Rooibos – Red Tea and Your Health



Recently I was given a delicious glass of iced tea at a local tea shop.  It was, in part, rooibos.  I used to drink a lot of red tea but I have recently moved away from it.  However, since it is what I’m in the middle of researching for my book, I decided to share some of the information. 

What Is It?

Red tea, or Rooibos is not actually tea.  It comes from the Aspalathus linearis plant that grows exclusively in South Africa.  It is a healing herb that has been made into tisanes which according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is “an infusion of dried herbs used as a beverage or for medicinal effects”.  It is caffeine free with a somewhat sweet nutty flavour. 


Health Benefits

Rooibos is antioxidant rich and has a list of health benefits such as:

  • Allergies
  • Relieves stress
  • Aids circulation
  • Boosts immune System
  • Protects the liver
  • Digestive disorders

The polyphenols in Rooibos have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant and antimutagenic actions.

 Heart and Lung Health

Rooibos can assist in lowering blood pressure.  Its antioxidant properties assist in preventing the buildup of LDL (low density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol).  Chrysoeriol is an antioxidant found in rooibos.  It prevents hardening of the arteries by inhibiting the movement of smooth muscle cells in the aorta.

It is a bronchodilator which means that it dilates the bronchial tubes to allow more oxygen to get to the lungs.  This makes it useful for asthma, bronchitis, COPD and other lung related issues. 

D’em Bones 

Rooibos is a rich source of calcium, manganese and fluoride.  This means that it helps strengthen your bones and teeth preventing joint pain and arthritis.


The strong antioxidants in rooibos have been found to protect DNA from oxidative damage.  They also remove cancerous cells that already have oxidative damage.  It is thought that rooibos may be able to turn on specific genes that help break down carcinogens. 


Digestive Benefits

Rooibos calms stomach cramps and diarrhea.  This is thought to be done by the flavonoids in the plant. 

There are many claims made for rooibos but the most important one to me is that it truly tastes good.  It can be made into espresso and lattes and it is just plain good for you.  When a remedy tastes good people are more likely to use it for the long haul.