The Benefits of Rooibos Herb Compared to Traditional Tea
Everybody is familiar with the fact that green tea is healthy, even if they don't understand the exact reasons why. What most people are not familiar with are the health benefits of rooibos tea, a less well known type of herbal tea that grows in South Africa. Rooibos is also known as red tea because of the red bush it comes from, and is classified as a type of herbal tea. Therefore, it is not technically a type of tea, in that it does not come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the only true tea plant. Rooibos shares more properties with Camellia sinensis than other herbs like dandelion, spearmint, or eucalyptus, but there are still many differences.
The primary difference between tea and rooibos is that there is no caffeine in rooibos. This is one of the main issues that people who are trying to avoid caffeine have with tea, and even decaffeinated versions still have some caffeine in them. Moreover, decaffeinated teas have lower antioxidant contents because of additional processing. With rooibos, you get all the benefits of a great tasting, hot drink with absolutely no caffeine. Both oxidized rooibos and green rooibos have no caffeine, so there's nothing to worry about on that end. In addition, both kinds of rooibos have lower tannin contents than tea. Tannins are chemicals which give the bitter taste to tea and also unfortunately interfere with the absorption of key minerals. In fact, it is the very low tannin content of rooibos that has attracted so many people to it, perhaps even more than the lack of caffeine.
The most popular type of rooibos is the oxidized type, known as red tea. Just like how black tea is the fermented version of the Camellia sinensis, green rooibos is the unoxidized version of red rooibos. And akin to green tea's antioxidant superiority over black tea, green rooibos has also been shown to possess a higher level of antioxidants than red rooibos. Because of the additional care that must be taken with green rooibos to prevent oxidation, it is somewhat more expensive than the regular kind, but not by much. Adagio Teas has an excellent selection of affordable, organic green rooibos that is mixed with organic fruits and other herbs as well, and is one of the best places to go for any kind of tea. You can also search Google for organic rooibos if you want to compare prices elsewhere. The price difference between organic and non-organic rooibos is minimal, so you might as well go for the organic kind.
If you want to make a choice based purely on health, green rooibos is the way to go. It has consistently been shown to possess exceptionally high antioxidant levels, and its lack of caffeine and very low tannin content are a huge plus as well. Of course, both rooibos and regular tea possess mutually exclusive antioxidants, so it's even more beneficial to switch between or combine both options.