Is it safe to drink rooibos during pregnancy? The short answer is yes. First, as we have stated in previous posts, rooibos is technically not a tea, and not derived from the tea plant, camellia sinensis. Rooibos is in fact a legume from the aspalathus family. Thus, rooibos is naturally caffeine free and very low in tannins, delivering many health related benefits to those who consume it.
The naturally sweet and aromatic flavor makes rooibos a natural substitute for coffee or tea especially in the time of pregnancy when caffeine intake should be limited or avoided completely. The tannins present in large amounts in teas can cause a lower iron absorption in the blood stream. As anemia is quite frequent in pregnancy or breastfeeding, the low tannins in rooibos can be quite beneficial in this case. Some studies have shown that adding vitamin C to Rooibos can greatly increase the body's capacity to absorb iron and antioxidants.
Rooibos has been known to ease many symptoms that come with pregnancy. Rooibos can be beneficial in states of constipation, nausea or stomach cramps. Further, it can improve liver function and help in states of anxiety and depression.
As long as you are drinking plain rooibos or flavored rooibos without the addition of other types of herbs, you should not be concerned about your pregnancy. While rooibos itself is fine, just keep in mind that there are certain herbs which have been known to cause early uterine contractions, so always consult your doctor first.
Chuck's Natural Food Marketplace in Brandon, FL is now carrying our flavored loose tea products, initially offering the following flavors: Tropical Mango, Very Raspberry, Orange Ruby Rooibos, Lemon Ginger Green and Assam Chai. To help you with the loose tea brewing, they are also carrying our Smart Tea Makers.
Here's a simple yet refreshing cocktail recipe with an added twist, a little Orange flavored Rooibos. For this particular recipe, we use Rooibos instead of tea because we don't want to introduce caffeine into our rum! Also, we will stick with sugar instead of our usual Agave, because the crystals of the sugar act as an abrasive to help release the flavors of the mint during the muddling process.
1/2 cup (4 oz.) of brewed Orange flavored Rooibos (or Orange Ruby)
2 oz. white rum
2 sprigs of fresh mint
2 tsp sugar
1 lime wedge
Crushed or cubed ice
Place 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves, sugar, lime wedge and brewed Orange flavored Rooibos into your glass. Now, muddle the ingredients with a muddler or small rolling pin to release the flavors. Add ice, rum and briefly stir. Garnish with sprig of mint and enjoy!
There has been so much media hype surrounding green tea that black tea has been left in the dust. Black tea has just as many health benefits as green tea. The following article does a great job of explaining some of the benefits of black tea: http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa021103a.htm.