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Rooibos Tea High Antioxidant Levels Fight AllergiesRooibos tea may contain antioxidant levels higher than those found in green tea, and may be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of allergies, hay fever and asthma.
All teas including green, white, black, oolong and pu-erh are made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Some herbal teas are made from other plants, while many are a made from a combination of the tea plant and other herbs added for aroma, flavor and tonic properties.
Rooibos, often called Red Tea, or African Rooibos, is different, made entirely from the South African shrub called Rooibos, or Aspalanthus linearis.
Research has shown Rooibos contains an unusually high amount of antioxidant flavonoids similar to that found in green tea. Some unconfirmed studies have determined that antioxidant levels in Rooibos may be 50 times higher than those in green tea. The actual amounts of antioxidant flavonoids can vary widely from one tea to the next, depending especially on when the tea was harvested (first harvest teas generally have higher levels of antioxidants), and how the tea was processed (black teas are fermented, which neutralizes some of the antioxidants). These flavonoids are thought to prove effective in combating harmful free radicals which can cause cancer, heart disease and strokes.
Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc, which may also explain why it has long been considered effective in southern Africa for allergy relief.
Some research suggests that if you brew/boil Rooibos for longer than 10 minutes, more anti-oxidants are released, and the resulting antioxidant activity becomes even much higher.
Other research has suggested a link between the consumption of Rooibos tea and benefits in treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, mellitus, atherosclerosis, allergic diseases, various dermatus diseases, liver diseases and cataracts.
More research is needed in both the amount and kind of antioxidants found in Rooibos tea, and the health benefits associated with these, but for fans of both green tea and Rooibos red tea, this research provides them with more reasons to continue enjoying these teas and to consider them as part of their anti-allergy regimen.