Rooibos or red bush tea is made from a plant called Aspalathus linearis, grown only in South Africa. There are two types of rooibos tea – green and red – or unfermented and fermented one, both with similar benefits. Rooibos is harvested once per year, cut, bruised and fermented to get red color. Rooibos might be the best herbal tea in the world – not only it’s caffeine free and full of antioxidants, it’s extremely versatile, fun to use in cooking and delicious. Read our 7 reasons why we love it.
1. Rooibos is caffeine-free
Although rooibos is not a typical morning tea, it’s irreplaceable late in the evening or night. Unlike real tea, rooibos has zero caffeine, making it a perfect afternoon or evening drink. Recent research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that rooibos can significantly reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Proper stress management is important for a good night sleep, and for health in general. Zero caffeine and stress-reducing properties made rooibos the best after-work tea in the world.
2. Rooibos blends perfectly with other ingredients
Rooibos is one of the best herbal teas for blending. It doesn’t have a typical herbal or bitter flavor as many other herbs do. The flavor is sweet and earthly, ranging from very light to intense, depending on the fermentation level. Although it doesn’t need other ingredients to be tasty and refreshing, it’s commonly used as a base for blends – exactly because of the perfectly sweet nonintrusive flavor. It blends well with all sorts of spices, sweet ingredients such as vanilla, honey, chocolate, and bee pollen, and sour and sweet fruits such as oranges, lemons, apricots, pineapples, and coconuts. Rooibos makes a perfect base for a caffeine-free take on popular teas such as Chai, or a tea version of Pinacolada. Not only it gives a delicious herbal sweet base, it also adds antioxidant and nutrient value to the blend.
Herbal Pinacolada Rooibos Blend
3. Rooibos is extremely safe to drink
Every herbal tea is different and caution is always needed when including new herbs or teas into your diet. Some tisanes may pose a danger to health and every cure can become a poison if overused and abused.
Rooibos, in general, has no side effects and has an “excellent safety record.” Only a couple of cases of rooibos side-effects have been reported,” all including liver problems. However, because rooibos was not the only ingested ingredient, it was impossible to conclude if the cause of health problems was rooibos only. Up till today, there have been no reported cases of rooibos induced problems related to normal average consumption. Rooibos is very likely safe for elderly people and even newborns. Traditionally, it has been used for reducing colic pain in babies and toddlers.
4. Rooibos has extraordinary health benefits
Rooibos might be one of the healthiest herbal teas in the world. Although rooibos doesn’t contain any EGCG like green tea, it has other substances, such as aspalathin and nothofagin, that provide other important benefits.
Rooibos is often used as a calming tea, for dealing with skin and aging problems and as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are able to prevent and repair the damage done by free radicals, return the body into balance and keep it safe from diseases. Rooibos became extremely interesting to scientists because of its uses in traditional treatments of diseases in Africa. Dozens of studies have been able to confirm the benefits, either on humans or animals.
Some of the most important benefits of rooibos teas may be:
- Chemopreventive activity
- Antioxidants activity 
- Lowering cortisol levels and reducing stress 
- Alleviation of colic in infants 
- Reducing cholesterol levels 
- Strong anti-HIV activity  
- Management of type 2 diabetes 
- Improving long-term memory 
- Protecting liver 
- Lowering blood pressure 
- Bronchodilator activity 
5. Rooibos is easy to brew and can be re-steeped
Switching from tea bags to loose leaf tea can be quite challenging at times. It’s important to know the right brewing temperature and time for each tea, making the world of loose leaf tea very confusing for tea beginners. Rooibos is different. It can be steeped using boiling water. Even if steeped for more than 5-10 minutes, it won’t become bitter. Rooibos tea can be steeped two times. Brewing utensils may be a bit tricky though. Tiny rooibos leaves will easily fall through a regular strainer. We recommend using reusable cotton tea filters to keep your infusion leaf-free.
6. Rooibos is the most versatile herbal tea in the world
Rooibos can be used for making hot and cold tea, lattes, rooibos infused hot chocolate, cakes, and desserts. It’s the best caffeine-free and antioxidant-loaded alternative to matcha latte. Flavored rooibos teas make for a perfect ingredient in cocktails as well, giving both color and flavor. Rooibos can be powdered for easier use in smoothies, creams, and other desserts.
7. Rooibos is a beauty tea
It’s no secret that beauty starts from the inside. All countries with developed tea cultures usually have teas or tisanes with high antioxidant values as their national drinks. Is that a random coincidence or did our ancestors respect nature and understand its healing and nurturing potentials far more than we do? Among the South African population, rooibos tea is often referred to as a natural elixir to beautiful skin.
Rooibos might be a great tea for fighting the signs of age. Anti-aging properties of this tea are in the ability to preserve a pre-adipocyte function – losing fat under the skin – and preventing skin from sagging and becoming wrinkled. With thousands of anti-aging products on the market, every new product brings both hope and reluctance. However, with rooibos, there might be a firm ground for anti-aging claims. One research showed that a mixture of both Camellia sinensis and rooibos “showed the best efficacy on wrinkle reduction (9.9%)” compared to other mixtures and ingredients.
This skin-loving tea is often used as a topical remedy for different skin problems, to reduce irritation and soothe the skin. It has great potential in wound healing and can help prevent skin cancers caused by UVB radiation.
Want to try rooibos?
Whichever your reasons for drinking tea might be, remember it’s important to enjoy it. Refrain from drinking excessive amounts. Although rooibos is sweet and light, it does have a specific flavor that might not be enjoyable to everyone. Rooibos blends are the best way to get all the benefits of rooibos and fun and delicious flavors.
Disclaimer: We recommend always consulting your health-care provider before including any herbal teas into your diet to make sure both you and your family stay healthy and safe. Even though some herbs have no reported side-effects and are considered very safe, a chance of minor to adverse side-effects cannot be excluded, especially in combination with other medications or supplements.