come from the same species in the process of obtaining and transforming.

Specifically, green tea undergoes fewer transformation processes from its leaves, as red tea does, so its characteristics and medicinal properties change.

This infusion undergoes a fermentation process once its leaves are harvested, which initially have a green appearance. It is from the fermentation process when it acquires reddish or brown colors.

The origin of Pu-erh tea is Chinese, where it has been cultivated in an ancient way

There is an area in South Africa known as the Mountainous region of Cederberg (in the province of Western Cape), where there is a great tradition for the cultivation of Rooibos tea, since you can get a different process of oxidation and with a little more depth in flavor (similar to black tea).

In these regions we can find different types of Rooibos, such as red and green.

Nutritional composition

One of the things why the properties of red tea stand out is its low oxalic acid content and, therefore, offers a lower probability of generating kidney stones or kidney stones to people sensitive to this problem.

That, including a good mineral composition (potassium, calcium, magnesium and a large list of micronutrients) make this tea an effective alternative to other less healthy options.

However, the most important thing about red tea is the medicinal properties offered by the large list of antioxidants and phenolic compounds found in its composition.

  • Antioxidants: aspalatine, notofagin, superoxide dismutase, vitamin C, quercitin.
  • Other compounds: polyphenols, flavonols, flavonoids and dihydrocalkones. [See study]

This high concentration of polyphenols is given by the plant’s own response to common stress situations in the area where it is grown, such as environmental stress (excess heat), lack of water and the continuous attack on the plant by herbivorous animals.

Characteristics of its flavor

Rooibos tea is characterized by having a sweet but very mild taste. In the aftertaste you can perceive some characteristic shades of walnut. This means that it can be taken alone, without adding any additional sugar or any other mixture.

However, the common thing in the tradition to drink this Rooibos tea is to add a little milk or honey.

Properties of Rooibos tea

properties and potential of rooibos tea

1. High antioxidant content

We found two super antioxidants analyzed over and over again in different studies, such as aspalatine and notofagin. These compounds, present in Rooibos tea, are able to activate the immune system and reduce the presence of free radicals that our body submits day by day. [See study]

This is closely related to the high levels of sugars that can accumulate in the bloodstream of people suffering from diabetes.

Maintaining a good level of antioxidants in the body guarantees a better performance of the vital organs. Specifically, the positive impact of these compounds on liver detoxification has been studied, through the elimination of free radicals that impair cellular metabolism. [See study]

In addition, you have to count on the fact that it does not provide caffeine, compared to other infusions or coffee itself. Here you can take a look at the comparison of caffeine amounts.

Caffeine content of rooibos

2. Diabetes prevention

For the regulation of blood sugar level there is a very interesting compound in Rooibos tea. We talk about the aspalatine, with very interesting qualities, including the anti-diabetic property.

Several interesting studies have been carried out, such as that of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (supervised by Dr. Atsutoshi Kawano), where he saw how aspalatine offered sugar control properties in the bloodstream.

This was achieved by improving insulin resistance and glucose absorption through the muscles, improving the insulin secretion through the pancreas. [See study]

This, combined with modern pharmacology, helps reduce high and low sugar spikes that cause muscle and vital organ damage.

3. May reduce blood pressure

Most current infusions have been investigated for their potential as a blood pressure reducer.

In the case of Rooibos tea, it has been found to help inhibit the enzyme that converts aniotensin. This mechanism controls electrolyte balance and blood pressure. [See study]. In addition, its brocodilator capacity has been discovered, interesting to act within this field of action.

Therefore, we talk about the properties of Rooibos tea can be interesting to prevent cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and atherosclerosis.

4. Delayed aging

There is a clear relationship between the presence of antioxidants and their anti-aging effect. This, in addition to activating the immune system, improves the absorption of minerals by bones and reduces the degeneration of fat cells.

In the case of wrinkle reduction, no potential effect has been seen when Rooibos tea is consumed orally. But it is topical (through the skin), when applied based on creams and cosmetics that contain the active principles of this plant.

5. Rooibos tea for weight loss

The diets that are practiced in modern life are based on providing nutrient-rich foods with low caloric intake.

In the case of Rooibos tea, we are talking about a high satiating power with hardly any caloric intake, so it is indicated as a support in diets where the amount of nutrients provided is reduced.

A study found that the properties of rooibo increased levels of leptin, a hormone related to the regulation of food intake and the satiety signal.

It has also been seen to accelerate the metabolization of accumulated fat.

In short, this tea should be complemented with a healthy life, since it alone does not work miracles. It has a slight satiating effect and is a metabolic activator, but it will be useless if it is not accompanied by physical activity or then we take foods rich in saturated fats.

6. Anti-inflammatory properties

The high concentration of antioxidant also helps reduce inflammation caused by shocks, joint damage or bone breaks. This antispasmodic effect has been diagnosed as relief for inflammatory processes in the stomach (such as cramps), facilitating the mobilization of potassium (nutrient related to the reduction of muscle cramps).

7. Allergy prevention

There is a flavonoid present in Rooibos tea, known as

This South African beer contains a bioactive flavonoid known as cryeriol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

As we have mentioned before, it acts as a bronchodilator, so it helps reduce the symptoms caused by an allergy, which causes cough, allergic rhinitis or asthma symptoms.

This mechanism of action is also supported by the presence of quercetin, which works by reducing the production of histamine, an element of the human body that activates the triggers of the allergic response (mucus, cough, inflammation, etc.).

Therefore, Rooibos tea acts, on a small scale, with an antihistamine effect combinable with modern medicines used for such a case.

How to prepare an infusion of rooibos tea

characteristics of rooibos tea

Preparing an infusion of Rooibos is similar to any other drink, where we will need hot water and tea leaves already dried and prepared.

In most orCasiones, we will find bags of Rooibos already prepared to add directly to the hot water, so we will save a lot of time.

However, when preparing an infusion of Aspalathus linearis, there are a number of recommendations that we are going to comment on.

Rooibos needs more downtime

As if it were a wheat beer, it is advisable to soak Rooibos tea for longer than the average of other infusions.  Let it sit for at least 5 minutes in direct contact with hot water.

Adjust the amount of tea according to your tastes

There is no standard dosage for Rooibos tea, so depending on the concentration preferences you can add more or less depending on your tastes. Ideally, one tablespoon of Rooibos tea extract per cup of water is ideal.

Rooibos Tea Storage

The storage system of this type of tea is similar to that of other infusions. It should be stored in a clean, dry area without direct exposure to light.

In general, any airtight closure canister is advisable, reducing odor loss and its active components.

Like other types of tea, Rooibos must be handled and stored properly to preserve their flavor and nutrients. Store it in a clean, dry area that is not exposed to sunlight. 20 It is best to keep it away from other foods with strong odors, such as coffee and spices.

Rooibos Tea Purchase Options

Contraindications and negative side effects

Some side effects of Rooibos have been investigated, generally related to allergies to some of its compounds, flavonoids and antioxidants.

Liver poisoning

Some cases of liver toxicity caused by the intake of red Rooibos tea have been located. [See study].  Daily consumption of large amounts of Rooibos tea may increase hepatic enzymes, which can lead to these problems.

Therefore, in case of suffering from liver disorders, it is advisable to consult with a doctor before starting the taking of this type of infusions.

Estrogenic activity

There is a relationship between the presence of some active components and estrogenic activity, so it is necessary to consult with a doctor if you suffer from any type of hormonal type of cancer.

Use during pregnancy of rooibos tea

One of the recommendations that is requested of pregnant women is to reduce caffeine consumption. However, many people have almost as a sacred norm their coffee or several daily coffees, so it is complicated and requires a lot of effort.

The goodness offered by the rooibos infusion is that it does not provide caffeine (as we have seen in the previous image). Therefore, it offers us all the advantages of this type of infusions, such as reducing the feeling of nausea, improving the conciliation of sleep, digestive capacity and a large contribution of fertilizers.

Therefore, rooibos tea is highly advisable for pregnant women. In case of suffering a lot of nausea, you can combine with ginger to enhance its effects (also compatible with pregnancy).

About Lela M Altman

Lela M. Altman is a distinguished biochemist dedicated to unraveling the intricacies of life at the molecular level. With a robust background in molecular biology and genetics, she has contributed significantly to our understanding of key cellular processes. Her groundbreaking research spans diverse areas, from DNA replication mechanisms to protein folding dynamics. Dr. Altman's work has led to innovative treatments for various diseases and shed light on the origins of life itself. Her unwavering commitment to scientific exploration has earned her accolades and respect in the scientific community, solidifying her status as a trailblazing figure in the field of biochemistry.

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