Aspalathus linearis Rooibos Tea extract is used in natural skin care products for it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Rooibos tea, the Flavonoid-Rich Antioxidant Powerhouse.
You’ve probably heard of rooibos tea, also known as Red Bush, which is a distinct beverage popular in South Africa. The tea has a high antioxidant content and is completely caffeine free, with a woody-sweet, nutty flavor. The tea comes from the rooibos plant, which is known particularly for its anti-allergy and respiratory benefits.
Rooibos tea leaves are dried and used to make tea, though parts of the plant are now used in skin care formulas as well. Scientifically known as Aspalathus linearis, Rooibos tea is a member of the legume family of plants native to South Africa. The story goes that pioneers who moved away from modern-day Cape Town to the north-western inland territory found the native inhabitants of South Africa; namely, the Khoikhoi. These natives shared their knowledge of rooibos tea.
Rooibos tea has been scientifically confirmed as a very beneficial plant for maintaining health and vitality inside and out.
Completely safe, it has the following properties:
Anti-allergic (good for allergy sufferers and sensitive skins)
Anti-bacterial (good for problem skins)
Anti-spasmodic ( good nerve relaxant, and possibly of benefit to psoriasis sufferers)
Anti-oxidant (rich in a powerful and unique anti-oxidant that’s anti-ageing, free radical scavenging)
Anti-inflammatory (soothing, good for inflammatory conditions and sensitive skins)
High in zinc (needed for skin cell function)
The plant actually comes in four main categories: red, ash-colored, black, and red-brown. The red is the most popular, however, for making tea. The plant itself grows up to about 6.5 feet, with needle-like leaves about ½ inch long. Yellow flowers appear in spring to early summer, and are arranged in dense groups at the tips of the branches.
Like regular tea, rooibos tea contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants, similar to the flavonoids in green tea. In fact, one laboratory study found that aspalathin, a flavonoid in rooibos, is even more effective at scavenging damaging free radicals than epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea. An animal study also showed that rats given rooibos tea had higher superoxide dismutase (SOD—a protein that neutralizes free radicals) levels in their blood than those not fed the tea, and they also had less DNA damage. The study also indicated that rooibos tea had an anti-inflammatory effect.
Other studies have shown Rooibos tea to have potential cardiovascular benefits, in helping to reduce high blood pressure. Animal studies have also indicated that rooibos tea suppresses the increase in fasting blood glucose levels, and may stimulate glucose update in muscle tissues and insulin secretion from the pancreas.
Rooibos tea has also been used historically to treat respiratory disorders, with animal studies showing that the tea is both a bronchodilator and an antispasmodic. Additional animal studies have shown rooibos to have potential in helping to prevent and treat liver diseases, and to prevent oxidation of brain tissues that lead to aging.
Because of its high flavonoid content, rooibos is a powerful anti-aging ingredient for skin care formulas. Since much of skin aging is caused by exposure to UV rays, pollution, and other environmental contaminants that create free radicals, Rooibos tea’ free-radical-quenching abilities help to protect skin and preserve a more youthful look.
Rooibos tea is also known to have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, making it perfect for those with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other difficult skin conditions. In fact, people with acne have reported that both drinking rooibos tea and applying rooibos to their skin helped decrease the amount of facial eruptions.
Rooibos is a source of vitamin D and zinc, and has been shown to be protective against damaging UV rays. A 2009 study, for instance, found that topical application of Rooibos tea extract prior to UVB exposure inhibited the formation of tumors, suggesting the ingredient may help protect against sunburn and even potentially help prevent skin cancer.
Finally, Rooibos tea is known to be hypoallergenic, helping to calm reactive skin and soothe redness, itching, and rashes.
Rooibos grows in its natural environment in the semi-arid Cederberg Ranges in the southern-most tip of Africa, 250 km north of Cape Town. Its Latin name is Aspalathus linearis also commonly known as Red Bush, the English translation of Rooibos.
Vegetation in the Cederberg is a mixture of mountain fynbos (“fine bush”) and succulent Karoo plants, with more than 1,800 different plant species. Fynbos is so unique in terms of its plant groups that it is recognized as part of one of only six floral kingdoms of the world – the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Used for generations by the Khoi and San people of Southern Africa, for skin and digestive ailments it is truly one of Nature’s super plants.
Rooibos tea is the healthful caffeine and low tannin tea traditionally drunk in Southern Africa, often from infancy, where it is well known to aid digestion, treat colic, calm nerves, help inflammatory conditions and aid good health. Applied topically or added to bath water it is commonly used to treat eczema and acne.
Some of the most effective and gentle ingredients are found in the plants sourced from diverse habitats of the world and Rooibos has many properties making it effective when used in skin care.
African Extracts Rooibos Skin Care contains a concentrated ‘green tea’ extract that is 11 times more concentrated than conventional extracts. Taken from the fresh green plant material before oxidation and the associated chemical degradation of the plant material starts occurring.
Ongoing scientific research into Rooibos has shown that Rooibos..
Delays ageing – rich in powerful anti-oxidants
Helps fight allergies – anti-allergen.
Protects against the growth of lesions associated with skin cancer.
Can be used to treat inflammatory skin diseases – anti-inflammatory
Possesses anti-oxidant and immune-boosting components
Protects against free radical damage, leading to pre-mature ageing, cancer, heart attack and strokes
Helps damaged liver tissue & assists in the prevention and treatment of liver disease.
Has the potential to protect the liver
Has a cancer fighting effect.
Modulates the level of enzymes in the liver that can cause cancer.
Restores the immune function in our bodies.
Lowers blood pressure.
Is effective in treating stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Is an effective bronchodilator that eases breathing.
Protects red blood cells against breaking up.