What is Rooibos?

About Rooibos

A Healthier Life


History

Rooibos tea, also known as “red bush tea”, is a native herb to South Africa. In fact, Rooibos is not a true “tea” at all, but are the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant, that when harvested and dried, can be brewed into an herbal infusion.


Rooibos is indigenous to South Africa’s mountainous region of Cederberg, one of the most bio-diverse locations of the country. South Africa is the only country in the world that produces rooibos, making it a very unique plant. Over 300 years ago, the Khoisan people harvested the leaves of the shrub called Aspalathus linearis, to make rooibos.


Aspalathus linearis is a member of the legume family that grows in the dry, mountainous region of South Africa with periods of rainfall. Linearis comes from the linear structure of the plant and its long, needle-like leaves. In the spring, the plant blooms yellow flowers that produce a legume with a single seed inside that pops out when ripe. Farmers sift the soil around the rooibos plant to gather seeds to start new crops each spring.


Production

Rooibos seeds are planted in seed beds in the summer months of February and March, then transplanted to plantations in the winter. After 18 months, rooibos is harvested by cutting the top 50 cm of the Aspalathus linearis plant, which are then bundled and cut into uniform length.


The bundles are then sorted and bruised to encourage fermentation and enzymatic oxidation. The plant’s cell walls are broken down and oxygen floods in, resulting in a more robust flavor, a sweet decadent aroma, and the flesh of the plant turning red-brown. To stop the fermentation process, the cuttings are sun-dried in large drying yards.


Final products are sterilized and sent to a laboratory for quality and micro-analysis. Rooibos is graded according to length, color, flavor, and aroma.



Benefits

From helping you achieve beautiful, healthy skin to fighting inflammation, rooibos offers fantastic health benefits to those who drink it. Here are a few ways that rooibos can help make a difference in your life. 

Caffeine Free

Rooibos tea is caffeine free, which makes it an excellent option for pregnant people, children, and those who are caffeine sensitive. Rooibos is an good alternative for those who would like to reduce their intake of caffeine while still receiving the energy they need. 

Low in Tannins

Tannins are naturally occurring compounds present in many plant foods, but interfere with the body’s absorption of iron. Rooibos tea contains low levels of tannins. 

Rich in Antioxidants

Rooibos contains several free radical fighting antioxidants, which are important to stop cell damage in the body. Some of the most notable antioxidants in rooibos tea are quercetin and aspalathin. 

Heart Health

Antioxidants in rooibos help keep the heart healthy, has cardiovascular benefits, and helps lower cholesterol. In 2011, 40 people at risk of cardiovascular disease drank six cups of rooibos a day for six weeks. By the end of the study, the participants had significantly lowered their cholesterol levels. 

Diabetes Management

Rooibos helps keep blood sugar levels under control. Aspalathin also helps reduce vascular inflammation caused by high blood sugar levels and atherosclerosis. 

Weight Management

Rooibos is zero calories, sugars, and carbs. Rooibos increases levels of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate food intake and signals to the body when it has had enough food. Furthermore, rooibos helps stop the formation of new fat cells, and increases the metabolism. 

Anti-Aging

Rooibos has the ability to partially restore the function of aged cells and protects from severe oxidative stress. It is an effective antibacterial and can help with eczema, acne, and the effects of aging due to its abundance of the enzyme superoxide dismutase. 

Other Benefits

Allergies

Colic

Digestive problems

Insomnia

Mental health

Improved appetite


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