Carmien Rooibos Tea’s great health benefits

Carmien Rooibos Tea’s great health benefits

Carmien Rooibos tea has numerous health benefits and more and more studies are showing amazing results adding to this already impressive list. Rooibos only grows in South Africa and due to its many health benefits it is a unique and valued exporting product. Here are some of the latest research results:

Could Rooibos help to battle the bulge?

Research leader: Professor Johan Louw, Medical Research Council
Worldwide there is a growing interest in the role of polyphenols (chemical substances found in plants) in the fight against obesity. Rooibos is rich in polyphenols and could potentially help to battle the bulge. This new project that started in 2011 will investigate the impact of Rooibos extract on satiety, as well as the processes whereby the body stores and breaks down fat.

Developing objective quality and sensory parameters for Rooibos

Research leader: Professor Lizette Joubert, Agricultural Research Council

This project aims to characterise a typical cup of Rooibos according to its total polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity. The research team is analysing hundreds of Rooibos tea samples from different regions and seasons, from 2009 into 2011. This research is complemented by a project aimed at a comprehensive description of the taste, flavour and aroma of Rooibos, and the development of a “flavour and mouth-feel wheel” to support the local and international Rooibos trade. THRIP (Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme) is a co-funder. Professor Joubert collaborates on several other research projects on the health properties of Rooibos in South Africa and abroad.

The influence of Rooibos on stress

Research leader: Professor Amanda Swart, Stellenbosch University
Rooibos is widely used as a herbal tea for enhancing well-being, supporting the immune system and combating stress. During stress, which is characterised by anxiety, sleeplessness and depression, there is an increased production of stress hormones. This project will look at the influence of Rooibos on the biosynthesis of cortisol, since the inhibition of cortisol biosynthesis may alleviate stress symptoms, thus validating the anti-stress potential of Rooibos.

Rooibos and exercise

Research leader: Professor Jeanine Marnewick, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Antioxidants play a vital role in protecting tissues from excessive oxidative damage during exercise. With this project, Professor Marnewick and her team want to determine whether the antioxidants in Rooibos, already found to protect the body against other conditions linked to oxidative stress, can also help to protect against exercise-induced oxidative stress, including biochemical damage and inflammatory responses in cells. They will look at the effect of Rooibos on sport performance in a group of volunteers who will take part in several acute exercise regimes.

What exactly is in a cup of Rooibos tea?

Research leader: Professor Andrew Marston, University of the Free State
Despite extensive studies on the polyphenols in Rooibos, relatively little is known about the polar fraction of the tea that is composed largely of polysaccharides and tannins. This study focuses on that part of the chemical makeup of Rooibos, and will try to help us understand how these components influence the sensory characteristics of the tea, as well as how they contribute to its health properties.

Investigating the cancer-prevention properties of South African herbal teas

Research leader: Professor Wentzel Gelderblom, Medical Research Council

The complex mix of antioxidants in Rooibos is able to delay or prevent several kinds of cancer, and helps to protect us against carcinogens in our environment. Prof Gelderblom and his team are trying to unravel the complex interactions that take place in living cells to help us understand exactly how Rooibos achieves this health-promoting effect. This is a long-term project that has been ongoing at the MRC (with co-funding from many partners) for more than ten years.

Rooibos research summaries and scientific references for newly published research are updated regularly on the SA Rooibos Council web site:

To read more about all the Rooibos health benefits follow these links:

Health Benefits

More about Rooibos


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