Rooibos is a broom-like member of the Fabaceae family and is also known as African red tea or red bush (botanical name – Aspalathus linearis).
It usually grows on the western coast of South Africa and reaches about 3 feet tall. The leaves of the plant are used to make a tea. Traditionally, this tea is created by fermenting the leaves, that gives them the red-brown color.
Health benefits of African red bush tea:
Contains no tannins or caffeine
Rooibos tea (pronounced ROY-boss) does not contain caffeine and has low tannin levels compared to green tea or black tea. The effects of caffeine on the physical body may begin as early as twenty minutes after consuming and last up to 6 hours.
Caffeine has been shown to relax the esophagus which ultimately may lead to gastroesophageal reflux. Furthermore, it increases the release of acid in your stomach, occasionally leading to heartburn or an upset stomach.
Rich source of antioxidants
The tea has been found to be a storehouse of antioxidants. According to research, it has up to 50 percent more antioxidants and polyphenols than green tea, especially luteolin. Flavonoids, a class of dietary polyphenols, are rising to superstars status in preventing some brain disorders due to their strong antioxidant defense mechanism.
Another biochemical role of flavonoids in humans appears to be a boost in the secretion of insulin by beta cells in the pancreas. Furthermore, they have successfully been used to lower LDL cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
Furthermore, it contains aspalathin, which lowers blood sugar and improves insulin resistance in the body, therefore, it is beneficial for diabetes sufferers. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that this compound is very effective in combating free radicals.
Unlike black or green tea, this African tea contains no oxalic acid. Oxalic acid can cause adverse side effects to people who consume a high quantity of food containing oxalic acid or use prescription medications with concentrated amounts of it present.
Tip – brewing this red tea with cinnamon increases the nutritional content, according to Braverman, a professor of integrative medicine at New York’s Weill Cornell Medical College.
Side effects of rooibos tea
There are very few adverse effects of this tea which are overshadowed by its numerous health benefits. Because it is rich in antioxidants, overconsumption can interfere with the actions of some drugs.
In addition, it can cause skin irritation, such as – skin hives, swollen skin, redness, skin rash, or itchy skin patches. Some sensitive individuals are experiencing difficulty breathing, like – chest tightness, swollen chest, chest pain, or shortness of breath. Due to a lack of studies, this tea is not recommended during breastfeeding and pregnancy.
Lemongrass (scientific name – Cymbopogon citratus), also known as fever grass, is a tall, perennial grass that is native to tropical regions of Asia and India.
Health benefits of fever grass:
Helps maintain blood sugar levels
This tea contains a compound named citral, that according to studies helps maintain optimal insulin levels and can cause apoptosis (self-destruction) in cancer cells.
Rich in minerals
It is packed with copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, manganese, and zinc. All these essential minerals play an important role in the body’s metabolism, bone health, and water balance. Moreover, these nutrients work in synergy to grow and maintain your body’s organs, cells, skeleton, and systems. Also, they can participate in hundreds of other small methods to effectively improve overall health.
According to studies, it has antiseptic properties which are more potent than streptomycin and penicillin when used as a natural treatment for staph infections.
Breastfeeding not only supplies the optimum nutrients for the infant but it also guarantees a healthy development for the newborn. This plant has galactagogic properties, that promote the sufficient formation of milk in the breasts. More importantly, eating foods with galactagogue properties and rich minerals is a good method to ensure that the mother’s nerves and cells are functioning at a healthy level.
A great source of beta-carotene
Vitamin A (found in the form of beta-carotene in plants) is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining a proper neurological function and promoting healthy skin, as well as ensuring that we have a healthy vision. Moreover, beta-carotene helps to maintain the epithelial cells both externally (in your mucous membranes, skin, and eyes) and internally (in your gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and urinary system) and to protect your body from disease and infection.
Reduces LDL cholesterol
When your LDL (bad) cholesterol level is high, it can start to form a plaque-like substance on the walls of your cardiovascular system, which will block the natural flow of blood and put you at high risk for stroke and heart attack. Globally, more than 30 percent of ischaemic heart disease is attributable to high LDL cholesterol. Europe has the highest rate of high LDL cholesterol in the world, with 54 percent for both women and men. This tea possesses anti-hypercholesterolemic and anti-hyperlipidemic properties which support healthy cholesterol levels.
Side effects of lemongrass tea
This tea is able to start menstrual flow, hence, it represents a concern because it might cause a miscarriage. Furthermore, patients with liver or kidney diseases should not ingest this tea. Due to its properties to lower blood glucose levels, it can interfere with prescription medication for type 2 diabetes Mellitus patients, hence, you should consult your healthcare specialist regarding its consumption.
Honeybush (scientific name – Cyclopia subternata), also known as bossie or heuningbos, is a shrub of the Fabaceae family and native to the cape of South Africa. The earliest mention of this plant in botanical literature was in 1705.
The leaves of this plant are used to make herbal teas which have a taste similar to that of rooibos tea, though arguably a little sweeter.
Health benefits of heuningbos (bossie) tea:
It is a natural source of many antioxidants, including major phenolic substances. These phenolic compounds found in many plants have powerful antioxidant effects, which means that they neutralize free radicals before they can react with other biomolecules and cause serious damage. Moreover, phenolic compounds may decrease your risk of developing cancer due to their properties.
Contains plant estrogens
This plant has phytoestrogenic properties. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived substances found in many different foods, such as – soybeans and soy products, beans, lentils, peas, and whole grains (especially in rye and millet), and seeds (particularly in flaxseed). In general, foods rich in phytoestrogens show powerful anti-cancer abilities.
According to a 2004 study published in Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, this tea protects against certain types of mutagenesis in the liver.
Low in tannins
This tea is very low in tannin (approximately 0.45 percent). This is an important aspect because tannins slow the absorption of essential minerals, like – calcium, zinc, and iron (leads to iron anemia) and can cause constipation. Additionally, they have been reported to be responsible for a lower growth rate, protein digestibility, and net metabolizable energy, in animal studies. More importantly, some people can develop allergy and symptoms include – cluster headaches, migraines, indigestion, nausea, nasal congestion, and stomach cramps.
Consuming this tea is especially valuable for individuals with heart and digestive problems.
A good source of vitamin C
It contains high levels of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that your body doesn’t store it. Vitamin C also helps to regenerate and repair tissues, aid in the absorption of iron, protect against heart disease, decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and prevent scurvy. Low levels of vitamin C may lead to gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, cancer, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
Side effects of honeybush tea
This tea is not recommended to women while breastfeeding or pregnant. Other than this, there are no other side effects and is considered safe when consumed in moderate amounts.