Rooibos – South Africa’s gift to health

Rooibos Improves Antioxidants

When Dr Annique Theron discovered the anti-allergic properties of Rooibos in 1968, no research had been conducted on this miracle indigenous plant. Only from the 1980’s Japanese and American scientists started to investigate the health benefits of Rooibos and since then, many different studies have been conducted in various countries.

Recently scientists at international research facilities in Rome and Glasgow found the first clinical proof that drinking Rooibos tea significantly increases the antioxidant capacity in human blood. The consequence is the improvement of the body’s natural defences. Researchers found that, one hour after drinking Rooibos tea, the antioxidant capability in the bloodof 15 healthy volunteers was at its highest, after drinking 500ml of Rooibos tea. This is applicable to normal (fermented) and green (unfermented) Rooibos teas.

Professor Mauro Serafini, leader of the project and Head of the Antioxidant Research Laborotory at INRAN, a nutrition research institute in Rome, Italy, comments: “On the basis of the results of our study, we conclude that Rooibos tea is able to deliver antioxidants ingredients to the body. It is highly possible that, once absorbed in the circulatory stream, the unique ingredients of Rooibos may display other biological activities in the human body. That is why we are planning further intervention studies in humans to investigate the effect of Rooibos tea on the body’s strategy of defence to counteract the development of heart disease.”

Professor Lizette Joubert, a leading South African Rooibos researcher, working on the quality and chemical composition of Rooibos t South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council says: “This new research proves thatthe compounds in Rooibos are potent enough to have a measurable effect on the antioxidant capacity of the blood.”

“This study underlines the value of Rooibos as a widely available and affordable source of dietary antioxidants,” comments Mientjie Mouton, chair of the Product Research Commitee of the South African Rooibos Council.

Patrick Holford Praises Rooibos Tea

Patrick Holford, British nutritional specialist and highly praised international author, has included Rooibos tea in his latest health book, The 10 Secrets of 100% Health. This book was written after thirty years of research about the nutritional and lifestyle habits of physically and psychologically healthy people.

Holford refers to Rooibos tea in two of his 16 golden diet rules, namely to avoid caffeine and to hydrate your body.

Holford says: “Since redbush tea is naturally caffeine-free, it’s untreated so every last one of its healthful polyphenols is preserved. The other thing that sets redbush apart from other teas is its low tannin content. Tannins are polyphenols in black and green tea responsible for their astringent taste. Since redbush tea is lower in is lower in tannins, it’s much smoother and milder tasting -no matter how long you steep it.

Furthermore, its potent antioxidant content protects your body from free radicals. The antioxidants in redbush tea are called polyphenols. And it’s the catechins in the polyphenols that support your overall health and boost your immune sustem. Plus, these antioxidants are also thought to lower blood fat levels, which in turn help to support normal cholesterol levels.”

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