Red tea, also known as the rooibos tea, comes from, you guessed it, the rooibos shrub. The Rooibos shrub, scientifically known as Aspalathus linearis, is a plant with long, needle-shaped leaves similar to those of a pine tree. These leaves are the main ingredient in making the famous Red tea.
The Rooibos shrub is indigenous to the West Cape of Africa. The leaves of the shrub are turned into tea by the natives by bruising the leave and then fermenting them until they turn into the famous red color red tea leaves everyone love.
Red tea grew in popularity when researches and testimonies about its healing and antioxidant properties went public. The market for red tea grew from being a local staple drink to a global multi-billion dollar market. This massive demand reflects the fame of the tea when it comes to treating various diseases.
The benefits of red tea is incomparable to most other teas. Here are some of the scientifically proven and supported benefits of red tea.
1. Red Tea Is Rich In The Super Antioxidant Quercetin
Quercetin belongs to a higher league compared to other antioxidants such as the beta-carotene, Lycopene, and Lutein. Other sources of Quercetin include red wine, kale, and blueberries. The quercetin is a molecule that is known to fight off free radicals in our body.
Free radicals are uncharged molecules in the body that steal electrons from surrounding cells thus resulting in degeneration and aging. They may be caused by our bodies naturally or through pollutions and stress from around us. (1)
Antioxidants fight against these molecules by providing the free radicals the electrons that they desperately need. They are the disabled from stealing electrons from more important and necessary cells in the body.
Some diseases that can be prevented by the antioxidant Quercetin by drinking Red tea are High Cholesterol, heart diseases, gout, cancer, skin disorders or aging, asthma, or cognitive impairment. (2)
Key Takeaway: Drinking Red tea is a healthy and an easy way to provide the body with important antioxidants like the quercetin. This helps provide a multitude of health benefits from a healthy heart, boosting the immune system, to skin protection.
2. Certain Antioxidants In Rooibos Tea May Reduce Cancer Risk
Other than quercetin, red tea has also been found to contain another antioxidant called the luteolin. It is both a flavonoid, meaning it gives Red tea its flavor and an antioxidant. Several studies have proven the effectiveness of these two antioxidants in battling the growth and reproduction of cancer cells. (4)
A study in 2002 has shown the potential of these two antioxidants in inhibiting the growth of pancreatic cancer cells among test subjects. The quercetin and luteolin administered to the test subjects resulted in the apoptosis of the cancer cells. In other words, the cancer cells’ death. (5)
Red tea provides cancer patients additional assistance in battling cancer alongside their traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Red tea’s affordability and accessibility make it a good way for people in danger of contracting cancer prevent themselves from ever getting cancer.
Key Takeaway: If you are in danger of getting cancer, or already have one, the antioxidants luteolin and quercetin present in Red tea can help stop the growth and reproduction of cancer cells.
3. Red Tea’s Aspalathin Can Help Against Diabetes
Diabetes is a sickness that can be caused by two reasons. One is that the body lacks healthy amounts of insulin or that the organs are very unresponsiveness to the insulin that the body has already produced. The first one describes Type-1 diabetes, while the second one is Type-2 Diabetes.
Such defects in the body will result in the abundance of glucose in the person’s blood and other parts of the body. Such accumulation can lead to various damages across the body such as on the heart, brain, limbs, eyes, and much more. Even simple healing of wounds would become a big issue.
Luckily, red tea is known to be one of the natural sources Aspalathin, another type of antioxidant. A study in 2013 has shown that Aspalathin has antidiabetic properties that counteract hyperglycemia or glucose intolerance among diabetic patients. (6)
Key Takeaway: If you are a diabetic person or has a family background of it, then drinking Red tea will provide you enough antidiabetic antioxidants to prevent your diabetes from harming you.
4. Drinking Red Tea Can Treat Infantile Stomach Pains
In South Africa, red tea or Rooibos tea has always been used by mothers in treating their children’s stomach pain. In fact, stomach pain relief is actually the first known medical benefit red tea has, it was this that caused people to become more curious about what other benefits this delicious tea has. (7)
The fibers in red tea helps the digestive system of a child to reset and soothe and pains or cramps that may be occurring in the stomach walls or muscles. Long-term drinking can also provide enough fibers to help improve the excretory system of the child and avoid any pain or ailments such as constipation or diarrhea. (8)
The lack of caffeine in red tea also makes it a suitable drink for children. Caffeine may cause problems among smaller and younger people because it may cause hyperactivity and insomnia. (9)
Key Takeaway: If your kid is complaining about stomach pain, you can give him Red tea to help sooth his stomach muscles. Best of all is that you do not have to worry about your child drinking too much caffeine.
5. Red Tea And Leaves Are Very Good For The Skin
Red tea has been found out to contain two components that are very beneficial to the skin. The first one is alpha-hydroxy acid and the other one is zinc. Alpha-hydroxy is a very rare element that can hardly be found in nature. However, it is often synthesized in laboratories to be used on cosmetic products.
The alpha-hydroxy is scientifically proven to reduce wrinkles, skin dryness, and other symptoms of skin aging. The synthetic form of the alpha-hydroxy has been controversial on some occasions due to some adverse effects it has on users. However, being that Red tea is a natural source, these adverse effects are then eliminated. (10)
Zinc, on the other hand, has the same benefits of alpha-hydroxy on the skin, even more, it has the ability to prevent the breakout of acne on the user’s face. It also has the ability to cure eczema or skin inflammation. (11)
Key Takeaway: You can use Red tea to slow down the effects of aging on your face. When red tea leaves are rubbed on the face, red tea also has the ability to prevent acne breakout and eczema.
6. Drinking Red Tea Is Safe For People With Kidney Stone Problems
The kidney organ is in charge of filtering the wastes in our blood, the waste is then released from our body through our urine. However, there are instances when minerals and salt particles in our urine form solid chunks called kidney stones. (12)
Kidney stones can be painful and dangerous when they find their way to the ureters. One of the most common causes of kidney stones is the consumption of oxalate acid. Most teas are not recommended for people experiencing kidney stones problems.
However, Red tea is one of the only few types of tea to have zero or no content of oxalate acid. This makes it perfect for people with a history of kidney stone problem. The cleansing property of the tea also reduces the strain excreted on the kidney by foods that have toxins in them. (13)
Key Takeaway: If you have a history or are genetically prone to contract kidney stones, then you can still enjoy the benefits of drinking tea with the help of red tea.
7. Drinking Red Tea Is Helpful In Maintaining Healthy Bones
Drinking red tea can provide you the essential nutrients to assist in maintaining a healthy skeletal structure. Red tea has high contents of calcium, fluoride, and manganese. All of which are necessary elements for the bone to grow stronger and avoid deterioration. (14)
By keeping your bones healthy with Red tea you limit the chances of you contracting various bones diseases such as osteoporosis, chronic joint pain, and arthritis. Manganese stimulates and the body to produce enzymes that are needed for the body to repair and strengthen bones.
Calcium itself is the building block of bones, which is why I cannot emphasize even more the importance of calcium. Fluoride, on the other hand, helps the bones of children grow stronger.
Key Takeaway: Drinking red tea is a delicious and convenient way to promote bone growth and repair. It provides us with ample supply of the nutrients needed by the body for our bones to be as healthy as possible.
8. Red Tea Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Quercetin, as stated above, is a powerful and effective antioxidant present in red tea leaves. It has the ability to fight free radicals that are roaming free in our body. One of the key benefits of this antioxidant is preventing the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and stroke. (16)
A study conducted by Spanish scientists back in the year 2000 showed that quercetin-rich foods have the ability to prevent the production of inflammation-promoting NF-kappaB in their human subjects. This provided a strong evidence in the ability of quercetin-rich foods can reduce cardiovascular deaths. (17)
The quercetin has also been found to promote the increase of High-Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol) and inhibit the accumulation of Low-Density Lipoproteins in our body (bad cholesterol). Thus reducing the fatty tissues in our blood vessels.
Key Takeaway: The consumption of Red tea is a very effective way for us to minimize the possibility of getting cardiovascular-related diseases in the future.
9. Red Tea Can Help People With Allergies
Allergies have dozens of variations, some are triggered via touch, some are through oral consumption, others are due to inhalation of allergens, and much more. However, they all have one thing in common, they are all due to the body’s autoimmune response to the allergens.
The body’s autoimmune response occurs when our immune system is trying to fight off foreign contaminants that enter our body. Sadly, there are times when the body mistakenly tags various materials as threats. The body then reacts in a way that it also attacks the person’s own body.
Red tea counteracts the immune system’s mistakes by counteracting certain neurotransmitters called histamines. Histamines are in charge of signaling our immune system to charge into battle mode. The quercetin in Red tea can act in a similar way pharmaceutical antihistamines stop antihistamines from over reacting. (18)
Key Takeaway: Allergies are both uncomfortable and dangerous for people who have them. Drinking Red tea can give them a way to counteract the body’s autoimmune responses against allergens thus preventing the adverse effects of an allergy attack.
10. The Nutrients Of Red Tea Can Make The Hair Healthier
Red tea is rich in minerals and nutrients that are essential and provide support for the growth of strong and healthy looking hair. Such components include copper, calcium, potassium, and zinc.Research has shown that regular consumption of Red tea helps increase the growth speed and durability of hair fibers.
There are also reliable studies that suggest that drinking Red tea may also prevent hair loss by helping the scalp remove dead skin cells that may block hair follicles which result to the impediment of hair growth. Red tea also contains polyphenols which have the ability to promote undried, shiny, and soft hair. (19)
In older men, the major cause of hair loss is the enzyme dihydrotestosterone, which is a broken down form of the male hormone testosterone. Antioxidants in Red Tea can help block the breaking down of testosterone to prevent further hair loss.
Key Takeaway: If you are afraid of losing your hair, then red tea can give you nutrients and minerals that have the ability to keep your hair and scalp healthy.
11. Red Tea Has Can Help You Breathe Easier
Research has shown that Red tea has bronchodilator properties. Bronchodilators are any substances that cause the bronchi and bronchioles to dilate, meaning to widen up. By doing this, a bronchodilator helps increase the amount of air that can enter the lungs and the speed at which it does do.
This property is especially helpful for people who are experiencing respiratory diseases which may lead to them having difficulties in breathing. Such people include those who have asthma, bronchitis, and much more. Red tea shows potential to become a full-fledged short-term asthma and breathing difficulties relief. (20)
Key Takeaway: If you are experiencing asthma or any difficulty breathing, and that you have no readily available pharmaceutical drug to help you breathe easier, drinking can help loosen up your airways to help you catch your breath.
12. The Quercetin In Red Tea Can Prevent Obesity
Studies have shown that quercetin, a powerful oxidant present in Red Tea, can prevent the accumulation of fat tissues in humans. The antioxidant has the ability to suppress the growth of fat cells and also at the same time trigger already existing fat cells to self-destruct. (21)
Quercetin has also been shown to directly block the absorption of glucose from the blood, this would prevent fat tissues to get the necessary nutrient they need to multiply and grow.
A research published in 2008 by the University of Georgia found that the quercetin can reduce fat accumulation in the body by as much as 70%. They also found out that the antioxidant can increase the rate at which fat cells apoptosis by up to a staggering 310%! (22)
Key Takeaway: If you are trying to lose weight or trying to keep your body in shape, the presences of quercetin in Red tea can help your body remove excess fat on its own. It can also slow down the accumulation of fat tissues thus making weight loss easier!
13. The Rare Antioxidant Aspalathin Present In Red Tea Can Help Against Stress
Stress are any change in our surroundings that would require our body to adapt to. It can be both positive like getting promoted or negative like continuous responsibilities without rest. It is a normal part of life, however, if left unchecked they can lead to adverse effects both on our physical and mental state. (23)
Aspalathin is an incredibly rare and powerful antioxidant present in Red tea. A recent research in 2013 has shown that consuming nutrients that are rich in Aspalathin such as red tea help a person become more stress resistant, and promote durability under stress. This means that our body may still experience stress, however, the effects of it would be at a minimum. (24)
Key Takeaway: With the rapid development of society, the stress levels experienced by everyone is increasing day by day. Drinking Red tea can help a person cope with these stresses and help him endure them better thus, reducing any mental or physical effects stress would have brought about had he not drank Red Tea.
14. Drinking Red Tea Will Aid Digestion
The modern man’s diet has contributed to an increase of digestion related disorders and diseases. The increase in the popularity of fast food chains, ready to eat meals, and manufactured sweeteners have made healthy diets hard to keep loyal to.
Processed food are often laden with ingredients that are unnatural and hard to digest, these ingredients put extra stress on our digestive systems. Most of which can lead to problems like constipation, diarrhea, and more.
As many other teas, red tea is filled with dietary fiber that is good for the digestive tract. These dietary fibers help “sweep” the stomach of unwanted toxins. It also adds mass to our stool thus making it easier for our body to get rid of our stools. (25)
Key Takeaway: If you are unable to keep away from processed and unnatural food products, like most of us, then drinking tea can help you get rid of the unfavorable toxins that we put into our body.
15. Drinking Red Tea Reduces The Possibility Of Anemia
Anemia is a disease characterized by the insufficiency of hemoglobin in our body. Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that are responsible for crying oxygen atoms throughout our body. One of the primary element that is needed by the body to produce healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin is iron. (26)
Due to various possible reasons such as diet, genetic predisposition or environmental factors, a person’s iron level may drop below what is normal. This can then result to that person having the disease anemia.
The plant from which red tea comes from is high in iron content due to its environment. Drinking Red tea can help a person replenish or increase the iron level of a person to normal again. (27)
Key Takeaway: Drinking red tea can help increase a person’s iron level in the body and thus decrease the chances of him getting anemia in the future.
4 Delicious Recipes With Red Tea
Red tea truly is a wonder of nature when it comes to the health benefits that it can provide its consumer. That is why it would be very beneficial if we are able to add it to dishes that we eat every day. That way we do not just enjoy its benefit but also its unique taste and aroma.
Red Tea is one of the best tasting teas available in the market. Red tea being primarily water, you can substitute it for water in any recipe you wish. Its low caffeine content also makes it ideal for cooking foods for children and adults alike. You can use it to marinate, to make a sauce, for desserts and much more! The only limit would be your imagination!
Here are 4 delicious recipes to help you find ways to enjoy the benefits of red tea without ever getting tired of it!
1. Salmon Fillet With Red Tea
Salmon is one of the healthiest species of edible fishes, combined with red tea, this delicious dish is sure to raise the health bar even higher!
350 grams of salmon fillets
1 teaspoon of red tea leaves
100 grams of fresh green beans
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
100 grams of hot red pepper
1 tablespoon of soybean oil
100 grams of fresh broccoli florets
50 grams of carrot, shredded
1/ 4 teaspoon of salt
Cover the salmon fillets with pepper, salt, and red tea leaves.
Leave the salmon fillets to sit for a few minutes to let the ingredients seep in.
Bake the green beans (sliced diagonally) and broccoli rosettes.
Preheat the wok and pour the soy sauce.
Cut the red pepper into small squares then proceed to sauté them on the wok, then include the carrots.
Then include the green beans, soy sauce, and broccoli.
Add some salt and mix everything well.
On a frying pan, proceed to fry the salmon skin side first. After that flip the salmon to the other side to cook that side too.
When the salmon begins to have an opaque color, you can assume that it is cooked.
Arrange the ingredients by placing the vegetables on a plate first then placing the salmon on top. Garnish with a lemon bud and a few splashes of olive oil.
2. Strawberry Red Tea Tiramisu
A delicious variation for red tea, this dessert is sure to be a hit among the children!
1 pack of powdered gelatin
300 grams of fresh strawberries
700 milliliters of clean water
4 medium sized eggs
100 grams of white sugar
4 pieces of gelatin sheets
¼ cup of lemon juice
A pack of mascarpone
A few pieces of ladyfingers
1 cup of hot red tea
250 milliliters of clean water
1 teaspoon of brandy
Cocoa powder for dusting
To create the cream, separate the whites and the yolks of the eggs, then add sugar to the egg yolks and beat until it turns to a whitish cream.
In a bowl of cold clean water, soak the gel sheets for a few minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and 3 drops of lemon juice to the egg whites and whisk until soft peaks can be formed.
Fold together the egg whites and yolks. Avoid over mixing.
Drain the gelatin sheets and use a microwave to dissolve them.
Cool the gelatin slightly then proceed to pour them on top of the creams.
Refrigerate for about 45 minutes.
Combine the brandy and red tea.
Spread a half centimeter layer of the cream on the bottom of each serving dish.
Dip the ladyfingers into the hot tea and arrange them on top of your cream.
Spread another layer of cream on the ladyfingers.
Refrigerate for another 45 minutes.
Heat water in a bowl and bring to a boil.
Blend the strawberries using a food processor.
Include some gelatin and continue to blend some more.
Add some hot water carefully and blend again.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes and pour on top of the cream.
Finally, add the last layer of cream.
Dust with some cocoa powder and enjoy!
3. Strawberry Cream With Red Tea
Not too sweet and not too blunt, this perfectly balanced dessert with be enjoyed by children and adults!
300 grams of fresh strawberries
70 grams of brown sugar
200 milliliters of clean water
1 teaspoon of red tea
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of chocolate shavings
2 pieces of strawberries
Rinse and slice the strawberries.
Blend the strawberries and sugar using a blender for a few minutes.
Bring the water to a boil.
Soak the tea for 5 minutes to create red tea
Combine the cornstarch and red tea.
With the use of a small sauce pan heated with a low flame, combine the tea, cornstarch, and strawberries.
Cook them for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Continuously stir to avoid burning.
Let the final product cool down for about an hour.
Pour the mixture into separate bowls and refrigerate for 2 hours.
To serve, garnish with chocolate shavings and strawberry pieces.
4. Red Tea Pancake
Perfect for breakfast, pancakes infused with red tea are a perfect way to start a healthy morning!
3 tea bags of Red tea
2 cups of boiling water
2 cups of ready-made pancake mix
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
Soak the tea bags in the boiling water for about 10 minutes and then let it cool for a couple more minutes.
Heat a pan over medium heat. Combine 1 and 1/2 cups of the cooled tea and the readymade pancake mix.
On the center of the pan, melt a teaspoon of the butter. Drop 5 pecan halves onto the melted butter. Cook a third of a cup of the pancake mix on top of the pecan halves.
Throw a dash or ½ tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the pancakes. Afterwards, apply a thin amount of butter on top of the sugar granules.
When the bottom side of the pancake seems cooked to you, flip the pancake and cook for another 40 seconds. Transfer the pancake onto a plate and pour your choice of syrup over the pancakes.
Serve and enjoy!
Wrapping It Up
Red tea found its beginning from the humble West Cape of Africa, and as time goes by, Red tea’s popularity has invaded all seven continents of the world. From being just a stomach pain reliever for children, further researches have revealed that there is more in store from this miraculous tea.
Red tea has been proven time and time again to be tightly packed with antioxidants and nutrients that are sure to ensure a healthy and long lasting life for whoever drinks it regularly. Red tea has both the strongest antioxidants and the rarest, making it truly a gem within the world of tea.
With it usability in practically almost all recipes, you can now enjoy the benefits of red tea on a day to day basis. Red tea will not just add a unique flavor in your dish, but it may also save your life one day!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.