I love tea! My tea cabinet is overflowing with tins, paper boxes, and bags of both bulk tea and tea bags so I can always find the right herbal tea to fit whatever my need is at that particular moment.
A little congested? A cup of alfalfa or stinging nettle tea work well due to their natural antihistamine properties.
Stressed out? A cup of chamomile tea will calm you down in no time.
So, where does tea fit into a healthy diet?
Red Tea: An African Herbal Gem
For the past few weeks, I’ve been drinking a morning cup of red tea, also known as rooibus or redbush tea. I’ve switched recently because I find that don’t do well if I have a cup of green tea every morning as even a small daily dose of caffeine tends to weaken my adrenals and contribute to early afternoon fatigue after awhile. I really can only enjoy green or (my favorite) English Breakfast tea on occasion as caffeine so quickly develops into a habit if you’re not especially careful.
I don’t prefer decaffeinated black or green tea because, to me, this is an unnatural over processing of these herbs. I would rather choose a tea that is naturally caffeine free, such as red tea.
Red tea is native to the continent of Africa and is primarily grown in South Africa’s Western Cape. Local people have traditionally used red tea for centuries, and the Dutch settlers in South Africa used it as an alternative to expensive black tea whose supply was dependent on trading ships from Europe.
Red tea has an earthy and a slightly nutty flavor. The first time I tried a cup, I didn’t really care for it much. Red tea grows on you after awhile, though, and I now I simply love it.
Red tea is naturally decaffeinated and loaded with antioxidants. Scientifically, no adverse effects whatsoever have been attributed to rooibus tea. Red tea possesses antifungal as well as antimutagenic properties. It is also alleged to beneficially modulate the immune system and to assist with nervous tension, skin problems, and digestive complaints.
I personally find that a warm cup of red tea gives me a lift in the morning with no caffeine required. This effect is perhaps due to red tea’s beneficial effects on digestion, as anything that reduces digestive burden results in an improved energy state!
I also love to have red tea on hand because it is a caffeine free choice for the kids whenever they ask for a cup.
Like many plants, rooibus readily takes in flouride from the surrounding soil, so make sure you buy organic rooibus as commercial fertilizers contain large amounts of flouride.
A Healthy Alternative to Coffee Based Lattes, Cappuccino and Espresso
“Red espresso” is served in South African coffee shops and is concentrated rooibus served in the same manner as coffee espresso.
Red tea is delicious with milk and makes an excellent caffeine free latte or cappuccino.
In the summer, iced red tea is a very pleasant alternative to the black tea based iced teas on the market.
For those attempting to shake the coffee or, in my case, the green/black tea habit, a switch to red tea may be just the ticket!
What is your favorite tea of late?
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist