(NaturalNews) Green tea has competition, and not just of the light kind. The word "rooibos" (roo-ee-bosh) means red bush and is a native South African herb, so rich in antioxidants, it supposedly puts green tea on the run. There is enough research and evidence to show the range of health benefits attributable to rooibos tea including reducing the risk of heart disease and inhibiting aging.
According to experts, rooibos can lay claim to antimutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. The anti-oxidant quercetin - also dubbed (and with good reason too) the king of anti-oxidants is what makes red bush tea an armor against various diseases and conditions. In addition to quercetin, rooibos also contains two lesser known, relatively rare antioxidants aspalathin and nothofagin and according to experts, both have nerve relaxing properties, with the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Conditions affecting the digestive system such as heartburn, ulcers, and constipation can be relieved by red bush tea. It's supposed soothing effect on the nervous system makes it an ideal drink for those suffering from nervous irritability, insomnia, headaches, disturbed sleep patterns, high blood pressure and maybe even mild to moderate depression. It appears that the list of potential uses for rooibos goes even longer with it being quite ideal for skin conditions such as eczema, rash and other skin irritations.
Free radical oxygen and rooibos as an anti-oxidant
Normal cell metabolism releases free radical oxygen as a by product. These free radicals are reactive and can negatively affect body proteins and fats or even go so far into the system as the DNA itself. Free radicals cause a chain reaction of damage to the human body and this chain reaction can often be stopped or at least interrupted by anti-oxidant intake. Vitamin C, Vitamin E and carotenoids are well known anti-oxidants found variously in fruit, vegetable oils and vegetables. Flavonoids are another type of anti-oxidants and rooibos is a rich source of it.
Rooibos is also efficient, say experts, in managing asthma, hay fever, wheezing and allergic cough. It is a rich source of zinc, alpha-hydroxy acid, manganese, and naturally occurring fluoride plus magnesium for a healthy nervous system. Rooibos tea is meant to be safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, and even infants - it is a caffeine free drink and can be given to colic-suffering babies due to its anti-spasmodic effect. Wait, there is more. The absence of oxalic acid in red bush tea makes it a safe drink for people suffering kidney stones.
Rooibos looks like a herb too good to be true, yet it seems to be gaining in popularity the world over for its distinctive health-guarding properties. Perhaps, after all, a box of rooibos in the kitchen cupboard might keep us out of harms way, or better still, save us some trips to hospitals and pharmacies. At least it's worth a try.
About the author: Nanditha Prasad Ram is a consumer and health journalist and a practicing holistic therapist whose mission it is to inform, educate, empower and transform. Her blog is available at http://www.bindumandalayoga.blogspot.in
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