Rooibos Benefits

rooibosWhile nothing compares to a delicious pot of true tea, rooibos holds a special place in my heart. Rooibos (aka redbush or rooibush), is a plant indigenous to South Africa. During World War II, when tea was in short supply, people in the United Kingdom began to drink rooibos instead.

(More recently, rooibos has gained recognition as the favorite beverage of Precious Ramotswe, protagonist of The No 1Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.)

The “Red Tea” Confusion

Because of its color, Rooibos is sometimes called “red tea” in the United States, even though rooibos is not a true tea, but an herbal tisane. Even more confusing is that “red tea” (or “hong cha”) is how the Chinese refer to what we know as “black” tea.

(If you are confused about whether you are buying a rooibos or a true tea, ask a salesperson or read the package label carefully.)

Things I Like About Rooibos

• Like tea, rooibos absorbs other scents and flavors well, making it a great base for all sorts of flavored tisanes.
• Rooibos has a natural sweetness of it is own which reduces, or eliminates, the need for additional sweetening, particularly when rooibos is blended with naturally sweet herbs, fruits, and spices.
• Rooibos is low in tannin, making it a great option for those with sensitive digestive systems.
• Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, so you can drink it all night if you wish!
• Rooibos does not get bitter with long steeping. In fact, the flavor seems to deepen and improve after a long steep. This is particularly true when the rooibos has been blended with fruits, spices, cacao nibs, and/or nuts.
• Rooibos is best prepared with boiling water, so you don’t have to worry about water temperature.
• Rooibos does not “unfurl” like true tea leaves, so it can be infused in a tea bag or tea ball if you wish.

If you have never tried rooibos, I encourage you to do so. And stop back here to let us know what you think!

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

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8 thoughts on “Rooibos Benefits

  1. Bruce A

    This tea actually cures my wife’s headaches!!! One iced glass full does the job within 1 hour or so. Works better than the off-the-shelf medicines. It has a pretty good strawberry taste, but slightly “medicinal” if not combined with 1 part Rooibos, 1 part good black tea (Yorkshire Harrogate, Scottish Breakfast, Tarajulie Estate tea, etc.) and 1 part Lady Londenderry is what we normally use. She likes drinking it this way even without the headaches.

  2. okwy

    i love rooibos, is a great ideal tea and to start and the finish the day with, beacuse of its cafeine free, rooibos tastes great, thats my number one tea.

    1. A.C. Cargill

      Hi, Okwy, not to get too technical, but rooibos is not tea. It is an herbal infusion. However, glad you enjoy it. As for caffeine, true tea contains so little that it really isn’t an issue for most people. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. Pingback: My Favorite Herbal Tisane: Rooibos « Tea Blog

  4. Pingback: The Buzz on Rooibos « Tea Blog

  5. One of the added benefits of Rooibos that really stands out for me is that it is noted to be low in Oxalic Acid; and that is good for people who struggle with kidney stones. It has a different smell to it– and almost has a naturally caramel-like taste. Truly a great beverage that can be blended with many things! 🙂

  6. jm

    Rooibos is a good iced tsane as well. I use 8 bags of green rooibos, 3/4 cups of sugar, 1 lime and 1 gallon of water.

    Very good.

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