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Time for a cuppa? Try Rooibos for a change

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Rooibos also known as Red Bush, or South African Red Tea, was traditionally used in medicine in South Africa

Rooibos also known as Red Bush, or South African Red Tea, was traditionally used in medicine in South Africa

Rooibos also known as Red Bush, or South African Red Tea, was traditionally used in medicine in South Africa

Rooibos is the most popular alternative to your regular cup of black tea. I have sold more Rooibos tea over the years than any other tea. Herbal teas come and go but Rooibos is always there, customers love it. Take a look at it and you'll see why, apart from its great taste it's so popular.

Rooibos also known as Red Bush, or South African Red Tea, was traditionally used in medicine in South Africa. It has lower tannin than black tea and has no caffeine. It contains almost forty different antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

The Holistic Gardener, Fiann Ó Nualláin talks about Rooibos in his book A Quick Cuppa Herbal. A brilliant book if you love herbal tea. Fiann explains that Rooibos is used as a carminative (relieves flatulence) and anti-colic beverage, it can also soothe nausea and heartburn. It's one of his favourite winter teas to help with colds, flu, and other viral conditions.

Other benefits he tells us about are that it may help improve the metabolism of glucose and may help boost insulin secretion from the pancreas, making it of benefit for diabetics. And he tells us the main medicinal actions are anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, and skin tonic. Rooibos tea can impede the absorption of iron so Fiann suggests avoiding it if anaemic. Avoid also in pregnancy.

I am told too that it can be used as a wash to help soothe eczema and is great for the skin used this way. Customers tell me that they drink a couple of cups per day, and also brew one and let it go cold, then they use this as a wash a few times during the day on their skin. They said that its calming, soothing, and healing. Probably why you see Rooibos in skin care products for its soothing health benefits.

There are many brands and like black tea, customers have their favourites. Tick Tock, Eleven O'Clock, and Dawson's are ones that we stock. You can add milk if desired, and a little honey if you want some sweetness. It can be drunk hot or cold depending on the season and your preference. Enjoy.

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