Many tea lovers prefer Rooibos as an alternative to green or black tea. This national treasure – that grows only in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape – has a sweet, delicate, and earthy flavour and is packed with antioxidants. In celebration of Heritage Month, the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) is campaigning for greater public awareness.

Here’s why it should form part of your daily diet: 

1. You can choose from several different Rooibos grades. The ‘superior long cut’ is ideal for blending with pieces of fruit and flowers, while an ‘extra fine cut’ is most useful in confectionery and espressos. A ‘super cut’ is mostly used in a standard Rooibos tea bag, which makes the tea softer in taste and helps to release more active substances into the cup. 

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2. Each cup of Rooibos tea is packed with healthy flavonoids, including aspalathin – a powerful antioxidant unique to the plant. It is also caffeine-free and low in tannins. Because it contains no fat or proteins, it is therefore kilojoule-free. You can enjoy up to six cups daily. 

3. Treat acne with a mix of a cup of strong, warm Rooibos, one teaspoon apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of oatmeal or gluten-free flour. Cool until lukewarm and apply over face. Lie down and relax for 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm tea. Press dry gently. 

4. Rooibos has proven cancer-fighting properties in animal research studies, and exciting new research points towards the role that Rooibos can play in promoting heart health and preventing diabetes. 

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5. Naturally caffeine free (not decaffeinated), it is suitable for children, infants and breast-feeding mothers.

It possesses anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic properties – these help fight bacterial infections on the skin and prevent them from occurring again. It also helps in relieving allergies. 

7. Regular consumption of rooibos tea can increase hair growth. Rooibos is enriched with minerals like zinc, calcium, copper, and potassium that not only promote hair growth but also strengthens hair roots. 

8. Research has proven that consumption of rooibos tea is very good in controlling the body’s blood pressure level, preventing stress and hypertension. 

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9. Fermented rooibos has a surprisingly sweet taste, so you can instantly cut down on your sugar intake. It’s a great way to control appetite and shed those extra kilos. 

10. The tea has also been proven to remedy irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The antispasmodic agents in rooibos help ease stomach aches and pains, and aids digestion by smoothing out the muscles in the gut. Try drinking a cup about half an hour before a meal to get the maximum of this effect.