Industry has recognized rooibos tea health benefits has moved to value-added products such as extracts for the beverage, food, nutraceuticals and cosmetic markets. Studies below are based upon animal studies and anecdotal reviews from general use in Africa.
Tea consumption significantly improved lipid profiles of people at risk of heart disease. Rooibos improved the lipid profiles and well as redox status. The plants flavonols showed in animals improved aortic output and decreased apoptosis.
Polyphenols can shackle cancerous cells causing accelerated cell death(apoptosis). . Rooibos promotes antigen-specific antibody production acting as a prophylactic against cancer, aids, allergies and general infections. One animal study found that alkaline extracts seem to suppress HIV-induced cell activity. Another study has found that Rooibos may turn on certain cell genes that can break down carcinogens stored in body tissues.
Patients drinking tea permanently measured smaller body fat and narrower waists than the control group. Suggested mechanisms include improved glucose uptake, stimulating the production of insulin and the suppression of genes for glucose and fat production.
Effective in eliminating stomach cramps and diarrhea. Polyphenols facilitate the removal of AGE’s (Advanced Glycation Endproducts) from the body which improves digested food motion through the colon. Added to babies' formula or given as a weak tea, the brew cures the restlessness, vomiting and stomach cramps of colicky infants. The luteolin and vitexin in rooibos has anti-viral activity strong enough to treat diarrhea caused by rotavirus infection. Passed down through the African cultures, colic infants always had Rooibos fluid and perhaps light alcohol mixture to make it through the night.
Rooibos inhibits the enzyme ACE which plays a role in blood vessel constriction. With animal studies the tea proved to be an effective bronchodilator and antispasmodic agent using the potassium ionchannel activation. However, studies are showing that drinking tea while taking blood pressure medication can halt the efficacy of the heart medication.
After strenuous exercise the magnesium and zinc in the plant improves testosterone production aiding in recovery. Rooibos improves iron absorption and enhances oxygen to the muscles. As an antioxidant it helps rebuild damaged muscle tissue.