Rooibos is known as the “Miracle tea of South Africa” and has been a traditional beverage of the indigenous peoples for more than 300 years!
The word “Rooibos” is an Afrikaans slang word (of Dutch origin) meaning “red bush“. This wonderful tea was a favourite amongst my customers when I had my store, Studio Botanica. It is pronounced Roy – Bos. I first learned the term “Long Life Tea” from herbal teachers in classes in New England, but apparently this has long been the name in Japan, where it is revered due to its anti-aging and high antioxidant attributes.
- Contains no oxalates so is good for those with a tendency towards kidney stones (and all who want to avoid oxalates, too)
- Anti-spasmodic ~ helps to relieve indigestion, tummy cramping, colic in infants and constipation
- Anti-allergenic properties
- Helps to relieve nervous system imbalances; headaches, irritability, nervous tension, depression
- Can help your natural rhythms; relaxing in the evening, stimulating in the morning
- High levels of anti-oxidants promote anti-aging results
- High in minerals too, so a kind of botanical ‘sports drink’; replenishes minerals such as iron, sodium and zinc
There are no recorded side effects. Rooibus is a safe tonic (food type) herb.
At my shop, Studio Botanica, I used to sell both Rooibus and Honeybush ~ two very popular botanicals from South Africa. They make a very pleasant tea, alone — or in a blend*. (*more on that later)
I normally buy it and use it as a loose tea and strain it before drinking.
There are good quality tea bag companies too ~ as with many things, I encourage friends, family, clients to “do what they can”. There are always levels of quality.
How to make Rooibos Tea
There are different ways, and schools of thought, as there are for most things! I’m going to share a few and you can pick what works for your life. Most important ~ it’s a healthy, safe, tonic type herbal tea which is highly nutritious and a wonderful supportive idea for self-care and for sharing a cuppa with a friend.
Quick “I’ve only got a moment” Version:
Bring good quality water to a rolling boil
Place 1 tsp for each cup of tea, into a tea pot and pour the just boiled water.
Let the tea steep for 2-5 minutes and then pour into your mug or cup to enjoy.
Drink with/without milk.
Note: If using tea bags, it’s 1 tea bag per cup of tea.
Tradional “Long Brew” Method
Rooibos tea, is ‘historically’ steeped for thirty minutes at a temperature just below boiling. In this way, it is thought to contain 50% more antioxidants than when steeped for only five minutes.
1-2 cups good quality water (extra needed for the longer brew time)
1 rooibos tea bag, or 1 teaspoon loose rooibos tea leaves
Place water and rooibos leaves in a pot.
Bring to a boil quickly.
Reduce the heat immediately.
Cover and allow to steep for the desired time.
Strain loose tea or discard tea bag.Drink hot.
I have made it this way, and I do this, when time permits. I sometimes add a little herb or 2 at the end, before straining.. Think.. rose petals, hibiscus flowers, rosehips, hawthorn berries…oh there’s a long list!
Rooibus herb can easily transform into “Rooibus Chai” as it has come to be known, with the addition of the flavours of traditional chai from India Rooibos Chai is a pleasing, caffeine-free alternative to the black tea leaves that traditionally flavor this hot Indian tea beverage.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup milk (dairy or your preference)
- 4 rooibos tea bags or 4 teaspoons loose rooibos leaves
- 4 teaspoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
- 3 cardamom pods
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of black pepper
- optional: pinch of Turmeric
- Bring the water, milk, almost to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tea, and reduce the heat immediately.
- Cover and let the tea stand over a low flame for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the honey and spices (honey needs to dissolve)
- Strain and discard the tea bags or leaves and cinnamon stick, if using.
- Serve the tea hot.
- Enjoy !!
Remember, if you are drinking an herbal tea — as a medicine, or to rephrase “to welcome a healing affect” — you need to drink at least 3 cups per day.
You can probably find Rooibus tea locally, but if you’d like an online source, here’s one from Starwest Botanicals via Amazon for you: http://amzn.to/2dTpIBn