People have been talking and writing about the health benefits of Rooibos since the late 1960’s. This widespread anecdotal evidence and the presence of a blend of antioxidants in the product, whet the research appetites of several scientists in South Africa and around the world. They are testing and analysing Rooibos intensively to evaluate the potential health properties and to study the complex mix of active ingredients in Rooibos. The active ingredients in Rooibos are polyphenolic compounds. Polyphenols are characteristic chemical structures produced by plants.

Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly among health-conscious consumers, due to its high level of antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin, its lack of caffeine, and its low tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or unoxidized green tea leaves. Rooibos also contains a number of phenolic compounds, including flavanols, flavones, flavanones, flavonols, and dihydrochalcones.
Rooibos is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.
Traditional medicinal uses of rooibos in South Africa include alleviating infantile colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems.

"Green" rooibos has a higher antioxidant capacity than fully oxidized rooibos. It carries a malty flavour somewhat different from its red counterpart.

Unlike black and green teas, Rooibos is naturally caffeine free (not decaffeinated) and therefore suitable for children, infants and breast-feeding mothers.

Rooibos has proven cancer-fighting properties in animal research studies. Rooibos contains low amounts of tannin. (Tannins are astringent, bitter-tasting plant polyphenols that bind and precipitate proteins and interfere with iron absorption in the body.)

After centuries of use, no negative side effects of Rooibos have ever been recorded.

 
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