Rooibos Tea 101: Benefits, Side Effects, and More

Rooibos tea is a type of herbal tea that is rich in antioxidants. Though more research is needed, it could also be associated with several benefits and may help protect against certain chronic conditions.

Rooibos tea

What Is Rooibos Tea?

Rooibos tea, pronounced “ROY-boss”, is a herbal tea originating from South Africa. The tea is made from the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub, also known as the red bush. Traditionally, the leaves are oxidized, giving the brew its rich red-brown color and sweet, nutty flavor.

Potential Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea isn’t just a delicious beverage; it also offers several potential health benefits.

Rich in Antioxidants

Rooibos tea is packed with antioxidants, including aspalathin and quercetin. These compounds help protect your body’s cells against damage from free radicals, potentially reducing your risk of conditions like heart disease and cancer.

May Support Heart Health

Some studies suggest that rooibos tea can support heart health by helping to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and raise good HDL cholesterol. It may also help prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure.

May Aid Weight Loss

Rooibos tea is naturally calorie-free, making it an excellent beverage choice for those looking to lose weight. Some research suggests that the tea might also help reduce hunger and boost fat metabolism, although more studies are needed to confirm these effects.

Could Support Digestive Health

The anti-inflammatory properties of rooibos tea could benefit digestive health. It may help reduce digestive discomfort and could potentially aid in the management of conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Rooibos Tea Side Effects

While rooibos tea is generally safe for most people, it can cause some side effects in certain situations.

Possible Hormonal Effects

Some sources suggest that rooibos tea might have estrogenic activity, which could interfere with hormone balance. Those with hormone-sensitive conditions should consult a healthcare professional before consuming rooibos tea.

Potential for Liver Damage

Excessive consumption of rooibos tea might cause liver damage, although this is very rare. Always adhere to a moderate intake.

Risk of Drug Interactions

Rooibos tea might interact with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs. If you’re taking any medication, speak with your doctor before adding rooibos tea to your diet.

Does Rooibos Tea Have Caffeine?

One of the notable features of rooibos tea is that it is naturally caffeine-free. This makes it an excellent choice for people who are sensitive to caffeine or are looking for a calming beverage to drink in the evening.

Best Rooibos Teas to Consider

There are many different rooibos teas on the market, ranging from the more common red rooibos to green rooibos, and from pure to flavored variants like vanilla and chai. If you’re seeking good options, these are the best rooibos teas we’ve discovered through our extensive testing of dozens of brands.

How to Make Rooibos Tea

Making rooibos tea is a straightforward process:

  1. Boil water: Use pure, filtered water for the best flavor.
  2. Add tea: For each cup of water, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of rooibos tea leaves.
  3. Steep: Allow the tea to steep for 5 to 7 minutes. For a stronger flavor, let it steep for up to 10 minutes.
  4. Strain and enjoy: Strain the tea leaves and enjoy your rooibos tea hot. Alternatively, let it cool and serve it over ice for a refreshing iced tea.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines if you’re using a branded product.

Final Thoughts

Rooibos tea offers a unique flavor and numerous potential health benefits, making it a worthy addition to your tea collection. Despite some potential side effects, it’s generally safe when consumed in moderation.


What Does Rooibos Tea Taste Like?

Rooibos tea has a unique, naturally sweet flavor. It offers a delicate balance of earthy, nutty, and slightly vanilla notes.

When Is the Best Time to Drink Rooibos Tea?

Given that rooibos tea is caffeine-free, it can be enjoyed at any time of day. Its calming properties may make it particularly beneficial in the evening.

Does Rooibos Tea Break a Fast?

No, rooibos tea doesn’t break a fast. It’s calorie-free, so you can enjoy it during your fasting window.

Does Rooibos Tea Stain Teeth?

Rooibos tea is less likely to stain teeth compared to other teas and coffee. However, any tea can contribute to stains if consumed excessively, so regular dental hygiene is important.

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