Saturday, 19 February 2011

Our ingredients: ROOIBOS TEA (Aspalathus linearis).

What is Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos tea is a naturally uncaffeinated tea made from the Rooibos shrub Aspalathus linearis, which grows only on the North Western Cape of South Africa. The word 'Rooibos' means 'red bush' in Afrikaans, and is so-called because when the green, needle-like leaves of the plant are cut and left to dry in the sun, they turn a beautiful mahogany red colour.
The rooibos plant is actually a member of the legume family: flowering plants, which also include beans and peas. This makes it quite different from conventional black or green teas, which are made from the leaves of the Camellia bush, part of the Theaceae family of trees and shrubs.

So What's so Special about Rooibos Tea?
Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, and has less than half the tannin of ordinary tea. Tannin is what gives ordinary tea its bitter taste. It stains teeth and can prevent the absorption of iron in the body.

Rooibos is rich in antioxidants, the substances that combat free radicals in the body3. They are anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic. Health problems that can be helped by drinking rooibos tea include headaches, colic, asthma, hay fever and insomnia. Rooibos is also said to be beneficial to pancreatitis sufferers, as it soothes the pain of digestive reflux.

Rooibos in cosmetics.
 Rooibos is also excellent for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis. It soothes nappy rash and improves skin condition in acne sufferers. The tea can either be applied to the skin, used as a wash or a drench for the hair to relive dry, itchy scalp, or used in skincare products such as soaps and cleansers. Hospitals in South Africa routinely use rooibos in baths for children with allergic skin conditions, as well as giving it as a drink.
Our “HONEY & LEMON ROOIBOS” soap is made with strongly brewed rooibos tea. Honey and rooibos tea combination gives the soap a lovely tan colour and a sweet smell. 

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