Why Drink Rooibos Tea?

What is Rooibos Tea?

Rooibos tea (pronounced roo-ee-bosh), Red Tea, or Red Bush Tea, which originates in the Western Cape province of South Africa, isn’t really a tea at all—it’s not even a distant cousin. It is an infusion made from the needle-shaped leaves of a broom-like African shrub called Aspalathus linearis.

An herbal infusion of Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, antioxidant-rich, and loaded with heart-healthy nutrients.  Rooibos tea is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium and alpha hydroxy acid.

It contains unique flavonoids – aspalathin and nothofagin, and loads of antioxidants that promote a healthy heart, brain, lungs, gut, skin, and nervous and vascular systems.

What’s the difference between red and green rooibos?

Both red and green rooibos are naturally herbal and caffeine-free.  When rooibos leaves are oxidized, they turn a reddish-brown color. When left unoxidized, the leaves remain green.

Red rooibos tastes fruitier, while green rooibos tastes more herbal and earthy. However, green rooibos contains nearly twice the flavonoids and 10 times the antioxidants that red rooibos does. You can drink it hot or cold, and even sweeten it up with some milk and lemonade to improve the taste if you like.

Health Benefits of Rooibos

Rooibos tea has many antioxidants that fight disease in the body, which include the flavonoids aspalathin and nothofagin.

Aspalathin decreases the production of adrenal hormones, and helps alleviate stress. It also helps prevent and suppress symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome, which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and Type ll Diabetes.  Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, and increased abdominal fat.

Aspalathin reduces the risk of developing diabetes as it helps to reduce excessive fat production, balance blood sugar levels, improve glucose tolerance, increase glucose absorption in the muscles, and increase insulin secretion in the pancreas.

Ku et. al (2015) concluded that, “Since vascular inflammation induced by High Glucose is critical in the development of diabetic complications (such as atherosclerosis), results suggest that the Aspanthin or Nothofagin (in Rooibos Tea) may have significant benefits in the treatment of diabetic complications.

Together with the flavonoid nothofagin, aspalathin protects your nervous system and lowers your risk for Alzhiemer’s disease.

Rooibos tea promotes heart health as it contains the super-antioxidant compound quercetin.  Chronic inflammation is tied to virtually every life-threatening illness, and quercetin acts as both an anti-inflammatory and as an anti-cancer agent.  Studies have shown that the antioxidants (polyphenols) in Rooibos tea help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

Japanese researchers have confirmed red tea’s anti-viral…anti-mutagenic…and anti-allergic properties, in addition to its anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory powers.

In addition, red tea helps lessen nervous tension…allergies…digestive upset…asthma…colic…and skin conditions such as acne. It may even have some benefits for exercise performance, concentration and mood!


So, trade in your sodas and high-sugar, and/or chemical based beverages for a nutrient-packed cup of red tea? A no-brainer!



Rooibos tea is generally very safe to drink and negative side effects are extremely rare.

Some sources suggest that people with hormone-sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, may want to avoid this type of tea.




Ku, S. K., Kwak, S., Kim, Y., & Bae, J. S. (2015). Aspalathin and Nothofagin from Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) inhibits high glucose-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Inflammation38(1), 445–455. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-014-0049-1

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