Are you an avid tea drinker? Then let me introduce you to the rooibos tea which is healthy and will perfectly satisfy your taste buds. Rooibos tea has a fascinating tradition behind it.
This tea grows in a small mountainous area in the region of Western Cape in South Africa. Traditionally the local people would climb the mountains and cut the fine needle-like leaves from the wild plants. Then they tie them together and bring them down the steep slopes using donkeys. The leaves are then left to dry in the sun.
The story goes like this; Rooibos seeds were minuscule, and it was hard to collect or cultivate it. An aged native Khoi woman chanced upon ants dragging the seeds. She followed them back to their nest broke it open and found a granary.
A botanist named Dr. Nortier who was a great fan of this rooibos tea placed a layer of seeds between the two millstones and ground away some of the seed pod walls. After that, the seeds were easily propagated, and the local farmers benefitted from this.
Health benefits of rooibos tea
Rooibos can be said as a superfood because it offers many health-boosting phytonutrients. It consists of the following minerals
Fluoride- enhances your dental health.
Magnesium- builds bones and releases energy.
Iron- Supports oxygen transport through the blood.
Zinc- is useful in wound healing, skin, and nail health, and boosts the immune system.
Sodium- useful for regulating muscles and nerves.
Potassium- controls blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.
Researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, tested the antioxidant properties of Rooibos tea, by conducting animal experiments. The rats were divided into two groups; the researchers fed one group with rooibos tea and the other plain water.
After four weeks, a blood test on the animals that drank rooibos tea showed increased levels of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules in cells. This enzyme was lower in the rats that drank water.
Rooibos tea contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anti- viral properties. The red bush tea contains aspalathin and nothofagin, two vital antioxidants that boost your immune system and protects your body from all the scary diseases.
Rooibos tea contains quercetin another powerful antioxidant that prevents a wide variety of heart conditions. Quercetin reduces blood pressure and promotes an increase in HDL cholesterol. It prevents LDL cholesterol from binding to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This action prevents you from atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Help to avoid cancer
Again the plant pigment Quercetin comes into play. Doctors give it in a supplement form to treat cancer patients because it suppresses malignant tumor growth by stopping the processes involved in cell mutation. Rooibos tea boosts the immune system to produce antibodies necessary to protect and heal from cancer.
Gives you youthful skin
Rooibos tea contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc which enhances skin health. As we already saw, the antioxidants present in this tea promote anti-aging properties. Alpha hydroxy acid is found in many chemical peels and is used for revitalizing the skin. There are controversies regarding the commercial use of alpha hydroxy acid. It is always wise to get it from natural sources.
The red bush tea promotes other health benefits
• It treats and may help prevent diabetes.
• Helps in digestion
• Helps you lose weight and
• Treats allergies
A word of caution
Some health professionals say that rooibos tea can negatively affect patients with kidney disease, liver disease, and certain hormonal cancers. They say it can involve with chemotherapy treatments. It also affects male reproductive health when taken for extended periods of time. So it would be wise to consult your family physician before introducing rooibos tea to your routine.