Rooibos is one of South Africans’ favourite types of tea and not only tastes great, but is packed with health benefits as well.

According to the South African Rooibos Council, Starbucks’ rooibos latte – a new addition to the menu – is all the rage in the UK.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Silky skin

Rooibos is rich in alpha hydroxy and zinc – both important nutrients for healthy skin. Alpha hydroxy not only reduces the signs of ageing, but also revitalises the skin. Zinc on the other hand heals wounds, protects against UV rays and has anti-inflammatory properties, which could alleviate acne, pimples and sunburn. Drinking and/or applying rooibos tea to your skin will improve the skin in the most natural way.

  • Healthy hair

Drinking a cup of rooibos tea a day will keep your locks healthy and strong and also help prevent hair loss, as its active ingredients help remove dead skin cells that block follicles and prevent hair from growing. Rooibos is also packed with minerals such as zinc, calcium, copper and potassium which are essential for hair growth, while the polyphenols (antioxidants) contained in rooibos promote shiny and soft hair. Aside from drinking the tea, you can prepare your own rooibos tea rinse at home by steeping the tea for about 30 minutes in boiled water. Once cooled, pour tea over freshly washed or conditioned hair or simply spray it on. Allow tea to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

READ MORE: How an SA winery is using rooibos to produce alcohol

  • Body-booster

The antioxidants in rooibos, namely aspalathin and nothofagin have anti-inflammatory properties, which assists in preventing cardiovascular disease, while the antiviral properties of these antioxidants boost the immune system. Aspalathin also has a hypoglycemic effect on the body that helps balance blood sugar and improves insulin resistance, which may help prevent one from developing type 2 diabetes.

  • Stomach-soother

Rooibos has also been proven to remedy irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a condition commonly diagnosed in women. The antispasmodic agents found in rooibos help ease stomach aches and pains and aids digestion. It does so by smoothing out the muscles in the gut. So, if you suffer from IBS, try drinking a cup of rooibos about half-an-hour before a meal.

  • Bold breathing

Rooibos tea will help you breathe easier too, since it’s a bronchodilator (substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles in lungs to increase airflow). Many researchers also believe the tea could alleviate the symptoms of asthma.

  • Blood-flow benefits

Chrysoeriol is a flavonoid contained in rooibos that aids blood circulation and has also been linked to cholesterol reduction.