African Red Tea (as opposed to black tea which is called red tea by the Chinese) is another tea that is rumored to have great health benefits, and is an ingredient in an eye cream that I will mention here in a bit. I wanted to do some research on it first, so here it is.
Dr. Weil says this:
Rooibos is being heavily hyped by producers and distributors as a new health beverage. Unlike true “tea,” it is caffeine-free and low in tannins. It contains minimal amounts of calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and much less fluoride than found in real teas. Studies have shown that Rooibos does contain antioxidants and therefore might have some of the health benefits of green tea, but very little research has confirmed this. I found only 17 scientific studies of Rooibos compared to more than 1,000 on green tea. So far, none suggest that Rooibos is the health equivalent of green tea. Brewed, Rooibos looks red but doesn’t really taste like tea – it has a slightly sweet and fruity flavor. If you like the taste and color, and want a caffeine-free herbal beverage, by all means opt for Rooibos, but if you want the health benefits of tea, I recommend sticking with the real thing.
And this from AfricanTea.com:
This tea contains almost no oxalic acid, making it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones. Rooibos contains the following minerals: copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha- hydroxy ( for healthy skin ) and magnesium (for the nervous system) are also components of this tea. In South Africa pregnant women and nursing mothers drink Rooibos because it contains no caffeine.
And then finally this, from NutriIngredients.com:
Studies carried out in South Africa have showed that rooibos is rich in antioxidants and may help protect against free radical damage that can lead to varying types of cancer and heart problems.
“We concluded that rooibos extracts interfered with skin cancer in its promotion [later development] stage. This provides the first evidence of a protective effect for rooibos teas,” said Jeanine Marnewick, from the Medical Research Council of South Africa.
She added that: “Mouse skin that was topically treated with the rooibos extracts before cancer promotion showed a 75 percent decrease in the development of skin papillomas.” Marnewick and her team hopes now to carry out similar studies on human models.
This last excerpt talks about the benefits of extracts used topically, which is really my concern here. Sure you can reap the benefits taken internally, but what does it do used in skin care creams? I guess I will try it for myself and see. Next up, the next eye cream on my try-me list!