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19 Jun 2006

Health Teas - Red Bush (Rooibos)

Red Bush (Rooibos) tea is unique to South Africa. It is a soothing tea, unique in flavour and red in color. It has become popular worldwide as it has been confirmed that the polyphenol content of red bush is comparable with that of green tea, long touted as a powerful source of disease-fighting antioxidants, but has no caffeine and is low in tannin (less than 10% of normal tea).

There are many health benefits to red bush tea:
*Acts as a digestive aid and is anti-spasmodic, relieves colic in babies.
*Soothes skin irritations like nappy rash and acne applied directly to the affected area.
*Replenishes iron levels.
*Boosts the immune system.
*Aids health problems like insomnia, headaches and hypertension.
*No colourants, additives or preservatives.
*No caffeine.
*No oxalic acid.
*Contains copper, iron and potassium.
*Contains healthy skin minerals: zinc, sodium, zinc and alpha-hydroxy acid.
*Contains calcium, fluoride and manganese for strong bones and teeth.
*Magnesium for the nervous system.
*Is an excellent thirst-quencher.
*No calories.
There are no known side affects or restrictions of how many cups may be drunk daily.

There are many more uses like adding a few tea bags to a cool bath to relieve sunburn or adding to final rinsing water when washing dark hair to give a shine. Cosmetic houses are now also adding it to skin and hair products due to it being excellent with most allergic skin conditions.

Make it in an ordinary teapot. Rinse the teapot with boiling water to warm it. Add red bush teabags or loose leaves, one bag or one heaped teaspoon per cup. Pour boiling water into the pot, replace the lid and keep warm. (If using a stove-top teapot, place it on a low heat to allow the flavour to develop.) Leave to infuse for 2-3 minutes, then pour yourself a cup, sit back and enjoy. If red bsuh is steeped for 5-10 minutes, its antioxidant activity increases significantly. Rooibos is delicious with hot or cold milk, with lemon or simply on its own. It can be sweetened with sugar or honey but, as it is less astringent and bitter than regular tea, it needs less sweetener. Note also that red bush can be reheated without losing any flavour or becoming bitter. Red bush comes in many flavors as well. Peach and red bush is my favorite both hot and cold.

Can replace water in stews, soups and gravies as it adds a rich flavour

Fruit Punch

1 pint strong, cold Red Bush Tea (Rooibos)
1/2 pint apple juice
1/2 pint granadilla juice
1 pint soda water or lemonade
1 cans granadilla pulp
strawberries, hulled and sliced or pineapple cubes

Mix red bush and fruit juices.
Chill soda water or lemonade and add just before serving.
Add granadilla pulp, decorate with strawberry slices and serve with ice cubes.

Useful links:
Rooibos Limited South Africa
HerbalGram USA
Rooibos USA

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2 comments:

Flo said...

There is no reason that pregnant women should avoid caffeine.
Rooibos is lovely and ever so healthy, but please refrain from chucking out scare stories like that.

Jackie said...

I have adapted my posting due to you feeling it is a scare story.

300 milligrams caffeine a day, which is equivalent to three cups of coffee, is stated to be safe during pregnancy but caffeine in colas, chocolate etc must also be taken into consideration when working out daily intake. With Rooibos this is not necessary.

Many sources state that caffeine, among other things, can increase the amount of calcium lost in the urine. An excellent comment can be found at Columbia University www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1485.html