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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 to high levels of flavonoids, like quercetin, which has the ability to relieve indigestion, cramping, and diarrhea.
- Mineral absorption, due to the lower level of tannins (which can inhibit mineral absorption) when compared to other teas.
- Skin conditions, due to the phenylacetic acid, which has been shown 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?
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, let’s 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.
- Bring one quart of filtered water to a boil.
- Pour water over your dried tea mixture.
- Infuse for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain off the herbs.
- Serve hot or iced.
- Will keep in the fridge for up to two days.
Honeybush Tea Recipe
- 3 tbsp. honeybush tea
- 2 tbsp. Barberries
- 1 tbsp. rosehips
- 1 tbsp. red raspberry leaf
- 1/2 tbsp. nettle leaf
- 1/2 tsp. dried lemon peel powder
Red Rooibos Tea Recipe
- 3 tbsp. red rooibos tea
- 2 tbsp. elderberries
- 2 tbsp. red raspberry leaf
- 1 tbsp. nettle leaf
- 1 tsp. dried orange peel powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch of dried stevia leaves (optional)
Green Rooibos Tea Recipe
- 3 tbsp. green rooibos tea
- 2 tbsp. rosehips
- 2 tbsp. blackberry leaf
- 1 tbsp. elderberries
- 1/2 tsp. dried lemon peel powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried lime peel powder
- pinch of dried stevia leaves (optional)
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 of 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.
Supporting a The Adrenals, Thyroid, and Whole Body Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting overall wellness, herbs are a great tool to have in your toolkit, especially those who may be dealing with chronic illness of some type. Since 2009, when I started this site, I have met thousands upon thousands of people through my work and by far, the #1 health complaints are:
- adrenal fatigue (or adrenal dysfunction of some sort) (click here to read all of my adrenal health articles)
- thyroid disorders (hypo-, hyper-, or autoimmune) (click here to read all of my thyroid health articles)
Because of this, I wanted to add in a section into this post about the benefit of using herbs with chronic illness.
If you are dealing with any type of chronic illness, I’m sorry to break it to you, but caffeine may not be your best friend. 🙁 While you can find lots of info online in both the pro- and the anti-coffee camps, the fact of the matter comes down to the fact that are a lot of people dealing with chronic illness, especially thyroid and adrenal problems, that simply cannot tolerate coffee and caffeine.
While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to and can further exacerbate the toxic load on the body.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. In addition to dealing with these issues, we suspected that I was having some detox pathway sluggishness so we wanted to also focus on supporting the liver and lymph systems. Most people who are dealing with chronic illness are also going to have issues with detoxification of the body, which is why herbs can play such an important role.
To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs.
Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. All of the herbs used in my “coffee” blends have been used for thousands of years to support the body’s normal functions and help everything work a little better — something we all need in today’s toxic world! (psst, dandelion is one of the herbs!)
When it came to creating these blends, if I could get something to not only tasted amazing (and helped me recreate my dearly loved ritual), but also did amazingly supportive things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for a while and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief.
Now in its second edition, this ebook features:
- All of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
- A ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
- Information about all of the herbs used, why I selected them, how to source them, how to prepare and store you “coffees”, and much more.
- Access to your own personal coffee shop where I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here. Only real food.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.
- “Red Teas“. Mountain Rose Herbs.
- “The Health Benefits of Red Rooibos Tea“. Organic Facts.
- “10 Amazing Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea“. Underground Health
- “Rooibos“. Wikipedia.
Hi Jessica. This sounds great! I just checked and it doesn’t have caffeine either :)!
Yep! Caffeine free! Enjoy!
You and I must be on the same wave length lately -first with the schisandra and now this -I just wrote a post last month about Rooibos Tea -we love it! And it is true that kids like the mild slightly sweet taste of Honeybush tea!
I have everything on hand for the Rooibos tea blend recipe you shared and am steeping it as I type!
Awesome! Great minds think alike, eh? 🙂 Love, love, love tea!!
I am a super duper beginner in loose leaf teas. Do you have a blog post for beginners? I don’t even know where to start, but would like to soon! Thank you!
Oh! And when you say 1 Tbsp Nettles in the Red Rooibos tea recipe, is it nettle leaf, nettle leaf powder, nettle root, or nettle root powder. I found a source for loose leaf tea, but there are lots of options for nettle. Who knew?!
Hi Janelle – Nettle leaf. I will update the recipe to clarify that. 🙂
Hi Janelle – I am working on more posts right now, but here is an uber basic one: https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2014/01/diy-guide-tea-blending/ Hope that helps! 🙂
Great post – thanks for the info 🙂 I like drinking my rooibos tea hot, with a couple of teaspoons of collagen mixed in. Hides it perfectly!
YUM! I love adding the collagen to my coffees and teas! A great boost of nutrition! 🙂
It’s the best i lost weight and improved my sleeping habits. I squeeze lemon juice into my rooibos an drink Two cups a day wake up feeling refreshed.
Awesome! Love adding lemon juice — so refreshing!
I heard that rooibos with milk is good for sex how true is that.
I’ve never heard that before!