Benefits of Rooibos in the winter

Unsettled weather, colds and flu, and reduced physical activity are all synonymous with the winter, but the combination of these factors can also disturb the body’s equilibrium. Incorporating certain foods and herbs such as Rooibos tea into our diet can help to correct these bodily imbalances naturally, according to the SA Rooibos Council.

Signs that our bodies are not in balance could include indigestion, joint pain, dehydration, dry skin, reduced metabolism, high blood pressure, depression, lingering colds and flu.

Prof Christo Muller, Chief Scientist at the SA Medical Research Council says chilly weather usually results in less blood supply to the extremities, since blood is moved to the interior of the body to protect vital organs against falling temperatures, but explains that this also has a downside. Especially in the elderly and compromised individuals, slower blood circulation tends to impair the immune system and diminish its ability to stave off the common cold and flu viruses.

“Drinking hot Rooibos tea throughout the day will not only help to warm up the body, but its soothing effect can help to reduce general anxiety and tense muscles to relax. It’s beneficial effects on the body’s antioxidant defences will also give the immune system an added boost,” he says.

Rooibos contain polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and antiviral qualities that help with fighting colds and flu, and other diseases. Rooibos polyphenols also helps to control the production of the stress hormone, called cortisol, known to cause hormonal disturbances.

Muller says wintertime typically also correlates with increases in blood pressure. “Colder weather may increase blood pressure as the blood vessels tense up. Rooibos tea is known as a bronchodilator, which not only relieves respiratory conditions, but may also reduce high blood pressure. “

Rooibos’ anti-spasmodic properties also helps to soothe the digestive tract and may also help to prevent and alleviate joint pain and arthritis.

• For more info visit www.sarooibos.co.za

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