Rooibos tea, which is Afrikaans for Red Bush tea, is native to South Africa and as I mentioned in Post 1, it’s the tea most Afrikaans children are raised on from when they are only babies.
As I’ve been drinking it all my life I sometimes struggle to describe the taste, for me the word tea is almost synonymous with Rooibos. A friend from Canada once helped me out by describing Rooibos as a herbal tea with a slight earthy taste, but very refreshing, and I think that’s spot on!
Most people in South Africa drink Rooibos with milk, despite it not being a black tea, and a bit of sugar or honey. We also love drinking Rooibos as an ice tea, mixed with some lemon and maybe some red grape juice (grape juice is quite popular here as well). There are little things as refreshing.
The History of Rooibos
The history nerd in me wanted to know the history of Rooibos tea and this is what I found:
Residents in the Cederberg area in South Africa, which is also called the Klein Karoo (Small Karoo) and is a semi-desert area with mostly shrubs, discovered they could axe, bruise and dry the leave from the Aspalathus linearis plant nearly 300 years ago. In 1904 Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian immigrant from a tea merchant family saw the potential of Rooibos and started the first Rooibos company called Eleven O’Clock Rooisbos. The brand is still available today and their website is the cutest combination of old and new.
Despite South Africa, and the Cederberg region, being the only place in the world where Rooibos is grown, the wonderful herbal tea is available all over the world today!
Why is Rooibos good for You?
Rooibos is a herbal tea but what makes it so nice and easy to drink is the fact that it is 100% caffeine free. That is why babies can drink it from a very young age. A lot of mothers mix weak Rooibos with babies’ milk bottles to start getting them off of a milk bottle. My gran still believes that a cup of sweet Rooibos with milk can cure any shock and for me personally it made stopping drinking coffee so easy as it’s so easily available in South Africa and has no caffeine. Really give it a try if you want to stop drinking coffee or want to drink less coffee.
Rooibos has a unique blend of antioxidants which can only mean good things for the body. Without being too technical, antioxidants bind with free radicals and prevent them from damaging other cells which can lead to cancer. So, Rooibos can help prevent cancer and it tastes great! Why not. Research has also shown that Rooibos can help prevent liver diseases, boost your immune system and relieve allergies.
Another great property of Rooibos is that the antioxidants also act as anti-spasmodic agents which means it can ease stomach cramps and relieve colic in babies. Great natural drink for that time of the month as well ladies.
Because it’s herbal I’ve also experienced that you can have quite a lot of it and never feel jittery like you sometimes do with black teas. Personally, it also has a lot of calming properties for me.
Rooibos and Green Beauty
I feel really blessed that I live in a country where the tea I love has also become part of my beauty routine. Green and animal cruelty-free beauty is very important to me and I’ve been searching for something local and alternative for a while, I found it in the African Extracts Rooibos collection.
Since I was a child the Annique Rooibos brand was used widely in our house. It was the first commercial brand of Rooibos beauty and skincare products and they also had a range of products for babies, which every South African mother in the 90’s used, as it was hypo-allergenic and was sensitive to the baby’s skin. The brand itself has become very expensive and more aimed at the international market.
In steps African Extracts Rooibos which was started 15 years ago and has a huge range of products including Classic Face Care, Classic Body Care, Purifying Face Care and Advanced Face Care for anti-ageing (yes Rooibos can do that as well).
My mom started using the Classic Face Care range because of how expensive international face care brands have become and introduced me. I’ve been struggling with really bad breakouts the last few months and honestly, I couldn’t pay over a R100 for a bottle of face wash every month anymore. So, I decided to try the Purifying Face Care range, and I am loving it so far.
I’ve only tried the Face Wash so far, but after only a week of using it I can already feel a difference. My face feels fresh and light and I can see the breakouts getting better. I’m planning to get more products from the range especially the Vanishing Cream which is apparently great for breakout areas. So, keep an eye out for that and I’ll do a review.
I’m just so happy to have found a skincare brand that’s local, herbal and that doesn’t do any animal testing. I have my own rabbit and the thought of products that are so harsh on my skin being tested on her delicate skin simply breaks my heart. I am so glad to say that African Extracts works with the Beauty Without Cruelty animal rights organisation in South Africa.
All and all you can see that Rooibos isn’t just a tea, it’s an herbal lifestyle. Rooibos is a tea you can drink your whole life through and it’s so unbelievably good for you. If you’ve never tried Rooibos give it a go and then branch out to the other wonderful products made from the healing Rooibos plant.