You may have heard of rooibos, also known as Red Bush, from South Africa. If you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a delicious treat that’s good for you, too! This 100% caffeine-free herb can be made into a tea that has a woody-sweet, nutty flavor and is wonderfully high in antioxidants!
The active antioxidants in rooibos tea are called aspalathin flavonoids which are similar to the flavonoids found in green tea. In fact, one laboratory study found that aspalathin is even more effective at scavenging damaging free radicals than epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea. An animal study also showed that rats given rooibos tea had higher superoxide dismutase (SOD—a protein that neutralizes free radicals) levels in their blood than those not fed the tea, and they also had less DNA damage. The study also indicated that rooibos tea had an anti-inflammatory effect that protects the health of cells.
Rooibos also has natural compounds that support healthy skin!
Because of its high flavonoid content, rooibos is used as a powerful “graceful-aging” ingredient in skin care formulations. Since much of skin aging is caused by exposure to UV rays, pollution, and other environmental contaminants that create free radicals, rooibos’ free-radical-scavenging abilities help to protect skin and support our best skin possible at any age!.
Rooibos is also known to have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, making it helpful for acne, eczema, psoriasis and other difficult skin conditions. In fact, people with acne have reported that both drinking rooibos tea and applying rooibos directly to their skin helped decrease skin congestion.
Rooibos is also a source of vitamin D and zinc, and has been shown to be protective against damaging UV rays. A 2009 study found that topical application of rooibos extract prior to UVB exposure inhibited the formation of tumors, suggesting the ingredient may help protect against sunburn and potentially helpful in preventing skin cancers.
Finally, rooibos is known to be hypoallergenic, helping to calm reactive skin and soothe redness, itching, and rashes.
Brew up some rooibos tea today, drink a big cup and save another in the fridge to use on your skin after cleansing and before sun exposure for a day or two. Make a fresh batch every couple days and see the difference it makes in your skin! (Rooibos is delicious on its own or with a bit of agave or honey.)
Here’s to healthy happy skin, naturally!