What Is Rooibos Tea Good For?

Medically Reviewed on 10/12/2021
what is rooibos tea good for
Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and aspalathin, which are highly beneficial to the body. Here are 6 health benefits of rooibos

Rooibos tea is an herbal tea made from leaves of the rooibos bush, which usually grows in a small mountain area in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Leaves collected from the bush are sun dried and undergo a process called oxidation (or enzymatic fermentation), which enhances the flavor and causes the leaves to turn a reddish-brown color. Green, unoxidized rooibos tea can also be consumed.

Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and aspalathin, which are highly beneficial to the body. Rooibos tea is the only known natural source of the antioxidant aspalathin.

Rooibos tea contains very little caffeine and tannins that are usually present in other green or black tea. Unfermented green rooibos tea contains more antioxidants than fermented red rooibos tea.

6 health benefits of rooibos

  1. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory: Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, improving the health and functionality of the cells. Long-term use of rooibos tea may reduce the risk of developing diseases caused by inflammation.
  2. Improves heart health: Antioxidants help reduce low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol levels in the body and increase high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol levels, thus reducing the deposition of fat in the blood vessels. Additionally, rooibos tea may reduce blood pressure by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzymes that play a major role in increasing blood pressure levels in the body. These effects reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve heart health.
  3. Reduces cancer risk: Some studies have suggested that antioxidants quercetin and luteolin in rooibos tea may kill cancer cells and prevent the growth of tumors. However, more research is needed to confirm these claims.
  4. Lowers blood sugar: The antioxidant aspalathin has been believed to have the potential to combat diabetes. It may reduce high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and prevent the risk of complications. One study suggested that aspalathin suppresses vascular inflammation caused by high blood sugar levels. Another study conducted on animals suggested that aspalathin reduces insulin resistance and balances blood sugar levels in type II diabetes, although more large-scale human studies are needed to support this claim.
  5. Aids in weight loss: Rooibos tea has zero calories, so this is a good beverage option for people who are trying to lose weight. Rooibos tea may also help with weight loss because it increases leptin levels, which is a hormone released from fat cells that regulates appetite by sending signals to the brain that enough food has been consumed. Rooibos tea inhibits the formation of new fat cells and increases fat metabolism.
  6. Reduces wrinkles: Antioxidants can help prevent premature aging of the skin. Although several animal studies have suggested that rooibos tea is beneficial for skin health, extensive human studies need to be conducted to confirm these effects.

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What are the potential side effects of rooibos?

Although rooibos is safe to consume, rare side effects have been documented.

Some chemicals in rooibos tea can mimic the effects of estrogen or may promote the synthesis of estrogen in the body. People  with estrogen-sensitive cancer such as breast cancer should avoid drinking rooibos tea or talk to a doctor before consumption.

One study has suggested that drinking excessive amounts of rooibos tea on a regular basis increases liver enzymes, which may cause a disturbance in the liver tissue and its function. Although doctors are uncertain about the link between rooibos tea and the liver, it’s best to drink rooibos tea in moderation and consult a doctor if necessary.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/12/2021
References
Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Rooibos Tea?: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rooibos-tea#1

Rooibos Tea: Research into Antioxidant and Antimutagenic Properties: https://www.herbalgram.org/resources/herbalgram/issues/59/table-of-contents/article2550/