There are several reasons why tea has been a popular drink around the globe for thousands of years. The most important reason (besides flavor) for many tea drinkers is the health benefits.
Regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your overall health and wellness. However, some brews have more health benefits than others.
What Is Rooibos Tea And Its Health Benefits?
Rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss) tea comes from the fermented leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub, a plant native to South Africa. It’s a red herbal tea that many people enjoy as an alternative to green or black tea.
That’s because rooibos tea is a powerful brew that boasts all the health benefits of green and black tea—(including those much-needed energy boosts)—without the jittery caffeine effects.
Rooibos tea has a sweet and earthy flavor, and it’s loaded with antioxidants. So far, the research on rooibos tea is pretty limited. Still, many studies have shown quite a few potential health benefits.
1. No Caffeine Jitters
One of the biggest health benefits of rooibos tea is that it’s caffeine-free, which means no jittery caffeine effects and heart palpitations. This makes it a great beverage option for children, those who are caffeine sensitive, and women during pregnancy.
Caffeine isn’t necessarily bad for your health, but it can interfere with your sleep and worsen anxiety. If you are looking to reduce or eliminate your daily caffeine intake, rooibos tea is an excellent alternative to caffeinated green and black tea.
2. Low Levels Of Tannins
Tannins are naturally occurring compounds regularly found in plant foods, including black and green tea. However, red rooibos tea contains very low levels of tannins, which is beneficial to your health.
This is because tannins interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron—specifically nonheme iron—which is the form found in plant-based foods. A 2013 study found that drinking six cups of rooibos tea daily for six straight weeks did not negatively affect the participants’ iron status.
The same can’t be said for green and black tea, which has been shown to block iron absorption to the point of developing iron-deficiency anemia.
3. May Help With Heart Health
Thanks to the antioxidants, another potential benefit of rooibos tea is a healthy heart. One particular study found that aspalathin has antidiabetic potential. Aspalathin can help people with diabetes reduce their risk of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, which contribute to the development of heart problems.
4. Rich In Antioxidants
The limited research about rooibos tea has also shown that it contains several antioxidants, like quercetin and aspalathin. These are incredibly important for your health because they stop free radicals from damaging your body’s cells.
One study found that consuming rooibos tea actually increases the level of antioxidants in the body, albeit for a short period of time. More research needs to be conducted to establish how long or effectively rooibos could increase antioxidants in the body.
5. Weight Management
Since rooibos tea has zero calories, it can be a great beverage option when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Studies have found that consuming this tea increases leptin levels, a hormone that regulates food intake. Additionally, rooibos tea may stop the formation of new fat cells and encourages quicker fat metabolism.
How To Enjoy Rooibos Tea
Just like any tea, you can enjoy rooibos tea either hot or cold. It’s best to follow the instructions on the packaging, which usually calls for eight ounces of boiling water per tea bag or teaspoon of loose leaves. Let it steep for at least five minutes, then enjoy it plain or with added milk, honey, or sugar.
If you are ready to try rooibos tea, here are the best options we’ve found:
Each box of Cederberg Red Rooibos Tea contains 100 tea bags that are hand-picked at peak maturity. They are packed fresh at their farm in the Western Cape of South Africa, and each one contains 2.5 grams. So you can use each tea bag twice and still get a bold and satisfying cup of tea every time.
This review about Davidson’s South African Rooibos says it all.
“I love the color. I love the smell – it reminds me of summer afternoons when I was a kid after we’d mowed the fields and the scent of the hay drying in the sun. I love that this is a hearty, creamy tea. It’s not bitter at all. I use just a tiny drop of raw honey and a plop of cream…it goes down smooth and I want another. I grew up loving tea and I was always a one-and-done drinker, but not with this.”
BOS Rooibos Tea comes in a lovely yellow tin that will give your kitchen a pop of color while keeping your teabags fresh. One reviewer called it “crazy-good tea” because “it has all the flavor of a black tea but zero caffeine.”
“Not as strong-tasting tea like Earl Grey—this is mellow and smooth with a very nice aftertaste. We’re burning through it over here b/c it’s good any time of day or night,” the happy customer wrote.
Rooibos is a flavorful, caffeine-free tea that is a great alternative to green or black tea. The research may be limited, but the anecdotes and reviews are clear—this tea definitely has its benefits. And it tastes delicious, too.