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Last Updated May 3rd 2022, 12:41:16 am

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) is a plant that grows in South Africa, its leaves are used to make a herbal tea.

There are two varieties of Rooibos: Green Rooibos - unfermented tea; Red Rooibos - fermented tea.[1]


Rooibos tea contains no caffeine and has a relatively low level of tannins compared to traditional black or green tea.

As a fresh leaf, rooibos contains a high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is lost when made into tea.

Red rooibos tea is fully oxidized giving it a unique polyphenol profile consisting of aspalathin, rutin, orientin, as well as many other flavonoids such as flavanols, flavones, and flavanones, and chemicals such as dihydrochalcones, and nothofagin.[2]

Studies have shown its composition in polyphenols (dihidrochalcones: aspalathin, nothofagin; free flavones and glycosides: orientin, iso-orientin, vitexin, isovitexin, luteolin, luteolin-7-O-β-D-glucoside; free flavonols and glycosides: quercetin, hyperoside, rutin; tannins).[1:1]

Green rooibos tea is unfermented giving it a different polyphenol profile compared to red rooibos; consisting of varying concentrations of specific flavonoids, luteolin, and orientin, which are naturally found in Red Rooibos tea.[2:1]

The processed leaves and stems contain benzoic and cinnamic acids.

Healing Properties


Red Rooibos has moderate Antioxidant Activity[1:2]

Treatment with Green Rooibos Tea Extract reversed Oxidative Stress induced by obesity from high caloric diet.[3]


The plant is utilized in traditional medicine as a relaxing drink due to its caffeine free and low tannin composition.[1:3]

Disease / Symptom Treatment

Chronic Restlessness

A. linearistea became known as a healthy drink after the success in the treatment of chronic restlessness, in a colicky baby by administration of Rooibos tea infusion.[1:4]


Red Rooibos Tea Stimulates Osteoblast Mineralization in a Dose-Dependent Manner.[2:2]

  1. Title: Chemical Analysis and Antioxidant Activity Of Some Rooibos Tea Products
    Publication: Farmacia, the official journal of the Romanian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Date: April 2019
    Study Type: Chemical Analysis
    Author(s): Alexandra Epure, Ilioara Oniga, Daniela Benedec, Daniela Hanganu, Ana-Maria Gheldiu, Anca Toiu, Laurian Vlase
    Institution(s): “Iuliu Hațieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Copy: archive, archive-mirror ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Title: Red Rooibos Tea Stimulates Osteoblast Mineralization in a Dose-Dependent Manner
    Publication: MDPI: Beverages
    Date: December 2019
    Study Type: Human Study: In Vitro
    Author(s): Michael D. McAlpine, William Gittings, Adam J. MacNeil, and Wendy E. Ward
    Institution(s): Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Copy: archive, archive-mirror ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Title: The Effects of a Green Rooibos Extract on the Reproductive Function of Obesity-Induced Insulin Resistant or Hypersensitive Male Winstar Rats
    Publication: Stellenbosch University Library SUNScholar Research Repository
    Date: December 2019
    Study Type: Animal Study: In Vivo
    Author(s): Claudine Manirafasha
    Institution(s): Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University
    Copy: archive, archive-mirror ↩︎