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Rooibos Tea Health Benefits: What is Rooibos?

rooibos tea health benefits

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Rooibos is produced from shrub leaves called Aspalathus linearis, which are generally cultivated on South Africa’s west coast. As a delicious and healthy drink, rooibos tea is getting popular. It has been consumed for decades in South Africa and has become a favorite beverage all over the globe. Here are rooibos tea health benefits.

Rooibos Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

Rooibos is a natural source of antioxidant aspalathin that may have anti-diabetic effects in animal studies. One research in mice shows that aspalathin may balance blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance, which might be promising for individuals with type 2 diabetes (1, 2).

Helps You Lose Weight

It is calorie-free, so for those who try to lose weight or keep a healthy weight, it can be a pleasant drink choice. However, rooibos tea may also help in weight management by raising leptin concentrations (3).

Leptin is a hormone that helps control the consumption of food and signals the brain that it has had sufficient food. The tea may also prevent new fat cells from forming and encourage fat metabolism to be faster.

Enhances Heart Health

A healthier heart is associated with antioxidants. This can occur in various ways. However, by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), drinking rooibos tea may have positive effects on blood pressure (3, 4, 5).

By causing your blood vessels to contract, ACE indirectly raises blood pressure. In one study, drinking rooibos tea inhibited ACE activity up to 60 minutes after ingestion (6).

Six cups of rooibos tea daily reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol while boosting “good” HDL cholesterol in a 6 weeks study. However, good cholesterol (HDL) provides additional protection against different heart diseases, including heart attacks and strokes (7).

Contain Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help protect your cells from free radicals. Their effects can decrease your risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer over the long term (8, 9, 10).

There is some evidence that rooibos can raise levels of antioxidants in your body. The increase in antioxidants was low, and it does not last long. However, the antioxidants increased by 2.9% when respondents drank red rooibos tea and 6.6% when they drank the green rooibos.

Another research of 12 healthy males found that rooibos tea did not have significant effects on antioxidant levels relative to placebo. This may be due to the short-time or inefficiently absorbed antioxidants in rooibos by your body (12, 13, 14).

Free from Caffeine and Oxalic Acid

In both black tea and green tea, caffeine is a natural stimulant. Usually, it is reliable to consume moderate quantities of caffeine. It may have some advantages for efficiency, concentration, and mood. Excessive consumption, however, may lead to heart palpitations, enhanced anxiety, sleep problems, and headaches (15, 16).

Some individuals, therefore, prevent or restrict the consumption of caffeine. Since rooibos tea is caffeine-free, black or green tea is an excellent alternative. Rooibos also has a low level of tannin than normal black or green tea (17).

Tannin is a natural compound in green and black tea, conflicts with certain nutrients, such as iron absorption. Unlike black tea and green tea, rooibos does not contain oxalic acid. High oxalic acid consumption may increase your risk of kidney stones, making rooibos a useful choice for anyone with kidney problems.

Reduces Cancer Risk

There are many better sources of fruits and vegetables. It is uncertain whether rooibos packs enough of these two antioxidants and whether your body absorbs them enough to deliver benefits.

Test-tube study shows that quercetin and luteolin antioxidants found in rooibos can kill cancer cells and stop tumor development. However, there is a minimal amount of quercetin and luteolin in a teacup rooibos (17, 18).

Reduces Wrinkles

According to some studies, if an individual uses rooibos tea topically, it may enhance the skin’s appearance by decreasing wrinkles. A 2010 research compared cosmetic blends in a gel form produced from herbal extracts such as ginkgo, soybean, and containing the mixture of rooibos (20).

The scientists discovered that the combination of rooibos was most efficient in decreasing wrinkles, while ginkgo was best for skin moisturization. However, drinking rooibos tea is unlikely to provide any significant skin benefits.

Rooibos Tea Side Effects

Rooibos is very safe. However, one research study shows that drinking huge quantities of rooibos tea may increase in liver enzymes, which can often show a liver problem (19).

This was just one complex case, though. Some compounds in tea can boost female sex hormone output, estrogen. Some experts show that individuals with hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer may want to prevent this tea (20).

Also read: Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

The Bottom Line

Rooibos tea is a delicious and healthy drink. It is caffeine-free, small in tannins, and rich in antioxidants which can provide a range of health benefits. Health claims differ extensively around rooibos tea. There’s a lack of proof to support many of them. Evidence that links rooibos consumption to bone health is weak. However, as a manner to decrease digestive issues, tea is often a superb choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rooibos?


Traditional rooibos is developed through the fermentation of the leaves, called Aspalathus linearis, which making it red-brown. There is also a green rooibos that is not fermented.

Does Rooibos Contain Caffeine?


Rooibos tea is naturally free from caffeine because there is no caffeine in the plant.

How Does Rooibos Tea Taste Like?


It is smooth and gentle, naturally sweet and a bit nutty. Rooibos is full-bodied and rich when brewed for longer, and you can smell the hot woody scents from your cup or teapot.

Where rooibos tea come from?


Rooibos comes from South Africa’s ruggedly beautiful Cederberg coastal mountains, a World Heritage site approximately 200 km north of Cape Town.

Can Rooibos Tea Make You Sleepy?


Rooibos tea is a great beverage to have before bedtime as a naturally caffeine-free tea. Rooibos also includes magnesium and calcium, both minerals contributing to a good night’s sleep.

Is Rooibos Tea Safe During Pregnancy?


While Rooibos is an excellent alternative to caffeinated teas during pregnancy, if you have any worries about drinking teas or herbal infusions during pregnancy and breastfeeding, we recommend that you speak with your GP.

What is Green Rooibos?


Well, the response is that green rooibos tea is produced using the rooibos or Aspalathus Linearis plant leaves, just as red rooibos is produced.

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Naeem Durrani BSc
Naeem Durrani is a freelance journalist who specializes in health and wellness innovation. His interests include medical research, nutrition, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices that empower people to positively transform their lives.
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