Journey with Red Bush

Herbal Stories by JoAnn Sanchez. RH, AHG

One of the benefits of global awareness is that we are enriched by the traditions of people’s worldwide.

A world away, South Africa’s most popular hot beverage is Red bush tea, made from the twigs and leaves of the Rooibus (Aspalathus linearis) shrub of the bean family that grows in the mountain areas there. South Africans use it to improve appetite, calm the digestive  tract, and reduce nervous tension.  Traditionally, uses of Red bush also include alleviating allergies, asthma, and addressing dermatological conditions.

Rooibus can be added to teas and even to cooking. It’s natural nutty sweetness improves the taste of food without adding sugar and because Rooibus contains lots of vitamins, macro- and trace minerals, it also lifts the nutrient level of a meal.

One of the most popular teas of the world, Rooibus is caffeine free and much less astringent than traditional black and green teas.  (Black and green tea also inhibit iron absorption; Red bush does not affect iron absorption.)

Rooibus is famed for its ability to relieve constipation, various types of inflammatory dermatitis and address milk allergies in babies.

Of note to desert dwellers, studies show that Rooibus tea may protect against cancers generally and skin cancer specifically because research has shown that this tea contains a complexity of flavonoids (plant pigments) with important anti-oxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-mutagenic, immune regulating, and also anti-diabetic actions that can assist us on a cellular level to keep processes healthy within us on a deep level.

African Red bush tea will be served at Yoga Breeze on November 21st, along with some seasonal tastes added like cinnamon and orange. Perhaps it will spark some new delight for autumn and winter tea drinking  in you from a tradition from far away.

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