Rooibos tea, also known as red bush tea or rooibosch tea in some parts of the world, comes from the leaves of a South African plant and is an herbal remedy used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Although more scientific research is required to conclusively support the anecdotal assertions, the caffeine-free beverage is still beloved by many. Here’s a look at what potential benefits rooibos tea has to offer.
Looking at the possible benefits of drinking rooibos tea
Controlling HIV infection
One of the most remarkable traits rooibos tea is being studied for is the tea’s correlation with HIV infection. When used as a medicine to treat HIV, the chemicals in red bush tea may actually be able to help control the infection. As more clinical research is performed, scientists will ideally get a better grasp on how to use this tea as part of an effective treatment plan for bringing relief to those suffering from HIV.
Improving circulation and inflammation problems
The antioxidants in red bush tea may actually be able to improve circulation while lowering your blood pressure and even your cholesterol. The polyphenols in the tea may also be able to offer anti-inflammatory effects that can help relieve discomfort and safeguard against complications.
Relieving stomach-related ailments
The flavonoids in this herbal tea pick may actually be able to help ease intestinal cramping, treat indigestion and get rid of diarrhea. In tending to your digestive problems and keeping your body on track, red bush tea may also be able to help limit uric acid production and help relieve symptoms of gout as well.
Preventing age-related declines in cognitive stamina
The chemicals in rooibos tea may also be able to prevent deteriorations that naturally happen in the brain over time. These age-related declines bring about setbacks when it comes to thinking skills, memory abilities and cognitive stamina overall. Early studies have led researchers to suspect that the rooibos plant may be able to play an important role in protecting the brain and preventing such deteriorations. If you’re worried about developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases, you may be interested in the idea of regularly drinking rooibos tea.
Rooibos tea has flavonoids and antioxidants, which possess cancer-fighting properties that may help decrease your risks of developing cancer and may also increase your body’s ability to stop cancerous growths from progressing. Although work in the lab has shown positive results, more studies are needed in order to identify what effect rooibos tea can really have for those who are severely at risk for developing cancer or who are currently fighting the disease. As of now, drinking rooibos tea is not considered a widely-recognized component of an effective cancer prevention or treatment plan.
Providing minerals and nutrients
Rooibos tea contains essential nutrients for your body’s proper functioning including magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. The mineral content of such a pick can act as a dietary supplement and help fill in some nutritional holes found in your otherwise healthy diet. Alternative picks like black tea actually contains high concentrations of compounds that can prevent your body’s absorption of such nutrients like iron and calcium. But, rooibos tea doesn’t contain such high concentrations so this herbal pick can better aid your body’s access to the minerals it needs.
Providing dermatological relief
After you’ve sipped your tea, you can actually use the cooled tea bag as a topical treatment, which may help improve skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and inflammation. Make sure your tea bag has had time to cool down, though, since placing a boiling-hot bag of plant leaves on your skin can cause its own dermatological problems.
Presenting researchers with new leads
Although more studies still need to be conducted in order to understand all the possible medical benefits that rooibos has to offer, the research so far has indicated that rooibos has additional health-related components like mild estrogenic properties and antifungal capabilities. As scientists move forward with their experiments and observations, there’s no telling just how valuable rooibos tea can become.
Understanding the possible risks of drinking red bush tea
There is a lack of information that verifies the safety of rooibos tea as a medicine
Although rooibos tea has been safely consumed as a beverage in South Africa for years, the risks of consuming large, medicinal amounts of the drink are relatively unknown. Because there isn’t enough data to establish the long-term effects that can come from consuming the chemicals found in the tea, individuals who wish to drink such a tea in the name of alternative medicine are doing so at their own risk.
Even when a food or drink is accepted as safe when consumed in food amounts, the body can experience serious reactions when exposed to high concentrations of otherwise non-dangerous chemicals. If you’re considering ingesting large quantities of rooibos tea as part of a self-appointed treatment plan, talk with your doctor about such an approach and make sure to watch for warning signs that your plan needs adjusted.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should be cautious
Because the relevant research is so sparse, individuals who are currently pregnant or nursing should be particularly cautious when consuming rooibos tea. Even though the beverage is an herbal option, researchers still don’t know the side effects that the tea can have on fetuses and nursing infants.
In manufactured form, the herbal tea may not be caffeine free
The rooibos plant itself doesn’t contain caffeine, but companies manufacturing tea are able to add in other caffeinated ingredients into their end product so always be careful about reading nutrition labels and only purchasing picks from trusted brands. If you find a tea that contains a blend of various plants, don’t expect that the whole product is caffeine-free just because rooibos leaves are also listed in the ingredients. Another reason why it’s so important to only buy tea from reputable and established companies is the fact that tea can come contaminated with bacteria and other threatening microorganisms if not properly prepared. Consequently, don’t purchase rooibos tea online from no-name sources that have zero credibility for delivering quality goods.