Yeah, yeah — you know rooibos is better for you than regular tea. But you might not know just how good rooibos really is for your body. Once you’ve heard about these “extra” health and beauty benefits, we’ll bet big bucks on you shoving the ordinary stuff aside in favour of our picks below.
Really don’t like it? Try a flavoured variety. Vanilla anyone? Plus: You can get all the beautifying effects without the herb even touching your lips.
1. Rooibos treats acne
It’s rich in alpha hydroxy and zinc — both vital nutrients for healthy skin. Alpha hydroxy reduces the signs of ageing and revitalises skin, while zinc heals wounds, protects against UV rays and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with acne, those random monthly pimples and sunburn. Sip on a cup, or even apply the tea straight to your skin!
2. It helps with hair loss
A cup a day not only keeps your locks healthy and strong, but may also help prevent hair loss. Seriously. Its active ingredients actually help remove dead skin cells that block hair follicles and prevent hair from growing. It’s also packed with zinc, calcium, copper and potassium (essential for hair growth), and polyphenols (antioxidants), which promote shiny, soft tresses.
You can even go DIY and prepare your own tea rinse at home. Steep for 30 mins in boiled water. Once cooled, pour tea over freshly washed or conditioned hair.
3. It’ll boost your immune system
The antioxidants in rooibos have anti-inflammatory properties, which assists in preventing cardiovascular disease, while its antiviral properties boost your immune system. Bonus: It also has a hypoglycaemic effect on the body, helping to balance blood sugar and improve insulin resistance, which may help prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.
Enjoy the delish flavour of rooibos in the fragrant Brew Kombucha range. They pack an antioxidant punch and contain natural probiotics, which strengthen your immune system.
4. It fights irritable bowel syndrome
Best. News. Ever. The tea has also been proven to remedy irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The antispasmodic agents in rooibos help ease stomach aches and pains, and aid digestion. How? By smoothing out the muscles in the gut. Suffer from IBS? Try drinking a cup about half an hour before a meal to get the most out of this effect.
5. It can help with asthma
Yup, it’ll help you to breathe easier too. It’s a bronchodilator (a substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles in lungs to increase airflow) and many researchers believe the tea can alleviate the symptoms of asthma.
6. It can actually cool you down on a sweltering day
Some like it red hot and others prefer it ice cold. Whatever your persuasion, rooibos is a great way to cool off in summer. Say what? Yup — studies by the South African Rooibos Council (SARC) indicate that having a hot cuppa can inspire natural body heat regulation.
According to SARC research director Joe Swart, the heat-dispels-heat theory isn’t just an old wive’s tale after all. Think back to when you’ve had a hot yoga session in the morning sun — you’re dripping one minute, but as your sweat beads dry up, you cool down. Now consider an evening run: when the temp is cooler, you generate less sweat, but it could take a few cooling-down exercises to actually cool down. So you’re not crazy to reach for a steamin’-hot cup on a warm day…
7. And… it’ll lower your cholesterol
Chrysoeriols, a flavonoid in rooibos, aids in blood circulation and has also been linked to reducing cholesterol. Organic rooibos contains zero calories, and has no preservatives or additives. Rooibos is also a source of the flavornoid aspalathin which, according to studies by the SARC, can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and related cardiovascular diseases.
Information courtesy of the SARC.