What is Rooibos Tea? - History, Benefits, and More

What is Rooibos?

Rooibos is an herb that comes from a South African red bush, pronounced ‘roy boss,’ this herb is technically not a tea. Regardless, rooibos has been consumed as a tea in South Africa for generations. Rooibos, also known as ‘red tea,’ is packed with antioxidants and has been shown to have numerous health benefits.

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Rooibos benefits for your health

From helping you achieve beautiful, healthy hair to fighting off inflammation, rooibos tea has many fantastic health benefits to offer those who drink it. Here are just a few of the ways that rooibos tea may help to make a difference in your life.

Supports healthy hair and skin

An independent laboratory study showed the effects of rooibos on a group of individuals suffering from hair loss. The 90-day trial compared a 10% rooibos tea extract on individuals, later concluding an increase in growth, decrease in loss, and general improvement.

Rooibos is also recommended for skin use due to its antimutagenic and antimicrobial properties.

health benefits of rooibos

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Antioxidants in rooibos

Rooibos is an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential as they can help neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging. They’re linked to a host of diseases.

Rooibos and your heart health

Studies show antioxidants in rooibos are linked to healthier heart activity; this means drinking Rooibos tea may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. In a 2011 study, 40 people at risk of cardiovascular disease consumed rooibos daily for six weeks. During this trial, the participants had significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein also known as ‘LDL,’ or ‘bad’ cholesterol while significantly increasing high-density lipoprotein or ‘good’ cholesterol.

Diabetes prevention & management

Rooibos can help individuals with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, therefore lowering the risk of diabetes-related complications. Rooibos contains the antioxidant ‘aspalathin,’ which animal research has found to have anti-diabetic properties.

Lowering the risk of cancer

Studies involving cancer in test tubes show that the antioxidants quercetin and luteolin, two antioxidants present in rooibos, can kill cancerous cells and tumor growth. However, it should be noted that no human trials have occurred, and further research is needed.

Rooibos & weight loss

Rooibos is calorie-free and is an excellent beverage for people who are looking for something while maintaining their weight loss goals. Additionally, rooibos has been shown to increase leptin levels, a hormone that tells your body it has had enough to eat.

Improving digestion with rooibos

A 2006 study involving animals showed that rooibos reduces loose stools, calms muscle spasms, and decrease gastric secretions.

History of rooibos

Locals and the indigenous population of the area have been brewing rooibos for hundreds of years. It was only in the 1930s that rooibos tea became a widely desired commercial good. With the introduction of organic and green rooibos tea, the brew continues to gain popularity and is a favorite amongst many seasoned connoisseurs.

Rooibos Tea comes from the Aspalathus Linearis shrub, a plant native to the mountainous regions of South Africa. Originally, Aspalathus Linearis could only be found in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Still, the plant has since been distributed by farmers and traders to spread to other regions of Africa. South Africa is the only country known to grow this enticing brew, exporting nearly 7,000 tons of harvested rooibos tea to other countries each year.

loose rooibos

Rooibos teas caffeine content

If you’re looking for a naturally caffeine-free drink, rooibos should be your cup of tea. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and low in tannis. Consuming caffeine is generally safe in moderate quantities. However, large quantities of caffeine have been linked to issues with anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations.

If you’re interested in rooibos but also prefer caffeinated drinks, we highly recommend checking our green or black teas. Enjoying a caffeinated tea in the morning and rooibos throughout the day is a perfect combination while ensuring healthy caffeine doses.

What does rooibos tea taste like?

Rooibos has exploded in the US recently, one of the main reasons is its fantastic flavor! Rooibos is naturally sweet and malty and is even touted as a healthy coffee replacement. Green rooibos is lighter than red rooibos and has a sweet grassy flavor to it. Honey Bush, a cousin to rooibos, has honey and earthy taste that is sweeter than rooibos.

Consumers usually describe the brew as a crowd-pleaser that can easily be brewed or altered to meet any preference. Rooibos is a great base tea to which any add-ons like jams, creams, or sugar can be added. And with vibrant, eye-catching color, this blend is an all-around crowd-pleaser.

Rooibos in cup with orange

Where can I buy rooibos?

Rooibos tea can be found online! Shameless plug: but as of writing this, we sell 14 different types of rooibos teas. We’re USDA certified organic, and our products are vegan and free of GMO’s. To top it all off, we have over 10,000 positive reviews, so feel free to try us out! However, if you’re more of an in-store person (we totally get that), you can find loose leaf rooibos tea at any organic or wellness store such as Whole Foods.

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How do you steep rooibos tea?

To brew rooibos tea, add one tsp of your preferred dry rooibos mix to an infuser or drawstring Tea Bags. Let the tea steep for five to seven minutes in 8 ounces of boiling, filtered water. After the tea is done steeping, remove the tea leaves from the liquid and enjoy!

Because rooibos is an herbal tea, it will not become bitter the longer you steep.

If you’re looking for an infuser or drawstring bags to brew your rooibos tea, we’ve got you covered. At Full Leaf Tea Company, we love all things tea, so it was only natural that we create tea accessories to elevate your enjoyment of our unique blends. Here are three accessories to help make enjoying your rooibos tea easier.

Rooibos in cup