history, properties and all the benefits of red tea
The rooibos, also known as redbush or African red tea, is an infusion derived from the leaves of the homonymous plant, belonging to the legume family. The term rooibos means "red shrub" and derives from afrikans, one of the official languages of South Africa. This plant species only grows in the Cederberg region. The first to prepare the drink and enjoy its benefits were the natives of the place.
The first imports of rooibos in Europe took place thanks to the intervention of a South African settler of Russian origin who started his large-scale production. From that moment on, the rooibos began to spread throughout Africa and the rest of the world. It is still considered the national drink of South Africa.
But what makes African red tea so special? The rooibos is apparently very similar to any tea. The drink is obtained by infusing the rooibos leaves, which have been previously dried and crushed, in boiling water. The traditional preparation involves the collection of leaves and twigs, which are chopped with wooden pestles, and their subsequent fermentation. From the infusion you get a liquid with an amber red color and a naturally sweet taste. To fully enjoy the rooibos you should drink it without sugar.
Unlike black tea and green tea, rooibos is naturally caffeine free. Furthermore its tannin content is very low and this allows the drink to maintain its sweet taste even if you do not consume it immediately or if you forget it in infusion. The rooibos is characterized by the presence of natural substances important for the body, such as vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium.
Scientific studies conducted by the National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition have proven that the antioxidant content of rooibos is equal to that of black tea and green tea. At one hour from the ingestion of rooibos there is a significant growth in our body of substances able to act against the formation of free radicals. This makes the rooibos an elixir of long life completely natural, also suitable for those who are sensitive to the side effects of caffeine.
Its antiviral properties have also recently been discovered, helping the immune system to act quickly to fight infections. This makes it suitable also for children, who can benefit from taking the drink in case of nausea and disorders of the stomach and intestines due to its antispasmodic and digestive properties. Its calcium content ensures the correct formation of teeth and bones in the youngest. Zinc instead acts by strengthening nails and hair.
The rooibos is considered an adaptogenic drink, which is able to help the body in times when it is faced with an effort. It will therefore have invigorating properties if consumed in the morning or during the day and relaxing if drunk before going to sleep. This makes it suitable both in the case of suffering energy losses and when it is necessary to combine sleep.
The rooibos does not contain oxalic acid, so it can also be consumed by those who suffer from kidney stones. Its positive effects against hypertension have been demonstrated and its caloric content is zero, a quality that makes it suitable also for those who are following a controlled diet. The rooibos can be drunk cold. In summer it will therefore be an excellent thirst-quenching drink.