Rooibos
by Ansie Earle
- The unfermented Rooibos emerged in response to recent interest in the health
benefits linked to the antioxidants found in tea. Green Rooibos extract in particular is
an extremely powerful natural antioxidant.

- Traditionally Rooibos tea is fermented after harvesting, which gives the unique
colour and aroma to the Tea. Many antioxidants are destroyed during the
fermentation process and it also has an effect on the Aspalathin, the anti-allergic
property.

- With Green Rooibos, the natural fermentation and oxidization process is stopped
immediately after harvesting. It is steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then
rolled and dried. Green Rooibos has 100 times more antioxidants and 10 times more
aspalathin than regular fermented Rooibos. The antioxidants in Rooibos are relevant
for both internal and external health.

Health Benefits For All!

- Rooibos tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic
acids that are potent free radical scavengers.

- Rooibos contains a host of minerals and trace elements such as calcium, potassium
and zinc. Its health-promoting characteristics however, are mainly credited to its
flavonoid content.

- Rooibos contains nine flavonoids. Two of these flavonoids quercetin and luteolin,
also occur in fruit and vegetables. They are potent antioxidants that can cause cancer
cells to "commit suicide" (apoptosis).

- Rooibos is the only natural source of the unique polyphenol, aspalathin which is
known for its anti-allergic properties. It has been shown to be effective against
various dermatological conditions including acne and atopic dermatitis.

What Scientists Say

- New scientific studies provide evidence that Rooibos tea may protect against
cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Studies show that the Tea can protect against
damage to all major components of cellular proteins, fats and DNA and enhance the
activity of certain important carcinogen-detoxifying enzymes in the liver. Rooibos tea
may also play a vital role in the battle against skin cancer. (Santa Barbara
California.--Business Wire - 22 Nov 2004).

- In in vitro studies, it was found that Green Rooibos was generally more protective
against DNA damage than fermented Rooibos. However, senior research scientist at
the Medical Research Council of SA, Jeanine Marnewick says her group's research
shows that fermented Rooibos has a stronger effect against some mutagens. She
says that both the fermented and unfermented Rooibos show significant protection.

- For cosmetic formulations, the most important qualities of Rooibos are associated
with its anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

- The antioxidant content of Rooibos and the neutralising effect it has on free radicals
are well documented in the literature and make it an exciting ingredient for anti-aging
skincare products, especially for the mature skin. The Anti-inflammatory properties
make it suitable for products for sensitive or problem (acne) skin and baby care
products. The use of extract derived from green unfermented raw material with its
superior antioxidant content, is therefore to be regarded as very significant for the
cosmetic industry.

- Recently independent research showed that it also improves hair condition and hair
growth.

Zero Caffeine - Low Tannin

- Rooibos contains no caffeine and has low tannin content. In ordinary tea, tannins
are involved in the binding of calcium and iron that makes it difficult for the body to
absorb these minerals. In addition, tannins can interfere with the pigmentation of the
skin. Therefore, the low tannin content of Rooibos extracts compared to extracts
from ordinary green tea makes Rooibos the preferred choice for the application in
skin care products.

- Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free; it does not have to go through a decaffeination
process and, therefore, does not lose any of its essential polyphenol content. It is
therefore an excellent drink for people who want to avoid the stimulating effects of
caffeine. Because of the low tannin content, it can be a good alternative to ordinary
tea for people who need to avoid beverages containing tannin.

Conclusion

- To conclude, Rooibos appears to be safe and free of side effects. The antioxidant
content in Rooibos may help protect against free radical damage that can lead to
premature ageing, cancer, heart disease and stroke. Green Rooibos, the
unfermented version of Rooibos tea, has a higher percentage of polyphenols than
traditional fermented Rooibos and generally displays higher antioxidant potential than
regular Rooibos Tea. The use of an extract manufactured from unfermented raw
material is to be regarded as very important new development for the development
of skin and healthcare products.


About The Author

Ansie Earle UK Distributor of Annique Rooibos Tea and Skin and Healthcare Products.
Visit us at
.
Regular Rooibos Tea Versus
Green Rooibos Tea

- ROOIBOS TEA has taken the world
by storm. Both fermented and
unfermented Rooibos tea are
primarily sold as a health drink
however, it is also used as a raw
material in the cosmetic industry.
- Green Rooibos Tea is the
unfermented version of Rooibos Tea
and it has a lighter, fruitier taste than
regular Rooibos tea. Rooibos tea
lacks the astringent taste of normal
tea and green tea.
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