Wat is rooibos?

What is rooibos?

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a shrub. This shrub is native to the Cederberg area in the Western Cape of South Africa. Because this shrub is not part of the tea plant family, it is not officially a tea variety, but an infusion.

The needles of this shrub have been used for thousands of years by the local population to make the Rooibos herbal drink. It is even given in South Africa to babies who suffer from stomach cramps.

Unlike black, green and white tea rooibos is naturally free of theine and low in tannic acid. Because there is no caffeine in it, the tea does not become bitter. Rooibos is therefore excellent for drinking strongly drawn.

Rooibos is made by picking the needle-shaped leaves of the plant. The needles are green in color when harvested, then it is pounded and oxidized. Oxidation is the process that gives Rooibos its taste and aroma. In the last phase of this, the Rooibos acquires its characteristic reddish-brown colour. Rooibos is therefore also called the 'red tea'.

It is very rich in antioxidants and minerals. There are several minerals in rooibos including iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc. There is some evidence that rooibos can increase antioxidants in the body. A study in 15 people found that blood antioxidant levels increased by 2.9% when participants drank the red rooibos and by 6.6% when they drank the green variety. This increase persisted for up to five hours after the participants drank 500 ml of tea brewed with 75 grams of rooibos.

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