The scientific facts about rooibos
Rooibos has many proven health properties, but there is still much to be discovered about this unique herbal tea from South Africa. Scientists around the world are investigating its complex composition, chemistry and bioactivity to help consumers understand how Rooibos protects the human body against disease and promotes health and longevity.
Since the mid-1950s, Rooibos researchers have published well over a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals. Their main findings to date including rooibos being linked to preventing cancer, protecting the heart and other vital organs, reducing stress, showing potential in treating diabetes, protecting the liver, alleviating allergies and inflammation, calming stomach cramps and more…
But medical science is only beginning to discover the many health advantages of Rooibos. On-going research and case studies confirm that there seems to be no end to its benefits. Rooibos contains a complex mix of polyphenols, including the unique antioxidant aspalathin that has not yet been found in any other plant.
- Rooibos is completely pure and natural as it contains no additives, preservatives or colourants.
- Rooibos is naturally caffeine free.
- Rooibos contains antioxidants that fight free radicals (a by-product of normal cell function), which weaken the body’s natural defences and lead to ageing, the declining of the immune system and the onset of a wide variety of diseases.
Rooibos contains the powerful antioxidant Aspalthin – found only in Rooibos – and flavonoids, including a mimic of the super antioxidant enzyme Super-Oxide Dismutase (SOD). Research has indicated that Rooibos is believed to be: a potent immune system booster with
- and anti-ageing properties.
The unique antioxidants in Rooibos are known to have the following beneficial effects:
- It helps soothe headaches.
- It has a relaxing effect of the central nervous system.
- It has antispasmodic properties and alleviates insomnia and irritability.
- It helps to boost the immune system.
- It acts as a digestive aid.
- It helps with the relief of stomach cramps, ulcers, nausea, heartburn and constipation.
- It has antiallergenic and anti-asthmatic properties. It is believed to be helpful in the management of hay fever and eczema.
- It contains no oxalic acid (a toxic acid found in certain plants) and is therefore a good choice for those prone to kidney stones.
- It has low tannin content, so is not bitter-tasting like other teas. It also means that absorption of iron and proteins into the body is less affected, making it particularly good for pregnant women and people who are anemic.
- It helps to calm infants and eases colic in babies.
- It is inherently sweet, low in calories, and can be enjoyed without sugar – making it an ideal choice for diabetics or people on calorie-restricted diets.
- It is non-diuretic, i.e. a fluid replacement, so there is no limit on how much you can have in a day.
Rooibos also contains the rare compound nothofagin. Other major phenolic compounds are orientin and iso-orientin, with smaller amounts of vitexin and isovitexin (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2008).
Some of the polyphenols in Rooibos have a structure and function similar to the human hormone oestrogen. Scientists are looking into the potential of Rooibos as an alternative for the treatment of menopausal symptoms and steroid hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, prostate, endometrial and colon cancer (Biology and Pharmacology Bulletin, 2006).
Good for you to know
Learn all about the incredible health benefits of red espresso.