Generations of South Africans have used rooibos as a treatment for insomnia, allergies, and digestive issues. It has the ability to lower blood sugar, protect the heart, and promote skin health, among other things. Rooibos contains no caffeine and is high in antioxidants. Continue reading to learn about Rooibos Tea Side Effects, health benefits, possible negative effects, and tasty recipes.
What is Rooibos?
The indigenous people of South Africa’s Western Cape collected wild growing plants and used them to create tea over 300 years ago. They brewed it into a deep-red, sweet-tasting drink after chopping, fermenting, and sun-drying the plant . It was given the name rooibos, which means “red bush” in Afrikaans. Rooibos tea is made from the stem and leaves of Aspalathus linearis shrub. Native only to South Africa, rooibos is made of over 200 varieties that carry green needle-shaped leaves and bloom small yellow flowers.
Since its introduction as a crop in the 1930s, rooibos has been exported to over 31 nations. South Africans have used red rooibos for sleeplessness, anxiety, allergies, asthma, infant colic, and a lack of appetite for generations. Rooibos tea, which is naturally caffeine-free, has become a favourite among tea drinkers throughout the world in recent years. Its delightful flavour, combined with its health benefits, resulted in a spike in popularity and a massive increase in exports. It’s currently available at practically every store and cafe.
- May help with heart health
- Low in antinutrients
- Helps reduce blood sugar
- Improves the health of the skin Caffeine-free
- There have been few human investigations.
- High doses may be harmful to the liver.
- Bacterial contamination is possible.
- Drug interactions that may occur
Taste & Varieties
Rooibos leaves and stems are gathered throughout the summer months to manufacture tea. The next stage is to ferment or dry it, resulting in two different varieties of rooibos tea.
Red tea is a type of tea made from fermented rooibos leaves. Green leaves turn a deep red colour during fermentation. Fermentation imparts a distinct sweet and fruity flavour to the tea, as well as a deep, nutty aroma.
Green tea made from dried, unfermented rooibos leaves. It tastes earthy and herbal, like green tea , but not as astringent. Both types are caffeine-free by nature. This makes rooibos an excellent alternative for anyone who want to avoid or restrict their caffeine intake.
Rooibos Tea Side Effects & Safety
Rooibos tea is safe for pregnant women to drink because it is abundant in beneficial ingredients and caffeine-free. Many health practitioners advise against drinking caffeine while pregnant. If you’re pregnant, though, always with your doctor before adding new foods or supplements to your diet.
Drinking rooibos tea has been linked to liver toxicity in two cases. Increased liver enzymes ALT, GGT , and ASP) and fatty liver were found in a lady who ingested 1L of rooibos tea for 10 days. When a guy drank a rooibos and buchu herbal tea mixture, he experienced acute hepatitis and liver failure. He was able to heal when he stopped drinking the tea. Individual case reports make it difficult to draw conclusions, however caution is advised.
Rooibos tea can become infected with pathogens like salmonella during manufacturing. Salmonella is a common cause of food poisoning, with symptoms including fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. If you want to buy rooibos tea, make sure you get it from a secure and reputable source.
Phytoestrogens are found in red rooibos tea (isovitexin, luteolin-7-glucoside, and nothofagin). These are natural chemicals that resemble oestrogen, the female sex hormone . Red rooibos tea, on the other hand, contains very little phytoestrogens, and no hormonal adverse effects have been documented.
Rooibos tea may interact with the following medicines because of its propensity to reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Antidiabetics include thiazolidinediones (TZDs) and sulfonylureas.
- Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering (statin) drug.
- ACE inhibitors are used to treat high blood pressure.
But Rooibos Tea has some Benefits too
1) High in Antioxidants
Rooibos tea is high in antioxidants. Its primary antioxidants are polyphenols, which include all of the following;
- Flavonoids: aspalathin, chrysoeriol, quercetin , rutin , orientin, luteolin , and vite
One cup (150-200 mL) of rooibos tea contains up to 80 milligrammes of polyphenols. These chemicals are significantly more abundant in the unfermented (green) version of rooibos. Antioxidants are essential for maintaining good health. They protect the body from oxidative stress , which results in free radical damage . One of the core causes of chronic disease and inflammation is oxidative stress.
Drinking red rooibos tea raises blood antioxidant levels considerably. The tea’s antioxidants fight oxidative stress and lower the risk of diseases like as cancer and diabetes. TNF-alpha , IL-1b , and IL-6 were lowered in animal experiments. Glutathione , catalase, and superoxide dismutase were restored, and important antioxidants were enhanced Antioxidants in Rooibos may also benefit your mental wellness. By lowering oxidative stress, rooibos tea reduced brain cell death and anxiety in rats with inadequate cerebral blood flow.
2) Low in Antinutrients (Oxalic Acid and Tannins)
Antinutrients, which are found in nutrient-dense meals, prevent vitamins and minerals from being absorbed. In sensitive patients, they may also cause autoimmune reactions. Tannins and oxalic acid are two antinutrients found in black and green teas. Green and black tea have a distinct astringent flavour due to high tannin content.
Tannins and oxalic acid can obstruct iron absorption, aggravate autoimmunity, impede nutrient digestion, and raise the risk of kidney stones. Both tannins and oxalic acid are low in Rooibos tea. In healthy young males, drinking rooibos tea had no effect on iron absorption. Men who drank black tea, on the other hand, had considerably lower iron absorption levels (1.7 percent black tea vs. 7.25 percent).
3) Skin Health
Red rooibos tea is a common cosmetic ingredient in products that claim to prevent ageing and acne. The vitamin C and zinc content of red rooibos is mentioned in numerous claims of it improving skin health. In reality, red rooibos has very little of both, and its skin-boosting qualities are most likely owing to its strong antioxidant levels.
Polyphenols help you maintain a youthful and healthy appearance. They can protect it against UV rays, slow the ageing process, and even prevent skin cancer. In a clinical research, a cosmetic made of black tea and red rooibos decreased wrinkles by 10% after a month. In cell and animal tests, rooibos extract aided wound healing and reduced the risk of infection.
Read Also: Hibiscus Tea Side Effects for Health
4) Heart Health
Flavonoids have been associated to improved heart health and a lower risk of heart disease Rooibos tea, which is high in flavonoids, has been shown to help with heart health;
- Lowering blood pressure
- Lowering cortisol, a stress-related hormone
- Improving cholesterol levels
- Reducing oxidative stress
In 40 adults at risk for heart disease, drinking rooibos tea everyday for six weeks dramatically boosted flavonoid levels in the blood and enhanced the antioxidant glutathione. Tea drinkers had lower LDL and greater HDL cholesterol. In rats, rooibos tea was found to lower blood pressure and protect the heart. In cells and diabetic mice, polyphenols from red rooibos (aspalathin and nothofagin) decreased inflammation. Animals that ate these polyphenols had a higher level of
5) Blood Sugar Levels
Red rooibos tea may assist in the reduction of high blood sugar levels. People who drank rooibos tea instead of water after a meal had reduced blood sugar levels in a clinical research. Rooibos significantly lowered insulin, total, and LDL cholesterol levels while enhancing antioxidants. Aspalathin-rich rooibos extract decreased blood sugar levels and enhanced insulin sensitivity in diabetic animals.
The effect of red rooibos extract on blood sugar levels was comparable to that of the commonly used anti-diabetic medicine metformin. Diabetes patients are prone to inflammation and have a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. In cells and diabetic mice, polyphenols from red rooibos (aspalathin and nothofagin) decreased inflammation. Animals that ate these polyphenols were more flexible and had fewer wrinkles.
Animal and Cellular Research (Lacking Evidence)
There is no clinical evidence that rooibos tea can be used to treat any of the conditions described in this section. A synopsis of extant animal and cell-based research is provided here, which should help guide future research efforts. The research listed below, however, should not be taken as proof of any health advantage.
Aspalathin, a flavonoid found only in rooibos tea, showed promising weight loss potential in cell and animal studies. Unfermented green rooibos extract helped mice lose weight by lowering blood cholesterol and triglycerides and preventing fat formation in the liver. Aspalathin and other rooibos tea polyphenols inhibited the formation and storage of fat cells in test tubes. Red rooibos tea polyphenols may reduce fat cell development in two ways;
- PPAR-gamma inhibition
- AMPK activation
However, due to a lack of clinical data, rooibos tea cannot be suggested as an effective weight-loss supplement.
How to Use Rooibos?
Follow these instructions if you bought rooibos leaves:
- Place a teaspoon of leaves in a cup of water and bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes.
- Lower the temperature and strain
- Alternatively, soak 1 teaspoonful of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water for 7-10 minutes before straining.
- To taste, add additional honey
It’s even easier to make rooibos with teabags. Simply pour hot water over the teabags and steep for 10-15 minutes before removing them.
Rooibos Kombucha: A Combo To Avoid Rooibos Tea Side Effects
Try creating rooibos kombucha to amp up the advantages of red rooibos. Black tea, sugar, and a starting culture are typically used to make kombucha (SCOBY). In the fermentation of kombucha, black tea is an important ingredient. To reproduce and flourish, yeast and bacteria need sugar and tea ingredients like caffeine.
If this is your first time making kombucha, make sure you understand the basics first. * Make at least four batches of kombucha with black, caffeine-rich tea before attempting to make rooibos kombucha. This will maintain your SCOBY healthy and powerful enough to make kombucha out of caffeine-free rooibos. So, how exactly do you make rooibos kombucha?
- Begin with a nutritious SCOBY made from black tea.
- Make rooibos tea by combining 4 tablespoons tea leaves with 1 gallon of water and boiling for 10 minutes.
- Pour 1 cup of sugar into the tea and set aside to cool.
- Pour warm (not hot) rooibos tea over the SCOBY in the glass container.
- Store in a dark, warm area, covered with a cloth.
- Allow 6-14 days to brew
- Make a strain (with a coffee filter or cheesecloth)
This recipe calls for 1 gallon (3.3L) of tea, but you can modify it to fit your needs and jar size. Although rooibos tea can be used to make kombucha, keep in mind that your SCOBY will grow slower and your beverage will be weaker. To be safe, blend kombucha and rooibos half and half if you’re not sensitive to caffeine.
Rooibos tea is a wonderful, caffeine-free, antioxidant-rich beverage. Its popularity in the West is growing for a reason: research suggests that rooibos can help protect the heart, reduce blood sugar, and enhance skin health. It’s also used for weight loss and digestive problems, but there’s no clinical evidence to support this. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, try adding some rooibos tea to your next batch of kombucha to amp up the health benefits. Bacterial contamination and blends with other herbs that you may react to are the primary dangers to be aware of.
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Who should not drink rooibos tea?
*People with estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as breast cancer, should avoid rooibos tea or consult a physician before doing so. According to one study, consuming large volumes of rooibos tea on a regular basis raises liver enzymes, which may create problems with liver tissue and function.
What happens when you drink rooibos tea everyday?
Drinking rooibos tea on a regular basis may help protect against the oxidative damage associated with diabetes since it’s high in protective plant chemicals like polyphenols. Rooibos is high in the antioxidant aspalathin, which has been shown in animal experiments to help regulate blood sugar levels and minimise insulin resistance.
How much rooibos tea can I drink a day?
Experts recommend drinking six cups of rooibos tea each day, but we think that one cup will suffice! The best way to drink rooibos tea is to simply steep it in boiling water until it reaches the strength you like. The longer you leave it, the darker the colour and the more intense the flavours will get.
Can rooibos cause liver damage?
When consumed by mouth, Rooibos is LIKELY SAFE for most individuals when consumed in normal food amounts as a beverage. However, drinking significant volumes of rooibos tea for more than a year, such as 10 cups per day, can cause liver problems in some people.
Does rooibos tea make you sleepy?
In South Africa, rooibos is supposed to have a relaxing effect on the system without being a sedative and is noted for its gentleness; it is frequently given to children with colic to help them sleep.