Around here, we believe a balanced and variegated team of food, exercise and rest is the ideal form of preventative medicine. As such, we perpetually hunt edibles capable of boosting our immune systems and generally improving our health. Count on rooibos tea to be a valuable member of your body and mind’s strongest roster.
As you well know, organic black coffee is my morning beverage. I’m fiercely loyal and will not stray from my AM ritual, but occasionally I branch out a bit. If you’ve been following very carefully, you also know I dabble in caffeinated teas, both black and green. My impetus for drinking both is the combination of flavor and sensory experience. There is a not insignificant portion of my being that simply likes sipping while I type and work.
However, I’m often still working as the clock inches towards midnight or later. As the sun dips, I try to avoid caffeine (if possible) to optimize for sleep. I still often pine for the aforementioned sipping sensation, and these moments compel me outside my comfort zone and searching for a new beverage.
For some time, my go-to satisfaction was hot water with lemon, ginger, turmeric or a combination of the three. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with Rooibos tea. This wasn’t a meticulously planned out scientific effort, and I hadn’t done my research on potential health benefits. It was merely trial and error to see if I enjoyed the experience and how it might impact my state of being. More than anything else, my sipping while working itch was scratched.
This morning, I woke up and did a little homework. It turns out I’ve been engaging in quite the strong activity.
Chris Kihlman writes for Fox news and is a self-proclaimed “medicine hunter.” He has some thoughts on my new tea:
Research conducted in Japan shows that rooibos possesses antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity. Translation – it is powerfully protective. Additionally, rooibos appears to have anti-allergic properties.
Rooibos is especially rich in the super-antioxidant compound quercetin. A titan among the antioxidants, quercetin imparts benefits to the heart, helps to reduce the risk of various types of cancers, fights viruses and is significantly anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is part of all known chronic degenerative diseases. The anti-inflammatory activity of quercetin means that it helps to reduce the risk of many types of health disorders.
There are endless articles touting the magic like benefits of the stuff. My experience researching has not been dissimilar to when I dug up info on the now famous coconut oil. Rooibos is used for everything (fine, not lubricant).
The leaves of the plant have alpha hydroxy in them, which benefits for the skin. Cuts, abrasions, rashes, acne, eczema and sunburn are just a few of the conditions that would benefit from the use of rooibos. Not only that, but alpha hydroxy has shown substantial evidence of helping with the aging process. When made into tea, it is not acidic, unlike normal black tea that contains tannins, meaning that infants can drink the tea with milk to put them to sleep or adults could drink the tea for use with insomnia. Those with kidney stone problems can drink it as well, as it leaves behind no sediment common to the formation of kidney stones.
Yet another benefit of Rooibos tea lies in its flavonoid content. Flavonoids have the anti-spasmodic properties highly sought by asthmatics, those with bronchial problems requiring a bronchodilator, and those suffering from allergies. Anti-inflammatory properties help in these cases, too. A cloth moistened in the hot tea and inhaled is said to be beneficial in these instances.
I was sold at “anti-inflammatory.” You were sold at “helping with the aging process.” Admit it. Regardless of whether any of these benefits are actually true (and the science is still out on that), I’m enjoying the additional option when it comes to my sipping habit.