Native to South Africa, rooibos was traditionally consumed for its health-giving properties and today a growing body of research is pointing towards the fact that your cup of rooibos tea may be helping you to pre- vent the onset of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
A recent review in The Cochrane Library (the Gold Standard in research) with 40 healthy volunteers found that drinking six cups of rooibos tea daily for six weeks increased HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”), decreased LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), and triacylglycerides (“fats” in the blood) compared to control. Furthermore, measures of oxidative damage were decreased and polyphenol levels were increased, thus proving that rooibos tea is packed full of good-for-you antioxidants. Since having high cholesterol (low HDL, high LDL and triacylglycerides) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and oxidative damage essentially speeds up the aging process (in other words, wearing your body out!) incorporating rooibos tea into your daily routines could be helpful in protecting you against Canada’s leading cause of death in both men and women.
Marnewick JL, Rautenbach F, Venter I, Neethling H, Blackhurst DM, Wolmarans P, Macharia M. Effects of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on oxidative stress and biochemical parameters in adults at risk for cardiovascular disease. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2011 Jan; 133(1):46-52.
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Type 2 Diabetes
In Type 2 Diabetes-induced mice given rooibos, blood sugar levels were decreased and hyperinsulinemia were improved. These healthy parameters were further improved and total cholesterol lowered when the mice ex- ercised. In streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, rooibos helped to mediate the oxidative damage that is thought to be responsible for the majority of diabetic side effects like vascular damage, vision loss, neuropathy and kidney damage. No side effects were found with Rooibos.
McKay DL, Blumberg JB. A review of the bioactivity of south African herbal teas: rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honey- bush (Cyclopia intermedia). Phytother Res. 2007 Jan;21(1):1-16.
Ulicná O, Vancová O, Bozek P, Cársky J, Sebeková K, Boor P, Nakano M, Greksák M. Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) partially prevents oxidative stress in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Physiol Res. 2006;55(2):157-64.
Many of the leading chronic disease “killers”, including cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes, are preventable through leading a healthy lifestyle, even if it runs in your family. Getting plenty of exercise, choosing lean protein, consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, fish oil, avocados), focusing on stress reduction and adequate sleep are the key to living a healthy life. Balance. And a cup of Rooibos doesn’t hurt either!
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Canadian Food & Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Distinctly Tea Inc.
Written by Keila Roesner, BHSc, ND (cand)