ROOIBOS the red tea
what is rooibos?
Rooibos, also known as “Redbush” or “African red tea”, is an infusion made from the leaves of the plant of the same name, belonging to the legumes family.
The term rooibos means “red shrub” and derives from Afrikans, one of the official languages of South Africa.
This plant species only grows in the Cederberg region. The first to prepare the drink and enjoy its benefits were the natives of the place. The first imports of rooibos into Europe occurred thanks to the intervention of a South African settler of Russian origin who started its large-scale production. From that moment on, rooibos began to spread throughout Africa and the rest of the world. It is still regarded as the national drink of South Africa.
Why is rooibos so special?
Rooibos is very similar in appearance to any tea.
The drink is obtained by infusing rooibos leaves, which have been previously dried and crushed, in boiling water.
The traditional preparation involves the collection of leaves and twigs, which are chopped with wooden pestles, and their subsequent fermentation.
The infusion produces an amber-red liquid with a naturally sweet flavor.
To fully enjoy rooibos it should be drunk without sugar.
Unlike black tea and green tea, rooibos is naturally caffeine-free.
Furthermore, its tannin content is very low and this allows the drink to maintain its sweet taste even if you do not consume it immediately or if you forget it in infusion.
Rooibos is characterized by the presence of natural substances important for the body, such as vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium.
Scientific studies conducted by the National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition have proven that the antioxidant content of rooibos is equal to that of black and green tea.
An hour after ingestion of rooibos, there is a significant growth in our body of substances capable of acting against the formation of free radicals. This makes rooibos a completely natural long life elixir, suitable even for those sensitive to the side effects of caffeine.
Its antiviral properties have also been recently discovered, which help the immune system to act quickly to fight infections.
This also makes it suitable for children, who can benefit from taking the drink in case of nausea and stomach and intestinal disorders due to its antispasmodic and digestive properties.
Its calcium content ensures the correct formation of teeth and bones in children. On the other hand, zinc acts by strengthening nails and hair. Rooibos is considered an adaptogenic drink, that is, it is able to help the body when it is faced with an effort.
It will therefore have invigorating properties if consumed in the morning or during the day and relaxing if drunk before going to sleep. This makes it suitable both in case you suffer from energy shortages and in times when it is necessary to reconcile sleep.
Rooibos does not contain oxalic acid, therefore it can also be consumed by those suffering from stones.
Its positive effects against hypertension have been demonstrated and its caloric content is zero, a quality that makes it suitable for even those who follow a controlled diet.
Rooibos can be drunk cold. In summer it will therefore be an excellent thirst-quenching drink. On the market you can find pure or flavored rooibos, loose or in sachets.
If you buy it in bulk, just infuse a teaspoon of leaves for each cup you want to prepare. You can make a DIY flavored rooibos adding a piece of cinnamon or citrus peel to your infusion.
Now that you know its history and all its many properties, you just have to taste it.