At the turn of the 20th Century, explorers trekking to the remote mountains of South Africa were introduced to rooibos, an herb the locals had been enjoying as “red tea” for generations. Recent studies have found that, just like green tea, rooibos is full of polyphenols and flavanoids, which help to protect the body from free radical damage to the immune system. Rooibos also contains zinc and alpha hydroxy acids, which promote healthy skin.
As reported by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, the health-giving properties of Red Tea have been scientifically documented by studies done in Japan, South Africa, Korea, Malaysia, New York, California, and Washington. These studies have revealed that Red Tea contains AHA-Alpha Hydroxy Acid, plus a total of 37 natural anti-oxidants, flavanoids, minerals, and vitamin C. In addition, Japanese research has found that the anti-aging properties found in red tea is higher than in green tea. This is because red tea has been shown to contain a super antioxidant in the form of Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD). This means that red tea has 50% more anti-oxidant properties than green tea!
Some other benefits of red tea include: magnesium for a healthy nervous system, potassium for metabolic functions, iron for transportation of oxygen in the blood, and zinc for fighting colds. Red tea also does not contain oxalic acid, which makes it ideal for people suffering from kidney stones and pregnant or nursing mothers.
Because of the Alpha-Hydroxy content, one tip for used red tea bags is to use them as cold compresses for the eyes. Just store your used red tea bags in the refrigerator or freezer and put them on your red or tired eyes to soothe and relax red them.
Red tea can also be used by applied directly onto a skin irritation such as itchy skin, eczema, sunburn, diaper rash, acne, or rosocea.
The flavor of red tea is more similar to black tea than other herb tea. And like black tea, it goes through a fermentation process, which turns the leaves from green to a red color and gives it a slightly sweet note with a deep body. It is naturally caffeine free.
To prepare hot, heat fresh water to a rolling boil. Place one tea bag or one rounded teaspoon of full leaf tea in the cup and pour boiling water over it. Infuse tea bag for three to five minutes and full leaf at least five minutes.
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