Rooibos-A Storm in a Tea Cup
A battle for the name Rooibos has already been fought and won by South Africa. Rooibos means ‘Red Bush’ in Afrikaans. This is the rare produce of Western Cape Province in South Africa. Rooibos is a red tea which is more beneficial than the very popular green teas.
Germany was the first to discover Rooibos followed by other countries of Europe and Japan. The sudden boom has taken the total trade in Rooibos to $23 billion. People have gone crazy over the anti-oxidant properties of the tea.
The green Rooibos bushes turn red under the hot South African Sun. The special South African tea can be had like black tea or with sugar and milk, or with honey. Some prefer just a lemon slice in it.
It is becoming so popular because of its high levels of antioxidants especially of nothofagin and aspalathin. It does not contain caffeine and has very tiny portions of tannin. Rooibos is also rich in dihdrochalcones, flavanones, flavones and flavanols.
The tea is used for the cure of gout. Luteolin and quercetin in the red tea have cancer fighting properties. Other medicinal uses include the cure of asthma, allergies, colic and skin diseases.
The name Rooibos is protected and is recognised as having a geographical indication similar to that enjoyed by Parma Ham, Feta, Roquefort Cheese and Champagne. In other words the name Rooibos is protected as being only of South African origin.
It is certain that the days of green tea are numbered because of this sudden storm in a Rooibos tea cup.