Exploring Rooibos

Exploring Rooibos

Red Bush – Pronounced Roy-Boss

Excerpts from Rooibos teabenefits.org

It is interesting that tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world yet drinking tea is as individualized as the people that drink it.

Tea drinkers in the UK generally prefer black tea with milk and sugar.  The Japanese preference is usually green tea in its natural state.  While in India, Chai tea has become somewhat of a family recipe handed down from generation to generation.  The South Africans, however, have developed a taste for Rooibos.

While black, green and white teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, Rooibos is from a completely different plant grown in the southern most part of Cape Province in South Africa. Rooibos leaves originate from the stems and leaves of the indigenous Aspalathus linearis plant which grows high in the mountain ranges.  The Rooibos leaves are quickly dried after picking to prevent oxidation and this process creates a Rooibos which is green in color.  When the leaves are fermented, they turn orange red which is the most recognizable of the Rooibos teas.  Since Rooibos is not technically a “tea” it is categorized as an herbal.

Rooibos tea is rich in anti oxidants and flavonoids.  In fact the anti oxidants in this tea are not found in any other tea including green and black teas.  Rooibos tea benefits include no additives, limited decline of the immune system, no caffeine.

Rooibos tea is highly recommended for those suffering from insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, mild depression and nervous tension.  Since this tea does not contain any caffeine, it has soothing effects on the nervous system.  Rooibos can be consumed in the evening to aid with sleeping

Healthy skin is a possibility with Rooibos as it contains zinc and alpha-hydroxy acid.  When brewed you can apply it directly to the skin to relieve itching, rashes, eczema and acne.

Rooibos is full of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium and potassium and since there is no oxalic acid people suffering from kidney stones can consume this flavorful tea.

While the health benefits are endless the pure fact is this tea is just plain delicious to drink.  When you open the package your senses are aroused by the distinctive smell.  Some have described it as pipe tobacco while others describe it as having a sweet aroma.

There are many Rooibos teas on the market shelves, but it is important to purchase a Rooibos of superior quality to experience all this beverage has to offer. Rooibos is often complimented by the addition of fruits, herbs and spices.  Since Rooibos is low in tannins it is very forgiving when over steeped.