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Rooibos tea – Benefits and properties

by Dianna Leon

Rooibos tea has become increasingly popular around the world due to its similar properties – in some of its effects – to red tea. The infusion has a reddish color, smooth and sweet flavor and is made from the leaves of a shrub widely cultivated in South Africa. The rooibos, shrub used to make tea, is a plant that has been used extensively for centuries by the tribes of Africa from the South to prepare the hot drink that had many health benefits.

Benefits and properties

Some studies indicate that rooibos tea has heart-protecting properties, helps control blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels, and fights and prevents infertility and other anxiety-related ailments. It has detoxifying action and, therefore, it is widely used by those seeking to lose weight. Rich in antioxidants, the plant has a detox effect, anti-allergic properties, among other benefits. It helps in the treatment of irritability, insomnia, headaches, cramps, stomach pains – mainly of nervous origin – and, due to antioxidants, it also combats the formation of tumors and premature aging of the skin.

Rich in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc, in addition to its antioxidant effect, the plant is used as an isotonic drink by athletes, as it helps to replenish the mineral eliminated during physical exercise. The tea can also be used to maintain healthy bones and teeth, alleviate skin problems, among many other benefits that are being studied.

How to prepare and consume rooibos tea?

To prepare the tea, it is first necessary to purchase the tea in sachets or even the herbs. As it has a sweet taste, it doesn’t need to be sweetened, bringing even more benefits.

Use the proportion of 10g of herb for each liter of water. In a container, bring the water to the fire. When it is boiling, add the herb and then turn off the heat and smother the mixture. Let it sit for a period of approximately 10 minutes, allowing the water to absorb all the flavors and properties of the medicinal herb.

The drink can be consumed cold on hot days as a refreshment, or hot on colder days, as a way of not only nourishing but also warming up. The tea can also be prepared with lemon and honey, which will make it even tastier.

Consume a serving of approximately three cups a day.

Contraindications and precautions

Unlike red tea – this contraindicated for hypertensive and pregnant women, in addition to reducing iron absorption – we did not find contraindications for rooibos tea in the consulted literature. It is important, however, to always consult a doctor before consuming any type of medicine, natural or not.

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