Rooibos Tea: How Does A Bush Taste So Good?


If you haven’t ever sipped a cup of Rooibos tea , you may want to give it a try. Good tasting and good for you, with a lovely reddish hue… 



Rooibos tea – pronounced Roy-boss – is indigenous to my native South Africa where it has been used by the African Bushman for hundreds of years. Rooibos means red bush, and it actually is not really a tea plant but is instead part of the legume family and the bush is not even red, it’s green. The red color only appears after oxidation during the tea-making process.

Growing up in South Africa, we always knew about Rooibos tea and that it was regarded as a healthy tea to drink but it was not until fairly recently that it started to become more popular and its health benefits more widely known.

Naturally caffeine-free, Rooibos is loaded with antioxidants which help protect from free radicals – those toxic by-products of normal cell function- which can contribute to aging and weaken the immune system.

Rooibos contains many minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium, making it very beneficial for healthy bones and strong teeth.

Rooibos is also useful in helping with some digestive disorders such as nausea, constipation and heartburn. Kidney stone sufferers can drink this without fear since Rooibos tea does not contain oxalic acid which can cause kidney stones.

Pregnant and nursing mothers can also use Rooibos to soothe babies who have colic and infants with stomach cramps, as studies have shown that the tea has anti-spasmodic properties.

Rooibos can also be applied to the skin topically to help relieve itchy dry skin like eczema, sunburns, and diaper rash. In fact, on a recent visit back to South Africa, I noticed that more and more skin care products feature Rooibos as one of their ingredients. Alpha hydroxy acid and zinc both found in Rooibos, are great for promoting healthy smooth skins.

Rooibos tea is usually drunk without milk and now comes in a variety of flavors. It has a a slightly sweet taste, though some tea drinkers do add a touch of honey. It can be made as both hot tea and a delicious iced tea. My current favorite is Good Hope Vanilla Red Tea by Republic of Teas – time to put the kettle on…….

And here’s another article about rooibos, this one from Natural News, that mentions it may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s….

(From Natural News Newsletter by Carolanne of

If you are a fan of green, black or white tea you may want to rethink your beverage of choice. Rooibos (Aspalathus linear) trumps all three with its substantial health enhancing features. Even if you are not an ardent tea drinker, a second look at this red hued nectar is worth your while for the sake of disease-free living.

Elixir of wellness

Indigenous to South Africa, rooibos is an exceptional healing herb. According to Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham, a Japanese study found it has notable antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antiviral properties. Teeming with formidable antioxidants, rooibos is a powerful defender of health. Kilham affirms:

“… rooibos is a source of two comparatively rare antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin. Aspalathin helps to modify hormones in the body and reduces the output of adrenal hormones specifically, thus reducing stress and helping to inhibit metabolic disorders. Aspalathin also helps to regulate blood sugar and therefore can play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and excessive fat production. The antioxidant nothofagin also demonstrates significant anti-inflammatory activity and, along with aspalathin, may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Both appear to protect nerves.”

Likewise, the herb is also a tremendous source of the super-antioxidant quercetin. This compound protects the heart, lowers the risk of cancer, knocks out viruses and markedly reduces inflammation – the ultimate bane of health which is linked with every chronic degenerative disease known.

Additionally, rooibos is packed with helpful minerals. Rich in copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, manganese and potassium, rooibos fortifies the bones and teeth while discouraging premature aging. Applied topically, the tea soothes skin conditions such as acne, eczema and sunburn due to its alpha hydroxy acid content. Rooibos also calms colic in babies, hypertension, stress and nervous system disorders.

A mildly sweet tea that is void of caffeine and oxalic acid, rooibos is a beneficial beverage for the young and old and everyone in between. Parents will appreciate the soothing influence on hyperactive children while health enthusiasts will value the outstanding perks of the tea. As Kilham aptly notes:

“It isn’t difficult to live the high antioxidant lifestyle, taking in foods, herbs and teas that will protect your body in many ways, reduce the risk of various chronic and degenerative diseases and make you feel good. As Hippocrates remarked in his credo “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Drink rooibos for taste or drink it for health. In either case, you’ll derive innumerable benefits.”

Sources for this article include:

Find out about how powerful this delightful tea is at preventing and fighting cancer:

PERSONAL NOTE: I first discovered rooibos tea a number of years ago and liked that it had such a nice taste and so many health-promoting properties. Right now I have a Ruby Red Chai (I think from Trader Joe’s) that combines rooibos with delightful spices (ginger root, cardamon, cinnamon, clove bud and black pepper), that, by the way, come with their own health benefits. I brew that in a little hot water (just enough to give the bag something to steep in), fill the rest of the mug with 1 cup heated unsweetened vanilla almond milk, add  1 tsp. coconut oil (or more, after all it’s sooo good for you!), 1 tsp. or so of xylitol, and about 6 to 8 drops of Stevia Leaf vanilla creme and have a wonderfully satisfying dessert-y tea to sip on. This recipe also works well with the Yogi Chai Green I also use. Ummm, must go make some right now!



p.s. Be sure to read my post Tea: Medicine In A Cup for even more on health-promoting teas. And subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.


7 thoughts on “Rooibos Tea: How Does A Bush Taste So Good?

  1. Pingback: Self-help Health
    • zirah1 says:

      Robert, hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I especially like the chai version, but that may not be “your cup of tea” (pun intended). Let me know what you think. I always love when I find something that’s healthy AND really good tasting. 🙂

      p.s. Thanks for taking the time to like my posts. I appreciate when someone does that, plus it lets me know the time and effort I put into the blog is worth it because people are finding the information helpful.


    • zirah1 says:

      BTW, Robert, I encourage you to leave input about any of the posts you may read here at Self-help Health. I really value your level of understanding and knowledge when it comes to certain health topics and appreciate your willingness to share what you know with others. So if you ever have some pertinent information/feedback about something that’s posted here, please feel free to comment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.