Rooibos tea is produced from the red leguminous shrub native to the mountains of South Africa. This shrub has thin leaves that resemble spruce needles. Tea made of Rooibos is also known as Red Bush Tea and Red Tea. The Japanese believe that this tea can prolong life, so they call it Long Life Tea. Ancient African Bushmen believed that Rooibos was a gift from the gods to make people happy.
Rooibos tea has won wide popularity in its homeland, as well as in the U.S. and Europe. The Dutch were one of the first Europeans to become familiar with this beverage. They played an important role in making this tea popular around the world. Rooibos translates as 'red bush' from Dutch.
Rooibos has a dark red color, pleasant floral fragrance and a sweet taste; many people like its unusual flavor. It is easy to brew: pour boiling water and wait about five minutes. The amount to use is about the same as ordinary black tea.
Rooibos tea contains antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins (C, E, A, and others). It contains as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. If you drink 3-4 cups of this beverage a day, you will get your recommended daily allowance of iron. In addition, Rooibos tea contains a lot of fluoride, copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. A cup of Rooibos can be compared to some food supplements, since it contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals. This wonderful beverage can become 'the best friend' of pregnant women, children and athletes. It is perfect for anyone who enjoys exotic tastes and cares about their health.
As we mentioned, Rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which damage cells and lead to aging, certain diseases, and cancers. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they can do any damage to the cells. The antioxidant properties of Rooibos are extremely strong.
Rooibos is a good alternative to the traditional cup of tea or coffee. Rooibos tea is freshening, and completely caffeine-free. One can even drink it before bedtime. People use Rooibos for headaches, insomnia, fatigue, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, poor digestion, diabetes, asthma, and many other complaints and conditions.
People also drink this beverage in a form similar to espresso. Rooibos espresso (red espresso) is again caffeine free and is extremely rich in antioxidants. The 'red espresso' has four times more antioxidants than regular Rooibos tea. 'Red espresso' looks like regular espresso with foam on the top.
Rooibos extracts are used in cosmetics for skin and hair care. Regular Rooibos tea infusion can be used as a tonic for showers and baths. Rooibos is a natural source of tetracycline, which makes it an excellent antibacterial agent.