Rooibos tea is gaining popularity as a delicious and healthy beverage. Consumed in South Africa for centuries, it has become a beloved drink around the world. It’s a flavorful, caffeine-free alternative to black and green tea. What’s more, advocates praise this tea for its potential health benefits. Many have suggested that its antioxidants can help to protect against cancer, heart disease and stroke.
But how many of these health claims are true? This article explains what rooibos tea is, its top 5 health benefits, as well as any potential side effects.
What Is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea is also known as red tea or red bush tea. It is made using leaves from a shrub called Aspalathus linearis, usually grown on the western coast of South Africa.
Here’s what the leaves look like:
Rooibos is a herbal tea and is not related to green or black tea. Traditional rooibos is created by fermenting the leaves, which turns them a red-brown color. Green rooibos is also available, which is not fermented. It tends to be more expensive and has a more grassy flavor than the traditional version of the tea. An added bonus of the green variety is that it contains higher levels of antioxidants compared to the traditional red type.
Rooibos tea is usually consumed in a similar way to black tea. Some people like to add milk and sugar to taste. More recently, iced tea, espressos, lattes and cappuccinos made from the tea have been introduced in some countries. Contrary to some claims, rooibos tea is not a good source of vitamins or minerals, with the exception of copper and fluoride. However, it is full of powerful antioxidants, which may have some health benefits.
Rooibos tea is a traditional beverage made using the leaves of a shrub from South Africa. It is consumed in a similar way to black tea and contains lots of antioxidants.