ROOIBOS, alternatively red bush,
is generally used to make a refreshing beverage which is commonly known as
Rooibos is the shrub Aspalathus Linearis.
The shrub which is endemic to the slopes of the Cedarberg mountain range in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
, which grows up to 2m high, is reported to have many health properties.
The colloquial or Afrikaans name of Rooibos
derives from the fact that the fine needle-like leaves of the plant turn red on fermentation.
From before recorded history the indigenous peoples
of the area now called Clan William, in South Africa, made the leaves of the rooibos into a tea for medicinal purposes
The tea was made by first cutting off the twigs and then bruising the leaves by hammering them between stones, fermenting the result and then drying the residue in the sun.
They attributed many health properties to rooibos tea.
Their belief in the health benefits of Rooibos
were such that had you to believe them you would believe that this particular herbal supplement had almost magical properties.
Rooibos, when prepared in this way, albeit using more modern methods, forms a red tinged black tea leaf like substance, which when steeped in hot water for 5 minutes, produces a pleasantly refreshing beverage known as Rooibos Tea.
Rooibos tea is relatively aromatic
and the liquor is a reddish brown in colour.
Depending on personal preference, Rooibos tea may be drunk with or without milk and with or without sugar
some people even use sweetened condensed milk to add to their rooibos tea.
The Worldwide popularity of Rooibos tea
has increased somewhat dramatically over the last few years due in part to research claims regarding the anti-ageing properties that rooibos tea is purported to have.
The health properties of rooibos tea
have gained a certain acceptance amongst some medical doctors in South Africa. It is not uncommon for rooibos tea to be prescribed as an effective stomach soother which is regarded as gentle enough to treat infant colic.
Rooibos tea, a beverage which has a characteristic sweet flavor falls into the healthy food category because of the fact that it contains no caffeine and has an extremely low tannin content.
Rooibos tea it is also very rich in a number of volatile compounds, minerals and other trace elements
which are thought to have contributed to its favorable medicinal action.
Rooibos contains an extremely high amount of flavonoids
, these include vitexin, isovitexin, nothofagin, orientin, luteolin, isoquercitrin, quercetin and aspalathin which last is only found in rooibos tea.
Many of the health promoting properties which rooibos tea is believed to have are thought to stem from the
antioxidant effect of these flavonoids
Because of these flavonoids rooibos tea helps the human body to neutralise free oxygen radicals on formation.
This is a great benefit because free oxygen radicals cause damage to body proteins and fats. They can also damage DNA.
It has sometimes been stated that free oxygen radicals are a significant contributory cause of various types of cancer.
If this is true then Rooibos tea would also have very valuable anti-carcinogenic properties
The antioxidant effect of rooibos tea is similar to that of green tea.
ROOIBOS TEA: Major Benefits
is believed to have a positive effect on dermatological diseases (skin disease) or dermatitis.
Sufferers have reported that drinking and applying rooibos tea to the afflicted area has had a very beneficial effect on eruptions of acne.
Rooibos tea is also said to have significant anti spasmodic properties and as such is useful as a drink for infants suffering from colic
It has also been claimed
that ROOIBOS TEA assists effectively in the relief of allergies causing Hay Fever and Asthma.
The additional benefits of
rooibos tea are that since it has a high mineral content including sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc as well as significant amounts of trace elements such as fluoride, manganese and copper, it contributes to the maintenance of metabolic processes as well as promoting healthy bones teeth and skin
Rooibos tea is claimed to have anti-ageing properties.
Current research, especially that undertaken by Japanese scientists, tends to lend some credibility to these claims.
However, until further research is undertaken the expectation of rooibos tea promoting a healthier life would seem more realistic than believing it would lead to an increased lifespan.
Since Rooibos tea contains very little oxalic acid it makes a suitable drink for people prone to kidney stones.
In general Rooibos Tea makes for a pleasantly refreshing drink which has no adverse effects and which may be drunk throughout
the day. Rooibos Tea is especially suitable as a night time drink due to the fact that it contains no stimulants and therefore is conducive to restful sleep...
is fast becoming acknowledged as an effective herbal supplement
It's benefits are once more coming to light after being lost in the depths of tribal lore.
Modern research is showing some very interesting potential benefits of this potentially powerful herbal medicine.
However, more large scale trials into the medicinal properties of ROOIBOS TEA are required before definite conclusions can be drawn, regarding the claimed health properties of this unique shrub from South Africa...
Rooibos Tea as an ingredient in Recipes
Many South Africans use Rooibos to replace milk and water in many recipes.
It is known to increase the richness and flavor of most soups and stews.
.. Rooibos can even be used in baking... The rich yet subtle earthy overtones adding another dimension to the taste of cakes, icing, breads and biscuits.
This food additive property has been used for many years. When she was a young girl, a few decades ago, my wife's next door neighbour used Rooibos to make a chocolate cake that was to die for.
While I do not have this particular recipe, I have provided a number of Rooibos Recipes
which you can access through the fly-out menu at the top Left Hand Side of this page. For your convenience I have also made links to these recipes at the bottom of the page
Because of the increasing international usage of Rooibos both as a tea and health drink, recipes utilising Rooibos have shown a dramatic increase in popularity...