In 2008 Professor Lizette Joubert of the Agricultural Research Council and Professor Wentzel Gelderblom of the Medical Research Council, along with two more collaborators published an overview of existing knowledge about the history, cultivation, traditional uses, composition and biological activity of Rooibos and other South African herbal teas.
Here, in a nutshell are the top 10 reasons to enjoy a cup of Organic Fair Trade Rooibos, sans scientific jargon (well, maybe just a little jargon, it helps us sound credible):
1. Rooibos (or Aspalathus linearis) contains a complex mix of many flavonoids, which, contrary to the sound of their name, are not an intergalactic race of alien beings from Star Trek episode 39. These compounds widely found in plants are known to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergenic effects.
2. Aspalathin, one of the major flavonoids, is often the most active antioxidant in Rooibos, helping scavenge free radicals and protect cells and lipids (fats) against oxidative damage. Of course you could always read a Weight Loss and Happiness Book.
3. Rooibos also contains the rare flavonoid glucoside nothofagin. 10 points and a digital gold star to the one who can research the amazing health properties behind that one.
4. Rooibos does not contain caffeine, which means you get to enjoy your cup of anti-bacterial/viral/tumor/inflammatory/allergy tea without getting the jitters.
5. The major flavonoids in Rooibos demonstrate anti-mutagenic properties that help prevent or slow down cancer. In some studies green (unfermented) Rooibos is a more potent antimutagenic agent, while other studies found that fermented Rooibos has a higher antimutagenic effect.
6. The antioxidants in Rooibos protect the liver against oxidative stress and could have value for liver patients.
7. Studies on Japanese quails have shown that Rooibos protects blood cells and exhibits anti-ageing properties that slow down brain degeneration and prolong fertility – if it works for quails….
8. The bronchodilatory, antispasmodic, and blood pressure lowering effects of Rooibos, and its potential to stimulate the immune system, has been shown in some studies, but needs to be further explored – we’ll do our best to keep you updated on that one.
9. Put your tube of Goldbond on the back burner and brew a cup of Rooibos instead – human studies have shown that taking Rooibos is an effective way to treat several skin conditions. It decreased the incidence of herpes simplex within a few days, helped for itching associated with dermatitis, and reduced skin inflammation and sun sensitivity.
10. Honestly, it’s just fun to say.