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7 Health Benefits of Rooibos (and Honeybush) Tea (plus some delicious recipes!) |

Rooibos tea has been a favorite of mine for many years. I was first introduced to it around 10 years ago when some friends from South Africa shared some with us. From the first sip, I was a fan, and whenever I drink rooibos tea, it reminds me of those friends. So, in short, rooibos makes me happy! But, did you know that in addition to tasting delicious, and perhaps conjuring up some happy memories, rooibos tea is actually very good for you?

The Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Rooibos is a red tea and this family includes rooibos and honeybush. There have been numerous studies published about the health benefits of red teas. They also do not contain caffeine and are typically safe for people of any age. Rooibos teas come from a small area near Cape Town, South Africa. While this tea has been enjoyed in that region for generations, it is now gaining popularity around the world.

The fermentation process of the tea leaves is unique and what leaves a rich, amber-red colored tea. The taste is smoother than green or black teas, because it lacks the astringent tannins that are typical of those teas. Red teas are full of minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, sodium, iron, and manganese, as well as vitamin C and antioxidants. While red teas contain a high level of antioxidants, there are two that are specifically found in high concentrations, aspalathin and nothofagin. These antioxidants have been shown to help the body fight free radical damage.

7 health benefits of red tea may include:

  • Cancer prevention, based on studies that have shown a reduction in cancer causing chemicals in the body. This is most likely due to the high levels of antioxidants.
  • Improved heart health, due to one of the antioxidants called Chysoeriol. This antioxidant has been showing to improve circulation, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Digestive disorders , thanks fot high levels of flavonoids, like quercetin, which has the ability to releive indigestion, cramping, and diareah.
  • Mineral absorption, due to the lower level of tannins (which can inhinbit mineral absorption) when compared to other teas.
  • Skin conditions, due to the phenylpyretic acid, which has been dhown to help with conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
  • Anxiety and nervousness, thanks to the tea promoting a sense of calmness in the body.
  • Improved sleep, thanks to the high mineral content and lack of caffeine.

Due to the high levels of minerals and vitamin C, red teas a great immune system boosters. Rooibos has no known side effects and is typically safe for people of any age, as well as women who are pregnant or nursing.

How Do I Use Red Teas?

7 Health Benefits of Rooibos (and Honeybush) Tea (plus some delicious recipes!) |

Red teas are perfect for both iced and hot applications, but I drink them iced most of the time. I drink iced herbal tea every day and red teas are often the base for many of my herbal concoctions. There are three different varieties of red teas available and I love them all:

Honeybush Tea: While this is not a true rooibos, people often refer to it as such. This red tea is naturally sweet and has a fruity flavor. It is delicious iced and children have been found to really enjoy this tea due to the complex flavors and natural sweetness. I enjoy mixing this with a variety of herbs and other berries as a delicious base for my tea blends.

Red Rooibos Tea: This tea has a delicate flavor and a gorgeous red color when brewed. It also has a nice, natural sweetness. It's very smooth and one of my favorite iced teas. It also tastes delicious with cream in it as well.

Green Rooibos Tea: The green variety is a completely unfermented version of rooibos. It has a slight herbal taste to it and not nearly the sweetness that the red rooibos has. The color is similar to traditional green tea when brewed. The green version is said to be higher in antioxidants and trace minerals than the fermented red version and makes a delicious green tea substitute for those avoiding caffeine and/or high levels of tannins. I personally love this variety and drink it hot or iced.

I encourage you to give all of the varieties a try and see what you enjoy most. Now, lets get started with some delicious recipes!

Delicious Obsessions Trusted Product Recommendations

I get a lot of questions asking where I get my rooibos and other herbal products. Due to the FDA and FTC laws regarding health claims, I can't list a specific product or brand here. For a list of herbal products, please visit my Products I Love page.

Delicious Rooibos Tea Recipes

All of these recipes are delicious and can use any variety of red tea interchangeably. Feel free to experiment and find a flavor combination that you enjoy. Teas are so awesome because they are flexible and customizable to your own personal tastes! I also regularly use rooibos teas as a base for some of my adaptogenic herbal tea blends. You can easily add your own favorite adaptogens into these blends. Holy basil and schisandra berries are two of my favorites. Learn more about adaptogenic herbs here.

For all of these recipes, you can use the infusion method to brew (learn how to make basic herbal preparations like infusions, decoctions, and tinctures here). Each recipe will make one quart of tea. I purchase the dried lemon, lime, and orange peel in powdered form. If you don't have the powdered form, you can just add your whole dried peel and use about 2-3x what the recipe calls for in powder form.

Basic Herbal Preparations

If you’re new to herbs and are feeling confused about all the different preparations for them, don’t be! Let me help you out with this Basic Herbal Preparations post. You can also watch the videos below to learn more about a couple herbal preparations and about my favorite source for organic, sustainably harvested herbs.

Do you like rooibos tea? What is your favorite way to drink it? Do you drink it plain or mix it with other herbs.


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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food wellness educator and the founder of the Delicious Obsessions website. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. She began helping her mother cook and bake around the age of three and she's been in the kitchen ever since, including working in a restaurant in her hometown for almost a decade, where she worked every position before finally becoming the lead chef. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

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