Rooibos tea is an excellent source of antioxidants: it’s packed with health-boosting polyphenols and contains a unique antioxidant called aspalathin.¬† Lab studies have shown that the tea could possibly slow the ageing process (including the progression of dementia), prevent certain forms of cancer (particularly skin, liver and oesophageal cancer) and lower the risk of heart disease. However, almost no research has been done in humans to confirm these proposed benefits.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that rooibos:

  • acts as a digestive aid and anti-spasmodic, thereby relieving stomach cramps and colic in babies
  • helps manage allergies
  • soothes skin irritations when applied directly to the affected area
  • boosts the immune system

Furthermore, rooibos tea:

  • has a low tannin content (only1-4%), which means that it doesn’t inhibit the absorption of iron (something that black tea does)
  • contains no caffeine
  • is virtually kilojoule-free (that’s without sugar and milk, of course)
  • contains no colourants, additives or preservatives

Downsides of rooibos Researchers know of no side effects associated with the use of rooibos tea, so it can be drunk freely. It is also safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and young children.