Rooibos tea is a beloved pantry staple across the globe, but its roots are firmly planted in South Africa. A cup of this spectacular brew tastes beautiful, and boasts a long list of health benefits!
Where Does Rooibos Come From?
Farmers all over the world have tried to cultivate their own rooibos plants, but so far this little gem has refused to flourish anywhere besides the warm soil of the Western Cape Cederberg.
Records show that the Khoisan people of the Cederberg have been collecting and drying rooibos leaves for medicinal purposes from as early as the 1700s. However, it is unclear as to whether or not they made a tea with them – although they did brew the leaves of a closely related plant. As South Africa became colonised, European settlers realised that they could use rooibos to make a tea that was not only delicious, but far cheaper than the Asian teas that they were importing. Modern rooibos production processes have drawn from and industrialised the traditional Khoisan methods of bruising, fermenting (or oxidising) and drying, resulting in a fresh product that is enriched with tradition.
What Makes Rooibos So Special?
Rooibos is world-renowned for its manifold health benefits. Here are just a few of our favourites…
A Better Choice
Rooibos is a great substitute for sugary drinks, coffee and other teas as it contains no caffeine and a cup is only one calorie! It’s also free from tannins, which can hinder nutrient absorption, and oxalic acid, which can increase the risk of kidney stones.
We love our antioxidants, and a cup of rooibos is a great way to get a dose of these little helpers to fight against damage by free radicals, maintain healthy skin, and boost the immune system.
Rooibos acts as an anti-inflammatory, which means that it can help with allergies and may improve organ health. It’s also a common ingredient in skincare products.
Studies have shown that rooibos works with potassium ions in the body to generate an antispasmodic effect that can ease stomach cramps, aid digestion and combat IBS.
How Can I Get My Daily Dose?
Everybody loves a good cup of tea, but there are many more ways that you can enjoy the benefits of rooibos!
Spiced Cold & Flu Elixir
Brew a strong cup of rooibos and add a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, a teaspoon of lemon juice (or two to three fresh lemon slices) and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
This fiery brew will keep you hydrated, fight bacteria, soothe a sore throat, and help relieve cold and flu symptoms. You can halve the amount of ginger if it’s too strong, or add more if you want to combat nausea.
Rooibos & Honey Purifying Scrub
Mix together two tablespoons of raw honey and one tablespoon of loose rooibos leaves (you can also use the contents of a teabag), and apply to a clean face with gentle, circular motions before rinsing.
Honey has antibacterial properties that can help to fight acne and remove impurities, while the rooibos leaves soothe inflammation and scrub away dead skin cells and sebum. For a hydrating mask, replace one of the tablespoons of honey with mashed avocado and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing.