Rooibos tea drinkers, around the world, consume 6 billion cups of Rooibos tea every year!
But how many of these cups of Rooibos tea should you be drinking, to reap the benefits Rooibos has to offer?
The answer is 6. At least.
6 cups of Rooibos tea a day will keep your heart attack at bay. Take that little rhyme with a pinch of salt. But there is truth to that statement.
You’ve all heard the phrase, “Prevention is better than cure”, right? Well, if you drink 6 cups of Rooibos daily, there is a good chance you may be preventing diseases like:
- Diabetes Type 2 (and 3!)
- Certain types of cancers
- Metabolic diseases
- Heart Diseases
- Old age – yes, I call old age a disease (with tongue in cheek, of course!)
[New Rooibos research, by Prof Christo Muller of the South African Medical Research Council, unveils yet another potential benefit. A preventative for type 3 Diabetes, which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Human trials were set to begin last year, in 2018.]
In addition, you will
- Boost your immunity and therefore the body’s ability to fight diseases
- Combat the effects of skin damage from the sun and other environmental factors like air pollution.
- Protect your liver and kidneys and bladder
- Improve your digestion
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Decrease risk of inflammation (Inflammation is a precursor to more serious conditions, from allergies and asthma to diseases of the bowel, heart disease and cancer.)
Rooibos can also assist with weight loss. By increasing the amount of Rooibos you drink daily you curb your appetite. At the same time, you “feed” your body trace elements like manganese, magnesium, calcium and iron.
It is also 100% safe for new born babies, pregnant and breast feeding moms AND people who cannot tolerate caffeine. Yes, rooibos is caffeine free too!
Can I drink more than 6 cups a day?
You can drink as much Rooibos tea as you want because rooibos has zero side effects. As I mentioned, pregnant women and even newborns can drink Rooibos. They get the benefits without worrying about stomach cramps and nausea, experienced with other galactogogues (milk stimulating herbs), like fennel.
Rooibos tea (pronounced ROY boss) is a caffeine free, low tannin black tea. It’s also an herbal tea because it’s loaded with antioxidants and healing properties. And can brew all day without turning bitter.
Two other questions I often get asked are:
- How much rooibos tea can I drink when pregnant?
- And how much rooibos tea should I drink to lose weight?
Fortunately the research on Rooibos is both current and ongoing. So I can answer these questions based on proven facts. I’ve also discovered that for the “6 a day” quota to be effective, the way you prepare your Rooibos does make a difference.
Why 6 Cups?
Each tea bag is around 2.5g. So 6 bags = 15g of loose leaf rooibos.
150ml of prepared rooibos contains 1.5 mg of quercetin. Quercetin is one of the many flavonoids that give Rooibos its high antioxidant profile.
So 6 cups will deliver 9mg quercitin. But quercetin on its own isn’t anything special. Its power is in the synergy it provides. Quercetin unlocks the bioavailability of all the other phenolic compounds. Plant phenols like aspalathin, nothofagin and chrysoeriol are all unique to Rooibos tea.
How To Make Your 6 Cups Count
According to the South African Rooibos Council, only 16% of Rooibos tea drinkers are doing it right.
Most people put the teabag in first and pour boiling water onto the bag. This is not right. Even brands that sell Rooibos give the incorrect information on how to brew a “pukka cuppa”, as the Brits would say.
The correct way to make a cup of Rooibos is to
1, First pour the boiled water into your mug.
2. Then add your Rooibos teabag.
3. Stir and cover mug with a saucer
4. Let it stand for 4 or 5 minutes.
5. Add milk and sugar or honey and lemon. You can also drink it black and unsweetened, it has a unique flavor profile
But this is not all.
During my research of Rooibos, I found a paper on the bioactivity of Rooibos.
I discovered that the longer you brew Rooibos the stronger it gets. The strength of the antioxidants increase by up to 30%. And according to studies, done by the SARC, the brew needs 25 minutes or more to draw. But this means a normal cup of Rooibos left to stand will be cold in 25 minutes.
And that’s when the herbalist in me kicked in. The best, most effective way to drink Rooibos, and get your 6 cups a day, is to brew a pot of Rooibos exactly the same way you’d make a herbal infusion to treat ailments. And it’s super easy.
How to Brew A Pot of Potent Rooibos
1. Put 2L of water in a pot. Bring to the boil. Turn off heat. Leave pot lid on.
2. Take 12 rooibos teabags. Cut open. Remove pot lid and empty the leaves from bags into pot. Replace lid and allow to draw for 25+ minutes.
3. Reheat the Rooibos tea, as it comes to the boil, turn stove off.
4. Let it stand for 5 minutes
5. Use a tea strainer and pour tea into a mug. (Save leaves for the compost bin.)
You can leave the pot on the stove and drink from it during the day. 2L gives 8 mugs or about 10 tea cups.
You can also let it cool completely. Add a few ice cubes and put in the fridge. Delicious Iced Tea! Flavor it with honey and/or lemon juice.
Or you can pour the hot brew into a flask and take it with you to work, gym, school etc.
Did you know Rooibos can improve concentration during exams?
The number of reasons to drink Rooibos keeps getting longer. I am probably biased, but for me Rooibos is a herbal miracle in a cup. And it stays No.1 on my list of top 5 Herbal Tisanes from Africa.