History of Rooibos plant
The Rooibos (Afrikaans for “red bush”) is a broom-shaped plant that grows in South Africa’s Cedarburg area, enjoying the Mediterranean climate and biodiversified vegetation.
Rooibos is also an appellative for the herbal tea (tisane) made from rooibos leaves. This tisane was discovered by Carl Thunberg (a Swedish botanist) in 1772. He mentioned that the African people used to prepare tea from a red bush plant. Carl Thunberg managed to introduce and expand this tea as a beverage alternative to the black tea.
Rooibos tea is a beverage full of flavor, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, caffeine free.
Unlike other teas (whose leaves are the only elements needed for tea), the entire red bush is harvested and cut, later prepared, after the bush is dried.
Types of Rooibos Tea
There are two tea types. The red Rooibos tea is oxidized, with a nutty, powerful taste and smooth flavor, because the leaves it is prepared from have a taste similar to tobacco. The green Rooibos tea is different because of its vegetal flavor, and light scent.
Both tea types are excellent beverages to be drunk both iced or hot, accompanied by various sweet spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, etc.
And because it’s naturally caffeine free, a cup of Rooibos tea is an excellent energetic drink, due to its rich antioxidants and vitamins content.
Preparing a cup of Rooibos Tea
Whether red or green, preparing a Rooibos tea is easy. On the market, Rooibos tea come in “loose leaf” (dried leaves) or “tea bags” (the tea is grounded). The loose leaf tea is mixed with several other ingredients (such as ginger root, licorice root, cardamon seeds, chicory roots) and is considered better than the one brewed from tea bags.
For every 8 ounce cup, measure a one and a half teaspoon of rooibos mix. So, for a pot of tea, let’s say 3-4 cups in volume, that’s about 6 teaspoons. You can sweeten the tea with some sugar, honey, or other sweet spice you like.
Set the water to boil and pour it into the tea pot, letting the tea brew, mixing it at start to dissolve the honey, etc.
Benefits of Rooibos Tea
A tea that contains caffeine dehydrates your body. Rooibus tea is a great alternative to black tea, because it contains no caffeine whatsoever.
Its high level of antioxidants helps lower the risk of heart disease and several types of cancer. The antioxidants present in Rooibos (nothofagin and aspalathin) also supplement the energetic needs of the body during exercises and daily activities, lowering effects of muscular fatigue, before and after exercise.
A cup of Rooibus tea helps against digestive problems such as vomiting, heartburn, nausea, even stomach ulcers. Rooibos can also be used externally, to relieve rashes, sunburns, itching.
One can also prepare Rooibos infusions for those nasty respiratory problems, due to their antispasmodic and bronchodilator element called chrysoeriol.
Overall, the Rooibos tea is a great beverage to include in your nutrition, especially as a substitute to caffeinated drinks. Drink a cup of Rooibos to naturally boost your health and energy during the day.