For generations Rooibos tea (Aspalathus Linearis) has been a staple in the homes of South African families as a comfort tea, tonic, remedy for colicky babies and even a cure for sleeplessness , but more recently it was discovered by the international arena as having beauty an array of beauty benefits. (Something SA women have been embracing for decades!)
Rooibos tea originally comes from Cedarberg Mountains in South Africa. The name rooibos means “red bush” in Afrikaans, owing to the rich red color of the tea. Being both high in antioxidants and free of caffeine, the health benefits of drinking rooibos are similar to green tea.
In addition to drinking it, there are many things you can do with rooibos tea to enhance both the natural beauty and health of your skin. It gives you great skin, it cleanses your body and it helps to control your appetite and therefor it can be beneficial in weight loss.
Rooibos tea has long been used in traditional South African medicine, where it is claimed to treat all manner of skin problems. It has a soothing effect on the skin, it helps relieve itching and other related skin irritations such as acne, eczema, sunburns, itchy rashes, allergic reactions and general irritations.
Rooibos tea is high in antioxidants called flavonoids and flavonoids have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce allergic responses and histamine release. Next to it’s anti-inflammatory effects, the high amount of anti-oxidants in rooibos will also help delay the early signs of aging.
Rooibos tea is highly recommended for those suffering from insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, mild depression, nervous tension. Since this tea does not contain any caffeine, it has soothing effects on the nervous system.
Stomach problems, indigestion, stomach ulcers, constipation and other similar related problems get a relief from consuming this tea. This tea is absolutely pure and natural, as it contains no additives, preservatives.
Rooibos Beauty Tips:
– Rooibos tea works well to combat pimples. This tea leaf contains zinc and alpha hydroxyl acid. Boil the leaves in water and allow to cool. Use a cotton ball to apply the liquid on affected areas.
– Wash your face with cold or lukewarm Rooibos tea instead of water; it is a great alternative skin freshener.
– Rinse dark hair with strong Rooibos to give it a beautiful shine or use as a leave-in for lighter hair to provide a slight reddish tint to your colour.
– Treat tired and sensitive eyes to a rinse with lukewarm Rooibos or wipe out eyes gently with a face-cloth dipped in lukewarm Rooibos for instant relief from sore eyes of any kind. Alternatively, you can also hold cold Rooibos tea bags over your eyes to relieve your tired or red eyes.
– The following face-mask method has proven a saviour to many an acne sufferer: take half a cup of strong, plain Rooibos tea (fairly warm); add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar; add 2 teaspoons of oatmeal
( if you’re allergic to oatmeal, use a gluten-free flour); allow the mixture to cool until it’s lukewarm; apply it over your face and neck; lie down and relax for about 15 minutes; rinse off with lukewarm plain Rooibos tea, then press to dry.
– If you have itchy or burning skin, then after a cleansing bath, wipe off your affected skin with a face-cloth moistened in Rooibos tea; press gently to dry ( do not rub, as this will only make the itching/burning worse). Alternatively, you can also add a few Rooibos tea bags to your bath water to sooth your skin.
– If you suffer from eczema, bathing the affected skin areas in Rooibos tea or applying it with cotton wool can provide soothing relief.
Some other useful tips:
– To make a really good cup of rooibos, use freshly boiled water. This ensures you get the best infusion or extraction from the dried leaves. You need to allow time for the leaves to infuse and open, releasing their fragrance and flavour. If using loose-leaf tea, the rule of thumb is one to two teaspoons per cup for two to four minutes, depending on the strength you like. If you prefer tea bags, work on one per cup. A longer extraction time will result in stronger tea. Once it is poured, enjoy immediately.
– Six cups of Rooibos per day holds definite health benefits, and specifically helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body and lower the risk of heart disease. The six cups of Rooibos should be spaced throughout the day to deliver optimum health benefits.
– Rooibos complements fruit flavours well and is therefore a popular ingredient in iced teas. To make a simple, refreshing iced tea, sweeten a strong pot of rooibos with honey and stir until the honey is dissolved. Leave in the fridge overnight and then add a touch of lemon or your favourite fruit juice. Cold rooibos can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. It’s also a healthy way to add flavour to smoothies and fruit shakes. You can also use Rooibos as a meat marinade or simply add it to stews or soups instead of adding water. In some parts of South Africa you can now buy Rooibos-based yoghurts and drinking yoghurts.
– Pets with allergic skin conditions will definitely benefit from being rinsed with lukewarm Rooibos after a bath.
So in short, Rooibos can be used for achieving healthy skin, delaying the signs of aging, the treatment of acne, eczema, sunburn and tired eyes, offering shine for hair and even protecting your hair colour. And these are just some of the cosmetic benefits. Some of the rooibos health benefits are the prevention of life threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease, providing relief from stomach problems, assisting with detoxing and helping with anxiety or depression.
To me, rooibos will just always taste like home.
(compiled via sources annique, rooibos tea: health benefits explained by timoteous vincenti, face magazine)