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Rooibos tea in a wooden spoon

Unraveling Rooibos Tea Benefits: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Nov 07, 2023

Shanika Dasanayaka

Hello Tea J Tea Lovers! Here's a cup of "red bush tea" to wave off your desire for a fine cup of tea. But what is red bush tea anyway? Let's find out. The name "Rooibos" is derived from Afrikaans and translates to "red bush," which perfectly describes the vibrant crimson hue of the tea leaves after they undergo the oxidation process. This South African gem, scientifically known as Aspalathus linearis, is not only pleasing to our taste buds but also boasts an array of health benefits. So here's a detailed review of rooibos tea and the rooibos tea benefits!

What is Rooibos Tea?

Rooibos tea is a beverage emerging in the world as a fascinating tea drink with plenty of health benefits. Being native to South Africa, Rooibos tea is a type of herbal tea that belongs to the Fabaceae family. Rooibos bush can be found in a specific area in South Africa, especially in the Cedarberg Mountains. Rooibos has been growing and consumed by local communities in South Africa for centuries as a medicinal beverage, and it was noticed as a wonderful tea beverage by the world a few decades ago.

The Rooibos plant possesses long needle-like leaves, and it isn't easy to pick them one by one when harvesting. Therefore, the leaves and stems are cut and bonded into bundles, allowing them to oxidize naturally. Oxidation is the main reason for rooibos tea's bright reddish cup color and rich and sweet taste. More oxidation results in a reddish cup color with a bright taste in the cup. With a minimum oxidation level, the green version of rooibos tea can result, and it is called green rooibos, which is similar to green tea.

If you are looking for a beverage with the same characteristics as black tea or green tea but without caffeine, Rooibos tea will be the best option.

History of Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea has been used as a medicinal beverage for centuries among the local communities in the Cedarberg Mountains, South Africa. Traditionally, rooibos tea has been made by cutting and bruising the leaves and stems of the plant, fermenting them in heaps, and leaving them to dry in the sun. Through this process, the green-colored needle-like leaves turn into a reddish-brownish appearance. Rooibos tea was identified as a wonderful beverage by botanists in 1772 after they enjoyed a sweet-tasting reddish-colored brew served by local people in South Africa. Since then, rooibos has gotten the world's attention as a pleasing tea beverage with characteristics similar to black tea. Commercial cultivation of rooibos tea commenced in the 1930s, and currently, it exports to many tea-consuming countries as rooibos tea.

Taste of Rooibos Tea

A rooibos tea cup would give you a reddish-brown teacup color along with a subtle taste profile and a warm woody aroma. In the taste profile of rooibos, diverse flavor hints like sweet, nutty, earthy, caramel, vanilla, smoky, and woody can be experienced. Sometimes it could be hard to express the exact flavor profile as well. The sweet and nutty taste of rooibos tea is a bit similar to hibiscus tea. The earthy taste of the tea is somewhat similar to yerba mate infusions. The hints of caramel, vanilla, and smoky essence are more like the flavor hints from tobacco. A perfectly made rooibos tea would give you a light, subtle, yet not overpowering mouthfeel.

How to Make Rooibos Iced Tea

Rooibos tea, as a hot beverage, is indeed an excellent beverage. But, rooibos iced tea is a magical tea drink that would bring you a heavenly feeling with its unique characteristics of incomparable taste and bright reddish beautiful appearance in the serving mug. It is a caffeine-free, refreshing mocktail that can make your summer perfect. Let's see how to make rooibos iced tea.

Step One: Measure Your Tea

When making an iced tea version from any tea, the amount of tea added must double because the drink is to be diluted with ice. Therefore, for a single serving glass of iced rooibos tea, three teaspoons of the rooibos blend must be scoped into the tea brewing cup.

Step Two: Pour in Hot Water

Rooibos tea excretes all its flavors and characteristics into the brew when it steeps in hot water for a bit longer. The ideal temperature of the water used to boil rooibos tea is around 208oF, and quality water with high heat needs to be used for brewing when making rooibos iced tea.

Step Three: Steep Your Blend

After the hot water pours over rooibos tea, let it steep for 5- 7 minutes to unfold the complete flavor profile into the brew. Identify your taste preference and decide on the tea steeping time because the longer you steep the tea, the brew will get stronger.

Step Four: Strain, Ice, Enjoy!

Fill your cup with ice first. Just after when the brewing time reaches 5- 7 minutes, strain the tea immediately into the ice-filled cup, and the rooibos iced tea is ready for you to enjoy!

Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Not only a delicious beverage, but also rooibos tea is a healthy beverage wrapped with many health benefits. It has been considered a healthy beverage for centuries in local medicinal treatments in South Africa. Natural compounds like antioxidants, polyphenols, flavanols, and micronutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins are the elements that make rooibos tea a healthy beverage. Let's see how rooibos tea benefits your health.

Aids Weight Loss

If you seek a tea that aids in weight loss, rooibos tea is the best option. The tea contains negligible calories in a cup, so you can drink rooibos tea without worrying about ruining your diet. However, if you add any sweetener to the tea, it would add some calories to the brew, and if you are looking for a calorie-free drink expecting weight loss, avoid adding sweeteners that contain calories.

Improves Appearance of Skin

Rooibos tea contains alpha hydroxy acid, the main ingredient in skin treatments. It can help in your skincare routine and reduces wrinkles on your skin. Rooibos tea possesses a soothing effect, and it can reduce irritation and redness in the skin. The zinc in rooibos tea helps treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne. Moreover, rooibos tea contains compounds that have anti-aging properties and helps to slow down the development of wrinkles. Moreover, some tea enzymes produce healthy skin cells to keep you looking younger, while the antioxidants fight against free radicals and control the aging process.

Alleviates Pain

Rooibos tea contains antioxidants, and they enhance anti-inflammatory properties in the body, aiding in reducing inflammation and feelings of aches and pains. As a result of reduced inflammation, the painful symptoms of arthritis will also minimize. Some compounds in rooibos tea help to alleviate abdominal pains like stomach cramps. The vitamins in rooibos tea help repair damaged collagen and joint connective tissues. A cup of rooibos tea would greatly help you after a heavy workout.


Rooibos tea can relieve the feelings of wheezing and coughing caused by allergic rhinitis and asthma because the bioactive flavonoids in the tea act as a bronchodilator. Some flavonoids in the tea essentially block mast cells, which are responsible for releasing histamine, the main element that triggers an allergic response. By drinking a few cups of rooibos tea a day, you can limit your body's over-reactive immune response that triggers allergies.

Helps Build Strong Bones

The minerals like calcium, manganese, and fluoride always produce increased activity in osteoblast cells, building strong bone mass and bones. Moreover, flavonoids can increase mineral content in bones. Hence rooibos tea contains all these chemicals and minerals; the tea helps to build strong bones in your body.

Streamlines Digestion

Antispasmodic nutrients are always aiding in preventing stomach pains, and studies have revealed that rooibos tea contains such nutrients. The tea also possesses nutrients that can enhance the immune system, and as a result, the tea can be effective in eliminating pathogens that cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Also, the tannins available in rooibos can reduce the symptoms of diarrhea.

Support Heart Health

The flavonoids available in rooibos tea act as a bronchodilator and become an effective agent for lowering high blood pressure and increasing blood circulation. The relaxing effect of rooibos tea helps to open up blood vessels, and the antioxidants lower the harmful cholesterol levels in the blood. Therefore, rooibos tea is ideal for heart health and helps to keep blood circulation and pumping smoothly.

Final Thoughts

Having a cup of tea is not just drinking something; it is a great experience and a moment to enjoy. Rooibos tea is a world-famous and loved tea type with magnificent characteristics as a beverage with health benefits. Rooibos tea is a plant native to South Africa, and the fermented fine needle-like leaves of the bush are used as a fine beverage with many health benefits. The oxidized rooibos leaves would give you a reddish-brown tea cup with a subtle taste profile that can delight your taste buds without overpowering them. Rooibos tea has been used for centuries as a medicinal drink, but it was exposed to the world after being served to some Western botanists in 1772. Not only as a delicate hot beverage but also rooibos tea can be experienced as a beautiful iced tea by giving it a different prospect. When considering rooibos tea benefits, there are many health benefits of the tea more than traditional tea, as the naturally inherited chemicals and micronutrients in the tea gift you a healthy value that is worth more than a cup of tea.

So, are you looking for a refreshing, healthy tea drink with no caffeine? Then rooibos tea is ready to serve you its fabulous taste along with rooibos tea benefits wrapped with it!

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