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Alternative Healing

Drink Up: Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Rooibos or Redbush tea is Africa’s equivalent to the common tea, Camiellia sinensis, and has become a popular and healthy alternative to regular tea, according to an article by the Epoch Times.

Rooibos does not contain caffeine, is a rich source of antioxidants, and is noted for its calming effects on the body and mind. It also relaxes the muscles and releases tension, making it perfect to unwind with before bed, the article stated.

The tea contains minerals that have a number of positive effects on the body, such as fluoride, which protects tooth enamel from decay, and zinc, an essential mineral in wound healing. It also contains iron, magnesium and potassium, although the amounts differ depending on the oxidation and fermentation process of the leaves. South Africans have used the tea for its therapeutic qualities, such as a colic remedy for babies, and to sooth indigestion, menstrual cramps and heartburn in adults.

Red and green rooibos are the two varieties available. The red variety is exposed to oxidation, producing a richer, red or amber colored pigment in the water, offering a rich and fruity taste. The green variety is un-oxidized, offering a lighter, grassy tasting drink, the report stated.

Additional benefits include polyphenols, shown to be anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity, and it contains alpha hydroxyl acid, which is good for the skin, and can even be applied directly to the skin to help with acne, eczema and sunburn.

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