Top tips for choosing a rooibos tea blend

By: Gen Wright

As any health conscious beverage drinker will know, rooibos tea is one of the most effective and natural teas available, with no caffeine and a wide range of health benefits to be enjoyed in every cup. Grown in South Africa, with the scientific name of Aspalathus linearis, rooibos means 'red bush' in the local Afrikaans dialect. This tea is known for its powerful antioxidants and health properties which are also found in regular Camellia sinensis tea plants, such as polyphenols, the antioxidants that protect against cell damage and counteract diseases such as age-related decline, cancer and heart disease. Rooibos does not contain caffeine however, which makes it even more effective as a healthy immune booster.

Additional health benefits of rooibos include far lower tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or un-oxidized green tea leaves. This tea also contains a number of phenolic compounds, such as flavanols, flavones, flavanones, and dihydrochalcones. Rooibos is known to assist with a wide range of health problems, including nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems. In Africa the tea is used medicinally to treat symptoms ranging from infantile colic to allergies, asthma and dermatological problems.

As rooibos gains popularity in the United States, a number of varieties can be found all offering excellent health benefits, with antioxidant properties which are up to five times more powerful than green tea. With a number of rooibos blends to choose from, it can be daunting for consumers to know which ones offer the most benefits let alone which blends are best for your lifestyle and needs.

Here are a few tips to help you choose a rooibos blend that suits your needs:

You are feeling tired and sickly, with low energy levels and decreased immunity
One of the most important benefits of South African tea such as rooibos is its powerful antioxidant properties, which increase immunity and boost energy levels naturally without the need for caffeine. Drinking rooibos that is infused with a powerful immune booster such as sutherlandia will boost your immune levels, elevate moods and increase energy levels to help you feel revived and healthy especially after a bout of flu or a particularly stressful day. Blends that contain Buchu Agathosma Betulina are also ideal as this herb is a natural detoxifier, giving your body the boost it needs to get back on track.

You are feeling overweight, bloated and drained, and want to kick-start your health
On its own, rooibos tea contains powerful nutrients for overall revitalisation and wellbeing; however rooibos that has been infused with Hoodia are also able to help you naturally lose excess weight. This feel good plant comes from a cactus grown in the Kalahari Desert, and was used by the San tribes for centuries to stem hunger and thirst during hunting expeditions in the vast desert. It is 100% natural and safe, plus Hoodia acts as a gentle appetite suppressant and energy booster. Buchu infusions are also ideal for their detoxification effects, aiding a range of ailments such as colds to flu, rheumatism, gout and high blood pressure plus it also relieves indigestion, stomach complaints, nausea and hangovers.

You are feeling stressed and anxious, and need to restore inner peace and serenity
The lack of caffeine in rooibos has made it a popular bed time tea drink for South Africans for many years, and with the additional power of Sceletium infusion, this blend is ideal for combating stress and anxiety. Sceletium has key mood altering phytochemical mesembrines that interact with dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain, resulting in calming effects on the central nervous system. The rooibos and Sceletium blend is therefore ideal to treat anxiety, and has the added benefit of being a natural appetite suppressant which makes it an ideal weight loss tool in addition to its calming benefits.

For long-lasting health benefits and increased energy, look out for South African teas that best suit your individual needs and requirements.

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Grace Joseph considers herself something of a rooibos tea connoisseur, and searches the internet for the best quality tea to order online.

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