Rooibos red tea (also known as “red tea” and “African red bush tea”) is made from fermented leaves of plant native to the Cedarberg Mountain, Clanwilliam and Citrusdal regions of South African. Rooibos is marketed as a tea, but it is more like a herbal brew since it is harvested from the leaves of the redbush plant (botanical name Aspalathus linearis).
Rooibos is 100% natural, and contains no dyes or preservatives. It is also naturally free from calories or fat and is very low in sodium. Rooibos is a natural source of more than 30 anti-aging antioxidants and minerals – many more than green tea.
Health Benefits of Rooibos
- It is unique in the fact that it is naturally caffeine free and it only has half the amount of tannin as conventional teas.
- Conventional tea reduces the storage of iron by one-third (making tea contraindicated for anemics). However, Rooibos has no effect in iron absorption because of the low level of tannins.
- Red rooibos does not aggravate the kidneys in any way, because it does not contain oxalic acid.
- Rooibos contains many minerals that the body needs as magnesium,potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc.
- Rooibos is a natural antihistamine, so it is useful in relieving allergic responses.
- It also helps in the treatment of asthma and skin problems such as eczema and hives.
- It also lowers blood sugar levels, so it could be very useful for people with diabetes.
- High in natural antioxidants which prevent cellular damage.
Due to its phenomenal antioxidant component, red rooibos has become all the rage in commercial hair products. According to the Hairveda.com site,
“Red tea moisturizes all hair types effortlessly adding a satiny feel and softens throughout the day. Wonderful aroma!”
Other Uses for Red Rooibos Tea
Red tea has also become a popular folk remedy for allergies, sleep disorders, headaches and digestive problems. While many of these claims have not been proven scientifically, researchers have established that it does promote the production of antibodies and delays the recurrence of the herpes simplex virus.
A 2005 study found that rooibos protected against the growth of lesions associated with skin cancer. A similar study in 2008, conducted by Dr Jeanine Marnewick of Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), found that rooibos “provided protection against oxidative stress and inflammation associated with the development of heart disease.”
There has also been rumors that the tea has been implicated as a tool in successful eradication of HIV in humans, but again there have not been any scientific studies to verify these anecdotal claims.
Using Red Rooibos in a Dry Hair and Skin Cream
Make your own natural moisturizer which can be used for either dry hair or skin.
In a medium-sized bowl place:
- 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup organic coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of melted shea butter
Heat these over a low burner on the stove until all ingredients are melted, then pour into a large bowl. Allow the mixture to cool slightly so that it thickens. Once it has cooled down, add:
- 2/3 cup cooled red rooibos tea
- 1/3 cup organic aloe-vera gel
- 1/4 tsp. Vitamin E oil
- 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil (depending upon dryness of hair).
Mix well with blender at medium-high speed until mixture reaches whipped cream consistency. This is supposed to be a thick “buttery” mixture, so keep whipping. Use it on your hair, scalp and/or skin as desired.
Using Green or Red Rooibos Tea as an Alternative to Shampoo
Shampoo can be extremely drying and ultimately damaging to dry natural hair. Give your dark hair a beautiful sheen and softness by rinsing it with a strong Rooibos tea. Acetic acid, the chief ingredient in apple cider vinegar, removes buildup from styling products and shampoos, and helps to strengthen the hair by closing the cuticles on the hair shaft. Removal of buildup and smoothing of the hair cuticle promotes natural shine and leaves the hair lighter and softer. To make and use this non-shampoo cleanser:
- Boil 2 cups of distilled water on the stove. Once the water boils, turn off the heat and add two regular-sized bags of green or red tea to the water. Let the bags steep for at least 10 minutes. Remove the bags from the water. Squeeze out any excess water from the bags into the pot.
- Add 2 teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar to the tea. The apple cider vinegar acts as a clarifying agent and also helps gently cleanse hair if you have been using a lot of butters and oils on your hair.
- Then add 2 teaspoons of raw honey to the tea mix. Stir the honey so that it blends completely into the tea mixture. Honey contains antibacterial properties and also helps soothe dry or itchy scalps. It is also a fabulous moisturizing agent.
- Let the tea sit until it cools to a temperature that won’t burn your scalp.
- Pour the tea mixture into a squirt bottle.
- Part hair into two sections and rinse with lukewarm water. Squirt the tea mixture on the scalp so that it is focused on the roots of your hair. Massage the mixture through that half of your hair. Clip first 1/2 of hair out of the way and proceed to the second half of your hair.
- Repeat squirt and massage process until hair is saturated. Clip second half hair out of the way. Use the remaining tea rinse all over head to fully saturate hair. Squirt more mixture at the end of your hair and massage into scalp.
- Leave the mixture in your hair for 10 minutes then rinse with cool water and condition hair as usual.
This tea and apple cider vinegar-based cleanser leaves your hair feeling very soft and your scalp soothed and clean.
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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