Rooibostee is lankal nie net meer “kruietee” nie, dit het tot ‘n groter industrie ontwikkel soos wat enige ander plant of selfs mineraal ontwikkel het – selfs skoonheidsmiddels word hiervan vervaardig. Platinum, mangaan, goud en diamante is ook nie net ‘n paar stukke kosbare mineraal of rotse uit die aarde nie, maar het elkeen tot iets ontwikkel. Verseker is daar duisende gevalle waar alles vir ‘n eerste keer ontdek is, net soos wat daar ou antieke beskawings ontdek of verder ontgin word, waarvan sommige begrawe was vir eeue onder sand en duine.
Rooibostee is ‘n handelsnaam verwant aan Suid-Afrika, spesifiek die Cederberge in die Wes-Kaap provinsie. ‘n Unieke tee wat slegs hier voorkom in die Cederberge in Wes-Kaap.
Rooibos tea – Rooibostee
Rooibos tea was discovered over 300 years ago. It was relatively unknown until the Aspalathus Linearis leaves were harvested by the Khoisan’s who were a South African tribe of Bushmen. It was regularly used as a herbal medicine to treat a plethora of ailments. Even though Rooibos was known to be delicious and nutritious, the indigenous tribes started to fade away and so did the knowledge of rooibos tea.
Early Dutch settlers at the Cape started drinking Rooibos as an alternative to the very expensive black tea from Europe. Carl Thunberg, a botanist from Europe who visited the Cape in 1772, reported on the Rooibos plant and the tea brewed from it. A Russian immigrant to South Africa, Benjamin Ginsberg, recognised the potential of this unique “mountain tea” in 1904 and started trading with Rooibos, becoming the first exporter of Rooibos.
In 1772, botanist Carl Thunberg rediscovered the Aspalathus Linearis leaves which were previously used by the Khosian people. He went on to spread the interest of this delicious drink. Many of the adventurers and settlers were unable to enjoy black tea from Europe due to its high import price. Subsequently, Dutch settlers chose the native grown rooibos as a perfect alternative.
In 1904, a Russian immigrant known as Benjamin Ginsberg, with connections to the European tea industry, began to market rooibos. Ginsberg claimed rooibos was a herbal alternative to tea, with it being labelled “Mountain Tea”.
Ginsberg replicated the process of oxidation used to produce Black Keemun tea. As a result, the Green Aspalathus Linearis needle-like leaves turned into a mahogany red colour, which ultimately was resultant in the name rooibos (“red bush” pronounced “roy-bus”).
From here, Ginsberg began to trade rooibos locally and internationally which resulted in him being the first exporter of Rooibos tea. He later immigrated and left his son to continue working on the farm to produce high quality rooibos tea.
Dr Le Fras Nortier
In the 1930’s, Dr Le Fras Nortier began researching the medical benefits and agricultural potential of Rooibos, predominately due to his fondness for the delicious and aromatic tea. His researched involved the task of cultivating rooibos plants on his farm and he paid villagers £5 per match box of rooibos plant seeds.
It proved a near impossible task to source the seeds as they were the size of a grain of sand. Nevertheless, a Khoi women noticed a colony of ants taking the seeds back to a nest which was then discovered to be a granary. From here, farmers were taught how to germinate the seeds and new cultivation methods were born. Thus, the commercial production of Rooibos truly began.
World War II
During World War II, loose tea from Asian countries was almost impossible to source and this resulted in an increased demand for Rooibos tea. Despite this, rooibos was expensive to purchase due to the high economic cost of seeds from the lack of rooibos plants. Thus, the high price still made rooibos difficult to obtain and enjoy.
After WWII, the Rooibos market collapsed and the Clanwilliam Tea Cooperative was formed in 1948. The goal was to regulate marketing, stables prices; improve and standardize quality. A new era began for Rooibos and it finally became stable and prosperous.
Dr Annique Theron
In 1968, Dr Annique Theron (a South African Mother) centred the limelight on rooibos tea when she claimed that rooibos helped alleviate her baby’s colic. In particular, she published a book called “Allergies: An Amazing Discovery” and continued to promote the health benefits. Following on from here, a plethora of other studies from various professionals were released detailing the antioxidant benefits of rooibos teas and their health advantages.
Contains no caffeine
Low tannin from pure Rooibos leaves
With this new medical perspective on rooibos, the popularity of rooibos excelled to great heights.
Western Cape and Rooibostea – Quality of Rooibostea
“Remaining properly hydrated when ill will help replace lost fluids from sweating (if you have a fever) and a raised metabolism as your body increases its internal level of activity to battle the infection. Look out for signs of dehydration, such as thirst, dry lips and skin, jeadaches, lethargy and decreased urination,” she says. Sore throats and other aches and pains that are characteristic of colds and flu, could also benefit from Rooibos tea. Drinking the tea will keep your throat moist and help to reduce irritation.
Western Cape – Wes-Kaap – Cederberg
- A cup of strong Rooibos
- 1 tsp of lemon
- 1 tsp of honey
- ½ tsp of preferably fresh ginger (try a full tsp if it’s not too strong for you)
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
Pour boiling water into a cup or mug, add one Rooibos teabag and let it steep for at least 5 to 6 minutes. Add a teaspoon of lemon, honey, ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
*If you prefer something cold, make your own herbal ice lollies or ice chips using the same Rooibos tea combination as above.
ROOIBOS, STRAWBERRY AND ORANGE SMOOTHIE
Ingredients for one serving
- 1 – 2 Rooibos tea bags
- 125 ml boiling water
- 225 g frozen strawberries
- ½ a peeled and chopped orange
- 125 g silken tofu
- 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp liquid honey, optional
- Put the Rooibos bags in a teapot or heatproof jug and pour over the water. Steep for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove the bag. Leave to cool.
- Put the tea, berries, tofu and protein powder into a blender and process until smooth. Sweeten to taste with honey and pour into glasses. Serve immediately.
It Helps Alleviate Allergies
South African scientists have deduced that the reason why rooibos is anti-allergic is that it contains quercetin, an anti-spasmodic that helps combat allergies. In every 150 ml of rooibos, there is between 1.4 and 1.7 mg of quercetin. It is proven to help alleviate sinus, hay fever, and runny noses—needless to say, it’s the right time of the year to have some cups of rooibos!
If you’re suffering from sinus, slowly draw some lukewarm rooibos into your sinuses, hold it in for a few seconds, then release it and blow your nose. You should feel better.
It Helps You Get A Good Night Sleep
Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, low in tannin and has a relaxing effect on the central nervous system, which is why it has been recommended for years by doctors of patients suffering from insomnia, disturbed sleeping patterns and headaches.
Have a cup of rooibos beverage just before going to bed and you’ll sleep like a log. (In fact, we’re dozing off as we’re writing this, only 20 minutes after a full cup of warm rooibos)
It Cures Tired Eyes
Yes, it helps with tired, smarting, puffy or sensitive eyes, so those who read and/or study a lot will find this hint particularly valuable!
- Place tea bags in the refrigerator or freezer
- After a hard day’s work, put on tired or red eyes to soothe and relax
You can also do the same every morning after waking up: either rinse out your eyes in an eyeglass filled with lukewarm plain rooibos tea, or wipe out your eyes with a face-cloth dipped in plain rooibos tea for instant relief.
It Alleviates Acne
Rooibos contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc—which contribute to healthy, smooth and glowing skin.
The following facemask method has proven a savior to many acne sufferers:
- Take half a cup of strong, fairly warm plain rooibos tea
- Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of oatmeal
- Allow the mixture to cool until it’s lukewarm
- Apply over face and neck and then lie down and relax for about 15 minutes
- Rinse off with lukewarm plain rooibos tea, then press to dry
Continue the procedure once a week for a smoother and healthier, acne-free skin.
Appropriate hydration is key to avoiding heat-related ailments and illnesses, but before you reach for something cold to cool you down – a warm cup of (Rooibos) tea might be a better option, say experts. It sounds illogical that a hot drink could cool you down, but there is now hard science behind this old wives’ tale that dates back hundreds of years.
A series of studies conducted by the University of Ottawa found that ingesting a hot drink on a summer day lowers the amount of heat stored by the body, provided that the sweat produced by the hot beverage can evaporate. Research Director for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC), Joe Swart explains that sweating is the body’s way of cooling us down.
“As sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin, it cools and removes excess heat to keep our body temperature in check. It’s interesting to note that during one of the studies, researchers also tested the effect of a warm drink on those participating in exercise for 75 minutes at a relatively low intensity, in 24 ºC at 23% relative humidity, while consuming water at different temperatures. It was only after participants had consumed the warm drink, when their overall body temperature dropped.
“However, it is important to keep in mind that because conditions, such as airflow and humidity were controlled during the trials, the results could be different in an environment where sweat evaporation is limited, such as in hot, humid weather where one is dripping with sweat. In these circumstances, the cooling effect of hot drinks is likely to be less effective, in which case colder drinks should be taken,” he says.
In South Africa, our climate is quite temperate with plenty of sunny, dry days, so drinking a warm cuppa in summer might not be such a crazy idea after all…
Swart says Rooibos tea is a healthy and affordable cooling option for everyone, including babies. “It contains no caffeine, is low in tannins and you can drink as much of it as you want, unlike other hot beverages that may have a diuretic effect.
“Rooibos tea can also be enjoyed hot or cold and comes in a variety of fruit and spiced-infused flavours. On a hot, dry summer day, cool down with a warn cup, while in hot, humid weather, it can be turned into a delicious iced tea, to help regulate your body temperature in a healthy, natural way. “It also won’t add any additional calories as it contains no fats or carbohydrates and is naturally sweet, which illiminates the need for sugar.”
So, if you live in the Mother City or Gauteng, hydrate with something warm, while cold drinks in more humid regions, such as Durban could provide some much-needed reprieve in the summer heat.
Try any one of these Rooibos iced tea recipes to help quench your thirst:
Rooibos, lemon and mint iced tea:
- 6 bags of Rooibos tea
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 20 mint leaves
Place tea bags, lemon and mint leaves in a large pot, pour 3.5 litres of boiling water onto it and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove tea bags when tea is cold and refrigerate. Add honey for a sweeter taste.
Rooibos and berry iced tea:
- 3 Rooibos tea bags
- 3 cups water, 1 boiling, 2 cold
- 1.5 cups raspberries
- 3-4 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste or use a Rooibos-Vanilla tea infusion instead
- 8 mint leaves
- Ice cubes, fresh raspberries and lemon wedges for serving
Make the tea using 1 cup of boiling water and three tea bags. Set aside for a few minutes to steep. Then remove the tea bags and add the remaining cold water. Set aside to cool. Heat up the raspberries, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Put the mixture through a sieve by squashing the fruit to help separate the pulp and juice from the seeds. Once the tea has cooled completely, add the raspberry mixture, lemon juice and mint leaves. Drop in fresh raspberries and a couple of lemon wedges and serve with ice cubes. Keep refrigerated.
- Wash your face with lukewarm Rooibos instead of water; it is a great alternative skin freshener.
- Rinse dark hair with strong Rooibos to give it a beautiful shine.
- Treat tired and sensitive eyes to a rinse with lukewarm Rooibos. Press eyes gently with a face-cloth dipped in lukewarm Rooibos.
- Treat acne with a mix of a cup of strong, warm Rooibos, one teaspoon apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of oatmeal or gluten-free flour. Cool until lukewarm and apply over face. Lie down and relax for 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm tea. Press dry gently.