If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying a steamy cup of rooibos tea behind a rain-spattered window, we strongly recommend it. Rooibos’ mild, earthy taste and the fact that it’s naturally caffeine-free makes it the perfect drink to unwind with. You can drink it hot or cold and it is often used as an alternative to black and green tea.
Lately, though, Rooibos has found its way into much more than a hot kettle. Its mild taste helps it pair perfectly with most other flavors and it is used increasingly in dishes around the world. It also boasts many great health benefits.
So where did it come from and what are its benefits?
Rooibos comes from an African plant indigenous only to the Cederberg region of South Africa. Although it is also known as ‘red bush’, the plant (Aspalathus linearis) is actually better identified by its bright, yellow flowers. The red color of the tea leaves comes from the process of exposing the plant to oxygen after it’s been harvested. There is also a rarer form of green rooibos which is steamed and dried without oxidation.
For hundreds of years, the people of South Africa have been drinking rooibos for its calming taste and health benefits. It wasn’t until the 18th century that Dutch colonists in the region discovered it and began exporting it to the rest of the world. Nowadays more than 7,000 tons of rooibos are exported from South Africa every year to more than 30 countries.
Like other herbs, rooibos is packed with antioxidants that help the body in many ways. Most notably, it can help boost your immune system, detoxify your organs and protect against all kinds of diseases. Rooibos also aids in anti-inflammation. It can reduce blood pressure and increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) to keep your heart and blood vessels clear and healthy.
Rooibos is also great for the skin. This is why it is one of the key ingredients in both our Nourishing Moisture Cream and our Oneness Cream Balm. Its anti-inflammatory powers to soothe the skin and then helps fortify the epidermis against germs and pollutants.