Drugs A - Z

Rooibos

Generic Name: Red tea

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Aspalathin, Aspalathus acuminatus, Aspalathus contaminata, Borbornia pinfolia, chrysoeryol, Fabaceae/Leguminosae (family), hyperoside, isoorientin, isoquercitrin, isovitexin, Kaffree tea, long life tea, luteolin, orientin, Psoralea linearis, quercetin, red bush tea, redbush tea, red tea, rutin, vitexin.

Background

An increasingly popular beverage, rooibos tea originates from the leaves and stems of the indigenous South African plant Aspalathus linearis. It has gained much attention for clinical purposes in the case of nervous tension, allergies (dermatitis), and various indigestive problems. Rooibos tea contains a large amount of flavonoids and acts as a potent antioxidant. In Africa, it has been used to treat malignancies and inflammatory disorders.

Rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss) is not a natural source of caffeine and is low in tannins. Rooibos tea may be preferred by people who can not tolerate either the caffeine effects or astringency of Camellia sinensis teas.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Allergic dermatitis, allergies, antioxidant, asthma, cancer, colic, diaper rash, digestive problems, eczema, headache, hepatoprotection (in liver disease), HIV/AIDS, hypertension (high blood pressure), infections, insomnia, kidney stones, nervousness, vascular disorders (blood vessel disorders, prevention in diabetics).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven safe or effective dose of rooibos. Traditionally, 1 teabag or teaspoon to 8 ounces of hot water has been used.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven safe or effective dose of rooibos in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Aspalathus linearis, its constituents or related members of the Fabaceae/Leguminosae family. Other members of this family include peas, soybeans, clover, and peanuts.

Side Effects and Warnings

Little evidence is available to describe the adverse effects of rooibos. Rooibos is likely safe when ingested as a tisane (herbal infusion) in food amounts. However, use cautiously in patients taking drugs or herbs metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes, as there is unclear evidence whether or not rooibos affects these enzymes.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Rooibos is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

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