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    Sip Away Stress with Rooibos Tea

    health-benefits-of-rooibos-tea-900x440When we are dealing with a lot of stress, sipping tea has long been known to help us refresh and unwind. Tea drinkers turn to green or black tea for a wealth of anti-oxidants, and a little caffeine, or herbal teas to relax after a hard day. But there is another herbal tea gaining in popularity, called rooibos tea. Not only is it caffeine free, but it also contains minerals and flavonoids not found in other teas, and may help protect against all sorts of inflammatory health problems, from pollen allergies to heart disease, as well as effects of stress.

    I first learned about rooibos tea from my favorite local coffee roaster, who serves rooibos along with his fabulous coffees at our community theatre and other local events. Being a devoted coffee lover, I tend to stick with my favorite dark roasts, and skip the tea side of the table. But when my friend created a flyer about the benefits of Rooibos tea, I was intrigued…enough to even ask how to say it, and to try some.

    Pronounced “roy-bos,” the rooibos or “red bush” plant is native to South Africa and the tea is made from the leaves of the rooibos plant. Although it is sometimes called “red tea” to distinguish it from the more common green or black varieties, it is a unique plant, and not akin to those teas at all.

    Soothing to digestion and nerves alike.

    Unlike black and green teas, rooibos tea is not only caffeine free, but it is low in the tannins that can cause stomach distress in some people. I drink green tea myself from time to time, but I can’t drink much or it kind of gnaws at me, and I really don’t need tummy stress along with everything else. So rooibos could be an excellent alternative to gain the antioxidant benefits of green tea without the tannin effect.

    In addition, rooibos contains the powerful anti-oxidant quercetin, which calms the stomach like ginger tea, and has also shown to be an anti-spasmodic, and general digestive aid. Quercetin also has potent anti-inflammatory properties reported to protect against certain cancers, heart disease, and a variety of degenerative conditions. Inflammation plays havoc with every part of our bodies and our brains, so we need all the help to fight it we can get.

    Magnesium: the missing mineral.

    Rooibos tea is also really exceptional for the minerals in its brew. It contains calcium, and also the magnesium needed to absorb that calcium. Magnesium is important for many reasons. It is crucial for our nervous systems to work properly, and helps keep blood pressure under control. When we are under stress we are particularly vulnerable to rising blood pressure and frazzled nerves, so it is essential we get the magnesium we need. Studies have shown that drinking rooibos tea on a regular basis can reduce blood pressure, and even lower overall cholesterol levels.

    Surprisingly, some multi-vitamins do not even contain magnesium. So if you are not getting enough of this vital mineral, rooibos tea could help. Other minerals in rooibos tea include iron and copper, which assists in the iron’s absorption, and zinc, which aids in metabolism and is helpful in combating the common cold.

    Rooibos contains compounds found nowhere else.

    As well as the anti-oxidants we may already know about, the rooibos plant contains two unique polyphenols. One, called aspalathin, is found nowhere else, and the second, nothofagin, is only shared by a beech tree in New Zealand.  According to Natural News, these two extraordinary substances have shown to protect against Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and so many kinds of cancer that Rooibos is recognized by the Cancer Association of South Africa. Pretty impressive stuff.

    Not just good for you. It tastes good too.

    Rooibos tea can be found in a variety of flavors, and is tasty enough for a latte junkie like me to easily add a cup or two a day to unwind. Did I mention it is good for insomnia?

    My thanks to P.Hawk Coffee and Tea Company, for introducing me to rooibos tea. Knowing I can deal with my stress and give my body and brain such a healthy boost, just makes relaxing all that much better.

    For more information, visit: http://www.naturalnews.com/041982_rooibos_tea_health_benefits_herbal_medicine.html#

    http://www.betternutrition.com/quercetin-energy-allergies-antioxidant/columns/askthenaturopath/869

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