Skip to main content

Rooibos Tea Benefits: More Than Just Antioxidants!

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Kim is a holistic health coach and a toxic-free lifestyle consultant. She obtained her studies from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Rooibos tea health benefits

Rooibos tea health benefits

Discover Rooibos Tea Health Benefits!

For the last 20 years I've been a loyal coffee drinker. That is, until I was introduced to Rooibos tea.

A few years ago I walked by a kiosk in the mall that sold a variety of flavored herbal tea brewed from loose tea leaves. The girl that worked there handed me a sample cup. I took a sip and was immediately intrigued by this deeper robust flavor. It was marvelous- a taste so distinct that even coffee drinkers will be willing to convert.

What I've learned during my quest for a healthier lifestyle is that I don’t have to choose between the two drinks. Coffee will always be the first choice when I need of a caffeine boost, but if I’m looking for a drink that will replenish every cell in my body, I will choose Rooibos tea!

Loose leaf red rooibos tea

Loose leaf red rooibos tea

Antioxidant Levels

The U.S. Department of Health uses a rating scale called ORAC, short for oxygen radical absorbency capacity, to aggregate the total amount of antioxidants found in many common foods. Note that the daily OPTIMAL recommended ORAC intake is 12,000 points.

Brewed green tea = 1,250

Brewed rooibos (red) tea = between 725 and 1,110

Brewed rooibos (green) tea= 1,700,000 + per 100 mg !!!

Resource: Brunswick Laboratories

Rooibos Tea Benefits: Red VS Green Rooibos

The two different versions of rooibos tea, "red rooibos" and "green rooibos," have two things in common: HEALTH BENEFITS and CAFFEINE-FREE.

Green rooibos has a lighter color and contains twice as many antioxidants as the red tea. The reason is that green rooibos tea is made from unfermented leaves and therefore, has a more delicate herbal taste. The complicated steaming process inhibits oxidation, preserving the green leaves and its antioxidants. The green version also has a more "herbal" taste.

If you want the more antioxidants, drink the "green rooibos" version, which has 100 times more antioxidants than "red rooibos."

It’s interesting to note that it isn't even considered a true tea at all. True tea is black tea, green tea, and white tea which all came from the Camellia sinensis plant indigenous to China, Tibet, and India. Rooibos tea comes from the plant Aspalanthus linearis.

Rooibos tea grows on a bush and goes through a fermentation process. It is chopped up and left to dry in the sun where it changes from a vivid green to a mahogany red color.

Scroll to Continue

Choose rooibos tea that is natural and organic for the best health benefits.

Choose rooibos tea that is natural and organic for the best health benefits.

Where Did Rooibos Tea Come From?

More than 300 years ago, inhabitants of the mountainous regions of South Africa’s Western Cape discovered that they could brew a tea from the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant.

The leaves were used as herbal remedies for many ailments by the Khoisans tribes. In 1904, Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian immigrant, introduced this “Mountain Tea” to the modern world again. His family recognized the potential of this tea and distributed it locally. Rooibos became a cultivated crop by the 1930’s, and was used in World War II.

How is Rooibos Tea Processed?

The planting technique that the South African farmers use is beneficial to the prevention of using chemical fertilizers. The seeds are planted during the month of February, and seedlings are replanted five months later. The farmers wait 18 more months before the rooibos can be first harvested.

The processing of most regular teas involve oxidation and of drying the leaves. Red rooibos is processed in the same manner, which darkens the color of the leaves and enhances the flavor. The green version of rooibos goes through a more difficult production process that preserves the leaves through oxidation. This is why green rooibos is more expensive, but contains more of the original antioxidants.

Where To Buy Quality Organic Rooibo Tea

Drinking rooibos tea throughout the day will curb your appetite.

Drinking rooibos tea throughout the day will curb your appetite.

Nutritional Facts of Rooibos Tea:

  • Antioxidants
  • Iron, manganese,calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium,vit C
  • Alpha-hydroxyl acid

Rooibos Tea Health Benefits

Rooibos is the complete "body protector," benefiting every single organ in our body. It does not contain colors, additives, or preservatives. The list of benefits for rooibos tea is endless.

Let's focus on the most significant benefit, which is the extremely high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful substances that fight free radical in the bloodstream, helping your body fight off infection and disease.

  • Protection against cancer! With the whopping amount of antioxidants, it’s also anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral. With the alarming rise in cancer statistics each year, many people are looking to find ways to help prevent and protect themselves from mutagens and cancer-causing agents. With the high level of antioxidants, rooibos tea increases the enzymes that detoxify production of carcinogen and suppresses abnormal cells.
  • Decrease insomnia. Since there is no caffeine in rooibos tea, drinkers can enjoy a cup before bed or throughout the day to help relax them. It has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, allowing you to be more calm and rested.
  • Weight loss. Many people drink rooibos tea throughout the day to help suppress their appetite.
  • Stronger bones and teeth: With high levels of manganese and calcium, rooibos tea provides bone health and teeth strong.
  • Healthy Heart: Rooibos contains compounds called flavonoids which help regulate blood pressure and enhance stability of capillary arteries. What this means to you is the reduction in cholesterol build-up and blood clots, minimizing your chance of having a heart attack or heart related disease.
  • Healthy skin/ reduce acne! Rooibos also contains alpha hydroxyl acid! As you know, this is an important agent found in many expensive skin products over the counter that promotes healthy skin. Studies show that people who apply it directly to the skin twice a day will minimize acne.
  • Anti-aging. Once again, free radicals are our body’s enemy! They attack our healthy cells, causing rapid process of aging. A Japanese study found that rooibos contains a copycat enzyme called Super Oxide Dismutase (S.O.D.), another antioxidant. S.O.D. attacks these free radicals and limits their damaging effects.
  • Improve immune system: With the combination of antioxidants and minerals, drinking this tea daily will strengthen your immune system, while fighting off colds and illnesses.
  • Pregnant ladies can drink tea now! The strong and aromatic taste makes it a natural substitute for coffee especially in the time of pregnancy when caffeine intake should avoided. The low tannins in rooibos can cause a lower iron absorption in the blood, associated with cause of anemia. This is good news for pregnant women now that they can enjoy a cup of tea without the worry of caffeine. The key is to drink pure rooibos tea that has not been mixed with other components, such as rosemary, which causes uterine contraction.
Rooibos tea can help with insomnia.

Rooibos tea can help with insomnia.

How to Serve Rooibos tea

  • Red Rooibos has a distinctive red hue and a slightly nutty, less astringent flavor. The herbal infusion can be served plain, with hot or cold milk or lemon. It can be lightly sweetened with honey or sugar.
  • I usually prefer to brew loose leaf tea, the way tea was meant to be consumed. Full-leaf loose tea has a depth of flavor that wakes up all your senses as it steeps. Teas that are sold in tea bags can have an inferior taste since the leaves are broken up. When tea leaves are broken up, the natural flavors are diminished due to the evaporation of essential oils.
  • Many tea producers are combining rooibos tea with other ingredients such as vanilla, ginger, mint, and even dark chocolate.
  • TIP: The longer you brew the loose tea leaves (at least 10 minutes), the more antioxidants are released. Rooibos tea does not have that bitter tea flavor like other teas. It tastes more pleasant!

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2012 Turtlewoman (Kim Lam)

Owner and creator of Lettuce Be Healthy

Owner and creator of Lettuce Be Healthy

About the author

Kim Lam is a board certified Health Coach, Healthy Living and Cleanse Expert, half-marathon runner, gardener, and creator of Whole Foods, Whole Body Cleanse.

Kim Lam received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She studied under Dr. Andre Weil, Director of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and Dr. Walter Willet, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University, among many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.

She is deeply dedicated to sharing the exciting, yet critical journey to healthy living.

Connect with her on Facebook where she shares many health tips and recipes. Learn how to lose weight, get rid of toxins, and decrease inflammation with her 14-Day cleanse at Lettuce Be Healthy.

Comments on Rooibos Tea Health Benefits

WillB on April 16, 2018:

Great post! Very well written and keep up the good work

Kim Lam (author) from California on January 17, 2016:

Glad you enjoyed the article Kristen- thank you

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 11, 2016:

Kim, this was real interesting to know. I've just tried it recently and it had a strong taste. Thanks for sharing this lens!

Jaroslav on June 27, 2014:

Hi there,

If I am reading the information correctly, does Green Rooibos tea contain several times as much anti-oxidants as green tea?


Deckan Coffee Co. on February 16, 2013:

Hi Turtlewoman, we are a small coffee/tea company we would love to send you some samples of our rooibos to to try to review on your blog? Would you be willing to do that? Please let us know at our website is

Kim Lam (author) from California on October 05, 2012:

Hi Steve/ It all depends on you, if you like a richer consistency. It's a matter of preference. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

steve on October 04, 2012:

Does the green rooibus tea go better with or without milk????

angrybuffalo on July 17, 2012:

to add to Rooibos's many effects it can not only help allergies but, amazingly, studies show that it can work as a bronchodilator!, which helps relieve Asthma and other respiratory conditions with which is the reason i try to have two cups every evening!

Kim Lam (author) from California on June 20, 2012:

Thank you Jan! Feel free to share this article with your clients! :-)

Jan Lantrip on June 20, 2012:

Great info on Rooibos. As a Pharmacist and owner of The English Tea Room- I can educate customers on the tremendous health benefits.

We sell incredible amounts of loose leaf Rooibos - in the store (Covington, LA) and shipping all over the country!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Hi lifelovemystery-

Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Rooibos tea also has another name... "Red tea" or "Red bush." Give it a might just add it to your collection of teas!

Michelle Orelup from Las Vegas, NV on March 20, 2012:

I have a variety of teas that I love but I've never heard of this one. The information in this hub is fantastic! Cheers!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Hi Barry,

I used to drink green tea for my weight loss program too. Now I switch back and forth between coffee, green tea and rooibos tea, depending on how much caffeine I need. With rooibos, I can sip it all day without worrying about overloading on caffeine.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate your comment and input on "tegreen." Cheers!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Hi Jennifer! Thank you for the kind comment. I'm glad to hear that you're a fan of rooibos tea too! Cheers to healthy living!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Rolly, you're so sweet. I'm sending a digital hug back! :-)

You can imagine my excitement about this tea when I first discovered it awhile back. Thanks for stopping by!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Cclitgirl- thanks for sharing and I appreciate your support. I love tea-lovers! :-)

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Thank you Debbie for your words of encouragement. The 30/30 is indeed creeping up really fast! I would be proud of the discovery of rooibos too, if I was originally from South Africa. It is definitely a blessing they're sharing it with us.

I appreciate your vote and share!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 20, 2012:

Hello Cindy, time to drink some more! Thank you for reading. Btw, you're doing great on the 30/30!

Barry Cross from York, UK on March 20, 2012:

Interesting and informative Hub! I am an avid greeen tea fan and drinker, plus I take a high end caffeine free supplement daily by Pharmanex called Tegreen, one of the best on the market.

Will definitely be sampling rooibos due to its huge health benefits. Thanks for sharing, voted up and socially shared. You have a new follower too. Cheers, Barry :)

jenniferg78 from Philadelphia, PA on March 20, 2012:

Well researched and written post. I love rooibos tea, the flavor, the aroma and the positive effects of it. Thanks for all your research and time that went into writing this hub.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on March 20, 2012:

Great hub and I just recently discovered this tea and it has begun to grow on me so to speak. Thanks for all the research and the work you put into this.

Hugs from Canada

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on March 20, 2012:

Beatufiul, comprehensive hub! I love rooibos tea. MMMMM. I just love tea in general. Voted up and sharing. :)

Debbie Roberts from Greece on March 20, 2012:

I was introduced to rooibos tea by my husbands family. South Africans are very proud of their tea and the health benefits it has to offer.

It is a milder tasting tea than the average cup of black tea, but very pleasant tasting too.

Another good hub from you turtle woman, your 30/30 must be nearing it's end soon. Hang in there and keep bring the good hubs!

Voted up and shared.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on March 19, 2012:

I have rooibos tea in my cabinet, and I had heard that it was healthy, I just did not know how healthy. You have inspired me to drink more of it. Great hub!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 19, 2012:

Thanks RTalloni, I'm glad you like it!

RTalloni on March 19, 2012:

Thanks for this look at rooibos tea with details on its benefits.

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 19, 2012:

Teaches12345- Hello and thank you for stopping by. I'm so glad to hear rooibos is your favorite tea. The green one will taste a bit more 'herbal' but it's still more mild compared to other types of tea.

Take care, and cheers to good health!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 19, 2012:

Good morning Peggy, you will not be disappointed in this tea. I am almost sure House of Tea will carry this since it is starting to be more well known across the states.

Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your votes!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 19, 2012:

Thanks Cosmic Bus, you are so funny! That girl must be in 2nd grade too.;-)

I'm glad the article reminded you to stock up. Enjoy your tea!

Dianna Mendez on March 19, 2012:

As you know, this is my favorite tea and glad you wrote a hub on its benefits. I am going to have to pick up some green rooibos tea, as I see from your writings that it has twice the benefit of the red. The history lesson along with the processing description and photos make for an interesting read. Voted up.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 19, 2012:

Thanks for writing this hub! Between you and LadyLyell's hub about Rooibos tea, I am sold! Next time I purchase more loose leaf tea from The House of Tea in Houston, it will be on my list. All up votes except funny and will share this with my followers.

Cosmic Bus from Maryland on March 19, 2012:

I love Rooibos tea! Great hub. Now I think I have to go store and stock up. I don't think my waist has ever been as small as the girl n the pic, maybe second grade!

Kim Lam (author) from California on March 19, 2012:

Oh my goodness, LadyLyell, you should write a hub about the tour! And take pictures! I recently discovered Rooibos a year ago, and have not paid attention to any other tea since. It truly does taste wonderful.

Thank you for your kind comment!

LadyLyell from George, South Africa on March 19, 2012:

All my support for your article as I wrote one myself on Rooibos. I am a lover of this tea too as I was introduced to it in my early days living in South Africa. In a few weeks time I am returning to the Cape to live near to where the tea is grown so may go on a tour.

As the tea is healthy your hub will spread the message. Keep on enjoying Rooibos!

Related Articles