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Red Rooibos Tea – Side Effects And Benefits

Red Rooibos Tea Side Effects And Benefits

Rooibos tea (pronounced roy-boss), also known as red bush tea or red tea, has a mild and sweet, aromatic taste, a bit like a nut.

This tea is made from fermented leaves of Aspalathus linearis which have been popular in southwest Africa for generations but commercially traded only since 1904. It is presently consumed in many countries around the world.

In addition, green rooibos tea is available and contains a higher amount of antioxidants, plus it is not fermented.

Nutritional profile

It contains many beneficial antioxidants such as nothofagin and aspalathin, phenolic compounds, vitamin C, and is a storehouse of minerals like iron, calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, fluoride, zinc, magnesium. Moreover, it has alpha hydroxy acid (that is recently found interest in cosmetic products), gallic and cinnamic acid.

Drinking this red tea during pregnancy

There is a lack of sufficient studies on the possible negative effects of the tea for pregnant and nursing women. However, it is recommended for those who have iron anemia or during pregnancy because it may enhance the absorption of iron and other minerals.

Benefits of red bush tea

Reduces stress

This tea is packed with vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin which plays an important role as an antioxidant. Vitamin C can also protect against damage caused by free radicals (groups of atoms with an unpaired number of electrons) and for people whose immune system was weakened due to emotional stress (a common condition in our society). Furthermore, this antioxidant is used to form an essential protein used to make tendons, skin, blood vessels, and ligaments.

Improves sleep quality

There is actually no nutritional need for caffeine in the diet. Consuming caffeine can temporarily make you feel more alert by increasing adrenaline production and blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. However, these side effects are more likely to happen if caffeine is ingested in high amounts. A caffeine free diet is ideal for individuals who are experiencing sleep disorders. This tea is free from caffeine and may be even useful in reducing oxidative stress in children.

Lowers blood pressure

This tea contains a plant compound – called chrysoeriol, a strong flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that decreases blood pressure. Moreover, chrysoeriol helps to inhibit the activity of the enzyme partially responsible for cardiovascular disease.

Helps fight cancer

Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant that’s found in many plant foods and has anti-microbial, antiviral, anti-allergic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests that quercetin’s cancer-protecting effects result from the modulation of the estrogen receptor. In addition, this antioxidant protects against LDL (bad) cholesterol oxidation.

Free radicals damage protection

Aspalathin found in this plant is even more effective at removing free radicals from the body than epigallocatechin gallate (which is found in green tea). Additionally, by lowering the production of adrenal hormones, this interesting compound suppresses metabolic disorders and lowers stress.

Bone health

Quercetin present in this amazing African tea is considered to reduce bone loss, therefore, is beneficial for patients suffering from osteoporosis. Moreover, this tea is an excellent source of calcium, that is the building block of bones. More importantly, according to some recent studies, magnesium (that is also found in this tea) could be as important mineral to bone health as calcium. Magnesium also helps the body to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps heart rhythm steady and normal.

Weight loss

A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Phytotherapy by the scientists from the South African Medical Research Council, South Africa, concluded that this tea showed positive effects on the metabolism of fat cells and inhibited the formation of fat cells.weight loss

Type 2 diabetes Mellitus

This tea also contains gallic acid, which is a powerful organic acid with antiviral and antifungal properties. This organic compound is found in numerous herbs and foods which are renowned for being a potent antioxidant. In addition, consumption of foods with gallic acid may benefit type 2 diabetes Mellitus sufferers by triggering the release of insulin by the pancreatic cells, plus, it reduces inflammatory allergic reactions associated with histamine exposure.

Side effects of African red rooibos tea

Consuming this tea can interfere with prescription medications for serious conditions, including some chemotherapy drugs for cancer patients.

Furthermore, specific plant substances in the Aspalathus linearis have estrogenic activity. Estrogens are steroid hormones with many different functions in various target tissues. An overproduction of estrogen hormones in conditions such as breast cancer could worsen the condition.

In some sensitive individuals, this tea can produce allergic symptoms, such as shortness of breath, watering eyes, chest tightness, swollen lips, tongue or eyes, itching, bumps, swollen skin, rashes, redness and other skin conditions.

Lastly, ingesting the tea in large quantities can have adverse effects on your liver and kidneys and may also result in migraines and headaches.

Interesting facts

The Aspalathus linearis plant was discovered in the 18th century in the Cederberg region of South Africa by European travelers.

In 1994, Burke International patented the name of this tea with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, therefore establishing a temporary monopoly on the name of the tea in the U.S. However, in 2005, a few companies were successful in removing this monopole through some lawsuits.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22571468

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24060217

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2006.pto_507.x/full
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