The science of why Rooibos is good for you

This is a summary of some of the research findings on the health benefits of Rooibos:

Rooibos protects the heart and other vital organs

  • Drinking six cups of Rooibos per day helps to keep the heart healthy by preventing oxidative damage to the lipids (fat molecules) in your blood, enhancing glutathione (antioxidant of the body) levels, especially the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol (Phytomedicine, 2011).
  • Rooibos promotes heart health by inhibiting the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE. This enzyme is believed to be involved in the development of cardiovascular disease, and therefore ACE inhibitors are used to treat hypertension and heart disease (Public Health Nutrition, 2010).
  • Chrysoeriol, an antioxidant in Rooibos, can prevent and treat vascular disease by inhibiting the migration of smooth muscle cells inside the aorta, a key cause of the narrowing or hardening of the arteries that may lead to a heart attack (Journal of Pharmacological Science, 2009). Chrysoeriol is also an effective bronchodilator, and it helps to lower blood pressure and relieve spasms (European Journal of Nutrition, 2006).

Rooibos helps to prevent cancer

Rooibos contains powerful antioxidants that have a strong cancer-fighting effect. They prevent or slow down cancer by protecting the DNA in living cells against oxidative damage, or by removing cancerous cells that already have DNA damage. Rooibos may also be able to switch on certain genes that help to break down carcinogens. Extensive work has been done with rat and mice models proving the ability of Rooibos to delay the development of skin cancer lesions, reduce pre-cancerous lesions in the liver and inhibit the development of papillomas in the oesophagus. Several articles on Rooibos and cancer have been published in journals such as Mutation Research, Cancer Letters and Nutrition and Cancer.