What is Rooibos Tea?
Have you heard of Rooibos tea and wondered what it is?
Rooibos tea, also called red tea by many people, is made from the leaves of a wild plant native to the Cedarburg region of South Africa. The name Rooibos is an Afrikaans word of Dutch origin meaning "red bush". Rooibos or red tea is naturally caffeine free because it is not a true tea in the botanical sense. While green, black, and even white teas are the dried and fermented leaves of Camellia sinensis; Rooibos comes from an entirely different plant called Aspalanthus linearis.
Having exhausted the hype about green tea, and to a lesser extent white tea (more about the use of white tea later), companies have turned to Rooibos as the latest "wonder" product.
Historically, the South African people have used Rooibos for medicinal purposes to alleviate symptoms of allergies such as hay fever. As with just about any plant, it contains anti-oxidant properties, although there haven't been many formal studies to establish its benefits.
Limited studies have shown it to be beneficial for nervous tension and headaches, intestinal cramping, and hypertension. Rooibos contains significant amounts of fluoride, calcium, and potassium as well.
Rooibos has a sweeter milder flavor than green, black, or white tea because it contains less tannic acid. Tannic acid is what you taste and feel (it makes your mouth pucker up) when you brew your tea too strong. Served with a splash of orange, Rooibos is an excellent choice hot or cold and is a nice addition to your herbal tea collection.
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