Rooibos tea is, in fact, a South African herbal infusion prepared with a bush of the same name, also known as “red bush”. It is becoming more and more popular in many countries for having an intense flavor and no caffeine. Also becoming increasingly more popular are rooibos tea side effects.
Despite its richness in antioxidants and the sense of comfort a warm cup provides, there are some concerns associated with this beverage. But are there really true?
Rooibos tea side effects and risks
Generally speaking, rooibos tea is safe to drink as it doesn’t contain caffeine, nor vitamins and minerals that could disrupt the body balance.
Nevertheless, there are some anecdotes that raise some doubts as well as preliminary studies that alert for potential rooibos tea side effects that require further research.
Nevertheless, all these studies used high quantities of rooibos and in high concentrations to attain their results. This fact discredits most of rooibos tea side effects as it is practically impossible to replicate this consumption in real life, especially using a tea preparation and not the plant concentrated.
Rooibos contains phytoestrogens, which can behave as estrogenic compounds. Due to this hormonal effect, it can also inhibit the steroid synthesis in the adrenal glands.
However, the relevance of these results is frequently questioned. The quantities and concentration of tea needed to produce them are too high and practically impossible to achieve with a regular and moderate intake.
In 2010, it was reported in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology the case of a patient whose analysis showed a sudden increase in the liver enzymes, a sign of problems, despite never having had any liver-related issue.
This increase was directly related to intake of rooibos tea and the patient got better once she stopped drinking it. This is a one-time isolated case, but it comes to show that more studies are still required to evaluate the safety of this tea.
Is drinking rooibos tea safe during pregnancy?
If sipped in moderation, there is no indication that rooibos tea could negatively affect the baby or the mother during pregnancy. Nevertheless, to date, there aren’t any scientific studies assessing the risks either.
Due to the potential effect of phytoestrogens mimicking estrogens, it is advisable that pregnant women visit a doctor for more information before drinking rooibos tea.
How much rooibos tea should I drink a day?
There isn’t enough information to determine the optimal amount of rooibos tea per day
You can, however, use its benefits as a guideline, since the minimal amount of tea required to produce positive effects is about 750mg of rooibos daily.
What is rooibos tea good for?
Rooibos tea is quite poor in vitamins and mineral, but it has a decent amount of antioxidants. This is one of the reasons that makes it so popular since, contrary to other antioxidant-rich teas, the South African variety doesn’t have caffeine. The antioxidants also grant its anti-aging properties.
This tea has also been mentioned along cardiac protection against ischemia, but the study used solely extracts and the experiment was performed in rats. However, it is effective in preventing heart disease in adults at risk.
Early studies also suggest this tea might help with diabetes and the results look promising, but so far there aren’t any human experiments that have tested it.
Do you want to give it a try?
Since rooibos tea side effects are minimal and very rare, you might want to try it out. It’s true that its benefits aren’t as many as other teas out there, but you can enjoy a warm and intense-flavored drink without having to worry about the caffeine, at least.
Check the video below to learn how to properly prepare rooibos tea and enjoy!