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Health Research

Health Benefits of Rooibos

Rooibos Herbal Tea
Rooibos tea is a naturally sweet, caffeine-free and zero calorie drink. Many herbs go well with rooibos, making it an ideal base and an alternative to tea, which contains some caffeine. According to science, rooibos may help strengthen the immune system, prevent premature aging, promote bone and joint health, relieve indigestion and insomnia, and support weight loss.
What is rooibos?
Rooibos (pronounced as “roy-boss”) is an aromatic herb that comes from a red shrub native to the high mountain peaks of South Africa. The plant yields green, needlelike leaves that are harvested once a year, fermented and sun dried for use. This oxidization process produces the distinctive red-brown color of rooibos. It was originally used as an appetizing tea by the Khoisan people indigenous to South Africa and is now popular around the world with people looking for a caffeine-free drink.
Although it is commonly referred to as rooibos tea or red bush tea it is technically not a tea as it does not come from the tea plant Camelia sinensis. Rooibos is commonly infused with herbs, spices and fruits to produce a flavorful and calming tisane or herbal infusion.
Botanical name: Aspalathus linearis
Other names: Red bush
Description: A red bush that grows to 6 feet with green, needlelike leaves and yellow flowers
Habitat: Native to southern South Africa
Properties*: Anticarcinogenic, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antiviral, genoprotective, neuroprotective
The health benefits of rooibos according to research
1. Anti-Aging
Rooibos contains antioxidants and other compounds that researchers believe help strengthen the immune system and prevent premature aging. In addition to preventing the onset of degenerative diseases, rooibos may potentially slow the process of aging on cognitive performance by stimulating concentration and focus.
Researchers at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University concluded that rooibos is effective in protecting against degeneration of certain cells and could reverse the onset of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
2. Bone & Joint Health
Rooibos tea is a rich source of calcium, manganese and fluoride which help to maintain bone structure and strong teeth. Regular consumption of rooibos tea may help support overall health of bones and joints and lower the risk of developing arthritis, osteoporosis and chronic joint pain. Researchers believe that rooibos tea may increase the activity of osteoblast cells, which are cells that create bone mass.
3. Digestive Health
Rooibos has been extensively used in traditional and herbal medicine as a remedy for abdominal pain and diarrhea. Modern research has found that rooibos exhibits antispasmodic properties that may be of value in easing indigestion and treating certain gastrointestinal disorders. Researchers believe quercetin, an anti-inflammatory compound found in rooibos, may be responsible for these effects.
4. Hair & Skin Health
Rooibos tea is believed to help promote skin and hair health. Rooibos contains alpha hydroxy acid and antioxidants which may have an effect on wrinkle reduction and prevent hair loss. In the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers found that formula containing tea and rooibos showed the best clinical efficacy on wrinkle reduction (10% following 28 days of application). Laboratory studies have also found evidence that rooibos improves hair growth and condition, effects which may be related to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
5. Heart and Circulatory Health
There is evidence that rooibos has a protective effect on the heart and circulatory system and potential for rooibos to have therapeutic value in the prevention or management of diabetes and heart disease. Rooibos contains a flavonoid called chrysoeriol that supports blood circulation and prevents the onset of various cardiovascular diseases.
Rooibos also contains aspalathin, a compound that may improve blood sugar tolerance, uptake and insulin secretion according to animal studies. It also appears to inhibit LDL (bad) cholesterol and excessive fat production.
6. Immunity and Overall Health
According to various research studies, rooibos possesses anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer), antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Rooibos and constituents found in rooibos such as flavonoids and quercetin may have potential in treating congestive respiratory ailments and liver diseases. Other evidence suggests rooibos tea could prevent age-related changes to the central nervous system or suppress mutagenic activity.
In addition, rooibos may boost antibody production in certain diseases such as cancer, allergy, AIDS and other infections. Some evidence suggests daily intake of acid polysaccharides found in the extracts of rooibos tea might suppress HIV infection. The US Department of Agriculture have affirmed that rooibos tea helps reduce cancer, heart disease, premature aging or other conditions. Rooibos tea has demonstrated significant therapeutic potential for the prevention or progression of diabetes and cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.
7. Sleep Support
Rooibos is used as a gentle herbal remedy for insomnia and other conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that rooibos tea helps relieve insomnia, nervousness and mild depression. Clinical evidence is still needed to substantiate its effect but given rooibos is caffeine-free, it serves as a healthy alternative to caffeinated tea which may affect sleep due to its stimulant effects.
8. Weight Loss and Metabolism
Researchers in South Africa have found that rooibos causes increased secretion of leptin. Leptin is also known as the “satiety hormone” because it promotes weight loss by suppressing appetite and stimulating metabolism. In research published in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, rooibos tea was found to prevent new fat cells from forming and caused existing fat cells to metabolize faster.

Disclaimer

* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.

Sources

Anwarul Hassan Gilani, ArifUllah Khan, Muhammad N Ghayur, Syed Faizan Ali, Joachim W Herzig. “Antispasmodic effects of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) is mediated predominantly through K+ channel activation.” Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. November 2006;99(5):36573.
Arifullah-Khan, Anwarul Hassan Gilani. “Selective bronchodilatory effect of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus
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Atsutoshi Kawano, Hiromichi Nakamura, Shuichi Hata, Miki Minakawa, Yutaka Miura, Kazumi Yagasaki. “Hypoglycemic effect of aspalathin, a rooibos tea component from Aspalathus linearis, in type 2 diabetic model db/db mice.” Invest New Drugs. December 2010;28(6):76682.
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Jeanine Marnewick, Elizabeth Joubert, Shamiel Joseph, Sonja Swanevelder, Pieter Swart, Wentzel Gelderblom. “Inhibition of tumour promotion in mouse skin by extracts of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia), unique South African herbal teas.” Cancer Lett. June 28, 2005;224(2):193202. Epub December 10, 2004.
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Ryo Fukasawa, Ayato Kanda, Setsuko Hara. “Antioxidative effects of rooibos tea extract on autoxidation and thermal oxidation of lipids.” J Oleo Sci. 2009;58(6):27583.
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