Rooibos (pronounced as roy-boss) tea goes around by some other names too, such as red bush tea, bush tea and red tea. With its origins in South Africa, it has long been used as a traditional medicine in South Africa and its neighbouring regions.
The tea, that tastes quite similar to hibiscus tea, is also a powerhouse of flavonoids and is regarded to be helpful in cases of nervous tension, allergies (dermatitis), and various indigestive problems.
Yes, you read that right. Rooibos is a rich source of polyphenols and is used to make a mild-tasting tea containing no caffeine. It is also low in tannins (that interfere with the body’s iron absorption) compared to green or black teas, and has antioxidant and anti-tumoral properties.
Like a lot of other herbal teas, rooibos is also blended with some other ingredients for enhancing the flavor and adding to the health benefits. Mandarin rooibos is one such flavored version of this tea – it is usually laced with dried mandarin orange peels or mandarin orange extract, adding a citrus punch to it. Mandarin oranges are smaller versions of the orange and are not to be confused with tangerines and clementines. It can be enjoyed as a hot beverage as well as a refreshing cold iced tea. The advantage of consuming mandarin rooibos tea is that it offers the double benefits of red bush tea as well as those of mandarin orange. Talk about the best of both worlds!
1. Loves Your Heart
Those at risk for heart disease can greatly enjoy the benefits of mandarin rooibos tea. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmocology, 40 volunteers at risk for developing heart disease, consumed the red bush tea for a period of six weeks. After the end of the clinical trial, significant improvement was observed in their lipid profile. This means that their good cholesterol went up and bad cholesterol went down. It also brought down the level of oxidative stress, which is quite relevant to heart disease. Both these factors are of prime importance, especially in adults at risk for developing cardiovascular disease.1
In another study, it was revealed that red bush tea also helps in the inhibition of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) activity, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.2 ACE is an enzyme that indirectly increases blood pressure by constricting our blood vessels.
2. Cares For Your Liver
Mandarin rooibos can also help your liver stay in the pink of health. In a lab study on rats, liver injury was induced by carbon tetrachloride. Consumption of red bush tea reduced the extent of cirrhosis in the liver. Simultaneously, rooibos tea significantly suppressed the increase in plasma activities of aminotransferases (ALT, AST), alkaline phosphatase and billirubin concentrations—all markers of liver functional state. The study concluded that rooibos tea has a protective effect on the liver.3
3. Helps Manage Diabetes
Mandarin rooibos tea helps in the fight against diabetes-induced inflammation. In a 2014 study, it was concluded that the tea can suppress vascular inflammation induced by high glucose.4 It has the power to prevent the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis, a major complication of diabetes.
Aspalathin, a main polyphenol in mandarin rooibos tea, has also shown anti-diabetic potential in animal studies.5
Citrus fruits like the mandarin orange and its extracts that are used in mandarin rooibos tea, also lower oxidative stress, an important factor in diabetes management.
4. Keeps Wrinkles At Bay
While drinking the tea supplies skin-loving antioxidants to the body, its topical applications can lead to fewer wrinkles. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reveals that skincare product formulations with rooibos tea showed the best efficacy (9.9 per cent) on wrinkle reduction.6 Other contenders in the study were skincare formulations with gingko and soybean.
5. Staves Off Cancer
Mandarin rooibos has all the trappings of an anti-cancer agent – it has antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids.7 It is known for its anti-tumor effects.
According to a study published in Anticancer Research, two flavonoids named quercetin and luteolin lead to growth inhibition and vanquishing of pancreatic tumor cells.8
The mandarin orange extracts in mandarin rooibos tea also show chemopreventive effects and fight free radical damage, typically seen in cases of cancer. Chemoprevention involves the use of pharmaceuticals, dietary biofactors, phytochemicals and even whole plant extracts to prevent, arrest or reverse the cellular and molecular processes of cancer.
6. Aids In Weight Loss
Mandarin red bush tea contains a diversity of polyphenols, including flavonoids, considered to be largely responsible for its health promoting effects, including combating obesity. It does so by doing a fine job of managing leptin, the hunger hormone. If you feel hungry all the time, leptin is the one that’s largely responsible. Research has shown that regular consumption of hot rooibos tea leads to a decrease in leptin secretion, promoting satiety and making you feel less hungry. It also affects fat cell metabolism.9
The orange peel extracts in mandarin orange red bush tea also have anti-obesity properties, making it a weight loss winner. Go ahead and brew a cup!
|↑1||Marnewick, Jeanine L., Fanie Rautenbach, Irma Venter, Henry Neethling, Dee M. Blackhurst, Petro Wolmarans, and Muiruri Macharia. “Effects of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on oxidative stress and biochemical parameters in adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 133, no. 1 (2011): 46-52.|
|↑2||Persson, Ingrid AL, Karin Persson, Staffan Hägg, and Rolf GG Andersson. “Effects of green tea, black tea and Rooibos tea on angiotensin-converting enzyme and nitric oxide in healthy volunteers.” Public health nutrition 13, no. 5 (2010): 730-737.|
|↑3||Bosek, P., and M. Nakano. “Hepatoprotective effect of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) on CCl 4-induced liver damage in rats.” Physiological Research 52, no. 4 (2003): 461-466.|
|↑4||Ku, Sae-Kwang, Soyoung Kwak, Yaesol Kim, and Jong-Sup Bae. “Aspalathin and nothofagin from rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) inhibits high glucose-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo.” Inflammation 38, no. 1 (2015): 445-455.|
|↑5||Son, Myoung Jin, Miki Minakawa, Yutaka Miura, and Kazumi Yagasaki. “Aspalathin improves hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance in obese diabetic ob/ob mice.” European journal of nutrition 52, no. 6 (2013): 1607-1619.|
|↑6||Chuarienthong, P., N. Lourith, and P. Leelapornpisid. “Clinical efficacy comparison of anti‐wrinkle cosmetics containing herbal flavonoids.” International journal of cosmetic science 32, no. 2 (2010): 99-106.|
|↑7||Iswaldi, Ihsan, David Arráez-Román, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Medina, Raúl Beltrán-Debón, Jorge Joven, Antonio Segura-Carretero, and Alberto Fernández-Gutiérrez. “Identification of phenolic compounds in aqueous and ethanolic rooibos extracts (Aspalathus linearis) by HPLC-ESI-MS (TOF/IT).” Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 400, no. 10 (2011): 3643-3654.|
|↑8||Lee, Lung-Ta, Ying-Tang Huang, Jiuan-Jiuan Hwang, P. P. Lee, Ferng-Chun Ke, Madhavan P. Nair, C. Kanadaswam, and Ming-Ting Lee. “Blockade of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase activity by quercetin and luteolin leads to growth inhibition and apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells.” Anticancer research 22, no. 3 (2002): 1615-1627.|
|↑9||Sanderson, Micheline, Sithandiwe E. Mazibuko, Elizabeth Joubert, Dalene de Beer, Rabia Johnson, Carmen Pheiffer, Johan Louw, and Christo JF Muller. “Effects of fermented rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on adipocyte differentiation.” Phytomedicine 21, no. 2 (2014): 109-117.|