Properties of Rooibos tea

(Camellia sinensis )


What is Rooibos tea?

Rooibos tea is an infusion made from the leaves of the plant Aspalathus linearis. Because it is a plant other than the tea plant, Rooibos tea is not properly a type of tea.

It is a plant native of South Africa, from Papilionaceae family (Fabaceae).

Red rooibos

Red rooibos leaves

Rooibos, a tea without caffeine

Rooibos is used as replacement of tea because, unlike the latter, it does not contain caffeine. For this reason, it can be taken any time of day, even at night.

Rooibos can be taken by people with hypertension, children, pregnant women and people sensitive to caffeine’s effects who can not drink stimulants.

Rooibos infusion is also often recommended for people with anxiety, stress or weight loss diets to avoid the stimulating effects of caffeine.

The infusion has a reddish color and a slightly sweet taste. Often, due to its coloration, Rooibos is wrongly called ” red tea “. Red tea is the real tea from China (Pu-erh red tea).

Green rooibos

Green rooibos leaves with mint

Rooibos tea types

There are two varieties of Rooibos:

Red Rooibos: It is the most common in stores and tea bag you get at the stores. Rooibos assumes said red coloration due to oxidation suffered in the fermentation process.

Green Rooibos: It has not gone through the process of fermentation and retains its natural color light green. It contains more antioxidants because it has not suffered the oxidation process. It is usually mixed with other herbs to enhance the flavor of the infusion.

Although it has often been called Rooibos tea is not tea, but another different plant.

* More information: Making tea

Rooibos Infusion properties

Rooibos tea does not excite: Unlike the different kinds of teas, infusion of Rooibos does not contain caffeine and theobromine, so, it has no stimulating action or nervous excitement. Another difference compared with tea, is that its content in tannins is much lower than in tea, resulting in a less astringent beverage.

Digestive problems: To treat stomach pain, constipation, nausea, gastritis, diarrhea,. etc. It is also suitable against all types of digestive disorders because of its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect.

Antioxidant: Rooibos is rich in antioxidants. Within the two types of Rooibos, green rooibos has a higher content of antioxidants because during processing it has not undergone the fermentation process. Among its antioxidant flavonoid content, the main ones are quercetin and luteolin.

Insomnia: Rooibos is an infusion without caffeine (=theine) and rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps in muscle relaxation and prevents insomnia. Rooibos infusion is suitable for the night because it is not exciting, it has a mild flavor and helps you relax.

Skin problems: Phytochemicals Rooibos contain have a preventive effect against premature aging because of its antioxidant effectts. These components can also help improve some skin conditions such as eczema, itching, dermatitis, hives, allergies, skin blemishes, wrinkles, sagging, etc.. Furthermore, its antiviral effect, helps fight the appearance of herpes simplex.

Eye problems: Luteolin, a flavonoid of Rooibos, is adequate to help treat tired eyes, loss of vision, cataracts, etc..

Immune system: This tea also acts as a cancer preventive for its antimutagenic effect.

Problems of metabolism: rooibos tea helps solve metabolic problems, such as fluid retention problems for its diuretic properties determined by its richness in minerals like magnesium and potassium and low sodium content. All this makes it very suitable for people who have a tendency to edema formation or as an adjunct to diet to lose weight or those people with problems of overweight or obesity.

In terms of its mineral content, it contains calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, etc.. All of them also can be attributed with several actions beneficial for those consuming rooibos infusions. Among the main, we have, for example.

Dental caries: An infusion of Rooibos contains calcium, magnesium, zinc and minerals that strengthen tooth enamel. Rooibos tea is a good preventive health of the teeth, both adults and caries development in children. Rooibos is a good ally for osteoporosis prevention and for bone development in young children. An infusion of this plant from time to time will help prevent nail problems.

How Rooibos infusion is taken?

Tooibos tea is taken as we would do in a real tea:

– Heat the water and add the shredded leaves (one teaspoon per cup of water).

– Apply a high temperature (do not exceed about 90 º C, do not reach the boiling point) for a predetermined time period. This will lead to the removal of all the medicinal principles, thus being able to provide beneficial effects to our organism when consumed

– Leave for a few seconds and turn off heat, keeping the plant infusion for about 5 minutes with lid.

* Related: How to prepare a good tea.

punto rojo More tea types and information about tea.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

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