Rooibos Tea Health Benefits

What is rooibos tea? Rooibos tea is a very popular and nutritious drink.

The main nutritional health benefit of rooibos tea is that it is high in antioxidants and contains several unique polyphenols, such as aspalathin.

These plant compounds can protect against free radicals that are risk factors for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In addition, rooibos tea is naturally free from caffeine because there is no caffeine in the plant.

This makes it valuable for people who are sensitive to caffeine.

The taste is smooth, naturally sweet, and nutty.

Rooibos is full-bodied and rich when brewed for a long time, and you can smell the hot, woody scents from your cup or teapot.

However, rooibos is produced from shrub leaves called Aspalathus linearis, which are cultivated in South Africa’s ruggedly beautiful Cederberg coastal mountains, a world heritage site approximately 200 km north of Cape Town.

In this article, we will walk you through the potential health benefits of rooibos tea.

Rooibos Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

Rooibos tea is a natural source of the antioxidant aspalathin. Some animal studies show aspalathin has anti-diabetic effects.

Research on mice shows that aspalathin in rooibos tea may balance blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance, which might be good for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Most of these studies on rooibos and diabetes are conducted on animals. However, we need large-scale human studies to understand the effects of rooibos tea on people with diabetes (1).

Helps You Lose Weight

The notable health benefit of rooibos tea in weight management is that it is a calorie-free drink. Second, it is an excellent choice for people who want to lose weight.

Some evidence shows that Rooibos tea may increase leptin levels.

Leptin is a hormone that helps control the appetite by promoting the feeling of fulsomeness, signaling the brain that it has had sufficient food.

The tea may also prevent new fat cell formation by increasing fat metabolism (2).

Enhances Heart Health

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less flexible, reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart, and ultimately leading to heart disease.

This is because of the ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme), which causes your blood vessels to contract and raise your blood pressure.

Medications such as ACE inhibitors are used to relax blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

However, drinking rooibos tea can inhibit ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme), and may have beneficial effects on blood pressure.

In one study, drinking rooibos tea inhibited ACE activity 60 minutes after ingestion.

In another six-week study, six cups of rooibos tea daily reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol while boosting “good” HDL cholesterol.

However, good cholesterol (HDL) provides additional protection against different heart diseases, including heart attacks and strokes (3, 4, 5).

Contain Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help protect your cells from free radicals. In the long term, their effects can decrease your risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

The main antioxidants in rooibos tea are polyphenols, which are chemical compounds that allow the plants to fight stress.

There is some evidence that rooibos can provide health benefits by raising levels of antioxidants in your body.

In one study, the antioxidants increased by 2.9% when participants drank red Rooibos tea and 6.6% when they drank green Rooibos.

Another study in 12 healthy males found it did not have significant effects on antioxidant levels compared to placebo (6, 7).

Free of Caffeine

Caffeine is the main stimulant substance in tea and coffee. Usually, it is safe to consume moderate quantities of caffeine, which can provide performance, concentration, and mood benefits.

Consuming too much caffeine, however, may lead to heart palpitations, anxiety, sleep problems, and headaches.

Some individuals, therefore, prevent or restrict the consumption of caffeine. Because rooibos tea is caffeine free, it may be an excellent alternative for caffeine-sensitive individuals.

Rooibos tea also has a low level of tannin compared to black or green tea.

Tannin is a natural compound in green and black tea, interacts with certain nutrients, such as iron absorption.

Unlike black tea and green tea, rooibos do not contain oxalic acid. High oxalic acid consumption may increase your risk of kidney stones.

This makes rooibos tea an excellent choice for people with kidney problems (8, 9, 10).

Reduces Cancer Risk

Although laboratory studies suggest that quercetin and luteolin antioxidants found in rooibos can kill cancer cells and may prevent tumor growth, there are no human studies to support these claims, and it is uncertain whether the antioxidants in rooibos tea deliver these health benefits.

Some compounds isolated from rooibos leaves showed estrogenic activity.

Therefore, patients with hormone-sensitive cancers should use caution before taking rooibos.

There is a tiny amount of quercetin and luteolin in a teacup of rooibos (11, 12, 13).

Reduces Wrinkles

Some people believe the antioxidants in rooibos tea can provide anti-aging benefits. If an individual uses rooibos tea topically, it may enhance the skin’s appearance by decreasing wrinkles.

A 2010 study compared cosmetic blends in gel form produced from herbal extracts such as ginkgo, soybean, and rooibos.

The scientists discovered that the combination of rooibos and green tea was most efficient in decreasing wrinkles, while ginkgo was best for skin moisturization.

However, it is not clear whether drinking rooibos tea may also provide the same skin health benefits (14).

Rooibos Tea Side Effects

Rooibos is safe. However, drinking an extensive amount of rooibos tea may cause liver problems. Some compounds in tea can boost female sex hormone output, or estrogen.

Some experts say that individuals with hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, may want to avoid rooibos tea.

Rooibos is an excellent alternative to caffeinated teas during pregnancy.

If you have any worries about drinking teas or herbal infusions during pregnancy or breastfeeding, we recommend you speak with your GP (15, 16).

Suggested article: 7 health benefits of chamomile tea


Rooibos tea is a caffeine-free tea with a pleasant aroma and a range of health benefits. They produce it from the leaves and stems of the Aspalathus linearis tree.

This tree is native to South Africa, where rooibos tea is the national beverage.

There is no good scientific evidence to support the use of Rooibos for cancer prevention, heart disease prevention, or other diseases.

However, to decrease digestive issues, tea is often a superb choice.

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