For over a century, antioxidant-rich Rooibos tea has been used to help ease and provide protection against colds and flu. Its ability to support the immune system in fighting viruses, enhances the body’s natural defence system making it a must-have pantry staple.
Here’s how Rooibos can help fight coughs and sniffles this winter season:
1. One of the most important healing functions of Rooibos tea is that it keeps the body hydrated, unlike Ceylon tea, coffee and energy drinks, which could deplete the body of fluids. These drinks all contain caffeine which is a diuretic. When you’re ill, you tend to lose a lot of 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. Since Rooibos tea is 100% caffeine-free, it will keep you sufficiently hydrated. Drink up to six cups of Rooibos tea a day for maximum benefits.
2. 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.
3. Rooibos also has a calming effect on the body, which could help to alleviate tension and thus promote better sleep, which is essential for getting over a cold.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says if you’re looking for a natural way to beat colds and flu, look no further than Rooibos.
“It is packed with polyphenols, which are micronutrients with antioxidant activity. Polyphenols act as scavengers of free radicals throughout the body, which are detrimental by-products of cell metabolism that can cause inflammation. Aspalatin – a unique antioxidant found only in Rooibos tea, will help to boost immunity, whilst protecting the body against other illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” she says.
Give your body an immune-boosting shot with these tried and tested Rooibos remedies:
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 HOT TODDY
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
litre of Rooibos tea, brewed using 6 bags
2 cinnamon sticks
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
Honey to taste
Combine all of the ingredients then serve immediately while still hot.
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
1. 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.
2. 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.
· Silken tofu adds a lovely creamy richness.
BLUEBERRY POMEGRANATE ROOIBOS ANTIOXIDANT SMOOTHIE
Ingredients for 2 medium servings:
1 cup fresh pomegranate arils
1/2 cup frozen blueberries and/or strawberries
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp whey or hemp protein
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp flaxseed or hemp oil
10 – 15 ml lemon juice
2 – 3 bags of rooibos tea
1,5 cups boiling water plus 1 cup ice
1. 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.
2. Put the remainder of the ingredients and the tea into a blender and process until smooth. Sweeten (if necessary) to taste with honey and pour into glasses. Serve immediately.
GREEN ROOIBOS SMOOTHIE
Ingredients for 1 serving
1 small apple, cored
5 cm piece cucumber
1 stalk celery, including leaves
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, including stems
1 cup baby greens (your choice of spinach, chard, kale)
1/8 slice of lemon (including rind)
10 ml lemon juice
1 kiwi peeled
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 Tbsp chia or sunflower seeds (optional)
1 cup brewed Green Rooibos tea, chilled
6-8 ice cubes
1. Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in a high-powered blender.
2. Blend on high until smooth.
3. Add ice cubes one at a time until fully crushed and mixed.
4. Serve immediately.
For more information about the health benefits of Rooibos, visit www.sarooibos.co.za