Health benefits of rooibos tea and why it’s one of the best substitutes for tea and coffee to reduce adrenal-depleting stimulants in the diet.
I love tea! Like many foodies, my tea cabinet is overflowing with various types so I can always find the right one to fit whatever the need may be at that particular moment.
Stressed out? A cup of chamomile tea will calm you down in no time.
So, where does rooibos fit in?
Rooibos: Herbal Gem from Africa
A cup of rooibos tea, also known as red or redbush tea is one of my favorite caffeine-free beverages.
While I love green tea, I can’t drink it every day as I am so sensitive to caffeine.
Even small amounts on a daily basis can weaken the adrenals sometimes with odd symptoms and contribute to early afternoon fatigue or worse over time.
I really can only enjoy caffeinated tea occasionally. Have you noticed how a daily dose of caffeine 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. They just don’t taste the same in my opinion.
I would rather choose a tea that is naturally caffeine free.
Rooibos tea (my preferred source) is native to the continent of Africa and is primarily grown in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Local people have traditionally used it for centuries.
Dutch settlers in South Africa used it as an alternative to expensive black tea whose supply was dependent on trading ships from Europe.
Flavor and Nutrition
Red tea has an earthy and slightly nutty flavor. The first time I tried a cup, I didn’t really care for it much to be honest!
Rooibos definitely grows on you after a while, and now, I simply love it!
Instead, it becomes sweeter with an even more enjoyable flavor with extended brewing.
Thus, it is especially enjoyable as a therapeutic herbal infusion that is brewed overnight.
My favorite way to enjoy it socially is with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, a la red tea latte.
Rooibos’ benefits primarily revolve around the fact that it is naturally decaffeinated and loaded with antioxidants.
Scientifically, no adverse effects and many health benefits are attributed to rooibos tea consumption. (1)
Some of the biggest health boons are its anti-fungal and antimutagenic (DNA protective) properties.
It also beneficially modulates the immune system and assists 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 its benefits to the digestive system, as anything that reduces digestive burden results in an improved energy state!
I also love to have rooibos tea on hand because it is a caffeine-free choice for the kids whenever they ask for a cup.
These healthy habits take hold and can stick too! My youngest, who just turned 18, still enjoys a cup of rooibos over more trendy, unhealthful beverages!
Safest Forms of Rooibos Tea
Like many plants, be aware that rooibos readily takes in fluoride from the surrounding soil.
It is very important to make sure you buy organic rooibos as commercial fertilizers contain large amounts of fluoride. (2)
I recommend organic loose-leaf rooibos as the most economical and safe way to enjoy it (such as this source).
Be aware that most tea bags are toxic even if the tea itself is organically certified!
Many tea lovers have no idea about this.
Healthy Substitute for Lattes, Cappuccino and Espresso
“Red espresso” is served in South African coffee shops and is concentrated rooibos served in the same manner as light or dark espresso from coffee beans.
Rooibos tea is delicious with milk and makes an excellent caffeine-free rooibos latte or cappuccino.
Another caffeine-free idea is a dandelion latte if you really enjoy the taste of coffee.
In the summer, iced red tea is a very pleasant alternative to the black iced teas on the market (these bottled teas are very high in fluoride).
For those attempting to shake the coffee or green/black tea habit, a switch to rooibos may be just the ticket!
If you need more caffeine-free beverage ideas, the linked article contains more suggestions and a healthy recipe.
(1) Rooibos Tea and Health: A Systematic Review of the Evidence from the Last
(2) The Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: An Environmental Overview