The Rooibos plant Aspalathus linearis is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, commonly known as ‘fynbos’. This leguminous shrub is a member of the Fabaceae family, which has more than 200 species, and it is indigenous to the Cederberg mountains around Clanwilliam.
Here, the wilderness of craggy peaks, clean air and pure mountain streams provides the perfect environment for this unique health-promoting plant. Rooibos is as special as its mountainous home, which once echoed with the voices of the indigenous San people, who left their rock paintings on the cave walls as far back as 6 000 years ago.
Rooibos is far more than just a tea, and medical science has only begun to realise its many benefits. So far, the discoveries indicate that it is an antidote to the stress of our daily lives. Not only is it a natural product, rich in antioxidants, and free of caffeine, additives, preservatives and colourants, but Rooibos also provides a wealth of added benefits, including anti-spasmodic, anti-carcinogenic and anti-allergenic properties.
THE HISTORY OF ROOIBOS
At the turn of the 19th century, it was common practice for the inhabitants of the Cederberg region to harvest the wild-growing Rooibos plants. The leaves and fine stems were chopped with axes and bruised with hammers before being left in heaps to ferment. Once fermented, the leaves and thin stems were spread out to dry in the hot African sun, ready for use in a thirst-quenching drink. Today, Rooibos is still processed in much the same way, but, of course, the methods are now mechanised and far more refined.
It was not until 1904 that a Russian immigrant, Benjamin Ginsberg, realised the marketing potential of Rooibos. Descended from generations of tea traders, Ginsberg had the background and experience to introduce the ‘secret of the Cederberg’ to a world far beyond the floral kingdom and majestic peaks of this region.
By 1930, Dr P le Fras Nortier, the local medical doctor and amateur botanist, had discovered the secret of germinating Rooibos seeds. Together with Olof Bergh, a commercial farmer, he developed new cultivation methods and soon the production of Rooibos began on a much larger scale along the slopes of the Cederberg mountains. It is still the only place in the world where Rooibos grows.
In 1954, the Rooibos Tea Control Board was established to regulate marketing and improve quality control. The Board was privatised in 1993 and Rooibos Limited was established. Rooibos Limited has established a worldwide distribution network to meet the ever-increasing demand for this popular product, and it can now be found in societies as diverse as Japan, China, Western and Eastern Europe, the UK, the USA, the Pacific Rim and Africa.
Through interaction with the global market, Rooibos Limited has identified opportunities to supply a wider range of products unique to this part of Africa in order to meet specific customer needs. This ranges from a selection of raw materials and extracts for blending, to final packaged products (including plain, flavoured or blended Rooibos, Green (unfermented) Rooibos and Honeybush.
Medical science is only beginning to discover the many benefits of Rooibos. Not only is it a natural product, free of caffeine, additives, preservatives and colourants, but it also provides a wealth of added benefits to improve one’s quality of life.
STRESS, ANXIETY AND RELATED ILLNESSES
Many physical ailments are appreciably worsened by stress and anxiety, even if they are not directly attributed to these conditions.
- Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and thus has a soothing effect on the central nervous system. It is highly recommended for individuals suffering from nervous tension, mild depression, hypertension, headaches or disturbed sleep patterns.
- The absence of caffeine in Rooibos makes it the ideal bedtime drink.
- As Rooibos contains a very small amount of oxalic acid, it can be drunk freely by individuals suffering from kidney stones.
- Skin irritations such as eczema and acne are significantly relieved by direct application of Rooibos onto the affected area. The cosmetics industry is increasingly using Rooibos as a natural additive in skin preparations to help improve skin complexion.
- Rooibos has been found to provide marked relief from insomnia, cramps, constipation and allergic symptoms such as hay fever and asthma. This makes it the ideal substitute for tea and coffee, particularly in the office environment, where physical irritations can significantly impair performance and concentration.
PREGNANCY AND CHILDCARE
- Rooibos is extremely effective in preventing iron depletion during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The tannin found in ordinary tea inhibits iron absorption, while beverages containing caffeine aggravate two of the most common discomforts of pregnancy – nausea and heartburn. Rooibos can be enjoyed throughout the day without these disadvantages.
- Due to its anti-spasmodic properties, Rooibos is also known for relieving common infant ailments such as colic and cramps. As a supplement to babies’ normal feeding, it increases the daily intake of calcium, manganese and fluoride, which are essential for the development of strong teeth and bones. Direct application during nappy changes relieves the irritation of nappy rash.
- Research into the causes of the ageing process points to the increased presence of free radicals, compounds produced by our own bodies as a natural by-product of normal cell function, which lead to premature ageing. Free radicals attack healthy cells and accumulated damage contributes to ageing and the decline of the immune system.
- Rooibos contains antioxidants which scavenge free radicals, limiting the damage.
LOW-KILOJOULE (CALORIE) DIET
Rooibos contains natural non-nutritive sweeteners and can therefore be enjoyed all day without adding a single kilojoule (calorie) to the diet. Its low tannin content means that it can easily be enjoyed without sugar or honey, making it the perfect beverage for those who have to follow a kilojoule-restricted diet.
Rooibos is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Because it is low in tannin, it is less bitter and is pleasant with or without sugar or honey. As a hot beverage, it can be enjoyed as it is, or with milk or lemon.
It also makes a superb iced drink, either sweetened or mixed with fruit juice. For a unique cocktail or punch, add champagne or red wine to Rooibos.
ROOIBOS ON THE MENU
As a general rule, the liquid content of a recipe can be replaced with prepared Rooibos to add colour and flavour to a dish. It is also a natural meat tenderiser, which makes it the perfect choice in marinades or as a base for soups and stews. Browse our website www.rooibosltd.co.za for a variety of Rooibos recipes.
Nutritionists recommend that daily meal choices be selected from the three basic food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These form the basis of a balanced diet, which should be supplemented with the intake of sufficient fluids – at least six to eight glasses of liquid per day.
Rooibos can form all or part of this daily liquid intake as it contains no harmful additives. In addition, its mineral, polyphenol and antioxidant content contribute to the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth, bones and metabolic processes.
- Rooibos Limited is WELL ESTABLISHED, and has been a reputable supplier since 1954.
- The company is a MARKET LEADER, with 60% of the market share internationally.
- It has a CONTRACTED FARMER base of more than 140 producers.
- Its LARGE VOLUME BASE and unique blending system guarantee a consistently high-quality product.
- Its GUARANTEED CONTINUOUS SUPPLY is based on an inventory reserve scheme policy.
- SHORT PRODUCTION LEAD TIMES, as well as strategically placed warehousing facilities around the world, ensure ontime delivery.
- An EXTENSIVE PRODUCT RANGE meets customers’ specific needs.
- Rooibos Limited practises ONGOING PRODUCT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT and has an innovative approach to new product opportunities.
- This ONE-STOP SHOP provides an extensive product range to meet customers’ specific needs. Products include Rooibos, Green Rooibos and Honeybush in bulk, tea bags and pouches, instant or as extract.
- CERTIFICATIONS: Organic (EU NOP and JAS), Kosher, Halaal, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, and Heart Mark. The Rooibos Limited factory is also HACCP and FSSC certified.
- The SCOPE OF SERVICES INCLUDE blending, flavouring, contract packaging, extracting and bulk packaging.
Although a large range of standard products is available, Rooibos Limited is committed to meeting the everchanging needs of a variety of consumer markets around the world, by continually developing new products in partnership with our customers.
WHAT ROOIBOS CAN DO FOR YOU
- Rooibos is completely pure and natural as it contains no additives, preservatives or colourants.
- Rooibos is naturally caffeine free and has a soothing effect on the central nervous system. It is therefore highly
recommended for people suffering from irritability, headaches, disturbed sleeping patterns, insomnia, nervous
tension, mild depression or hypertension.
- Stomach and indigestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, ulcers and constipation can also be
relieved by drinking caffeine free Rooibos.
- Rooibos has anti-spasmodic properties, and can be used to relieve stomach cramps, colic and digestive discomfort in adults and infants.
- Rooibos has anti-allergenic properties that reduce the effects of allergies such as hay fever and asthma.
- Rooibos contains powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals (a by-product of normal cell function), which
weaken the body’s natural defences and lead to premature ageing, the decline of the immune system and
the onset of a wide variety of diseases.
- Rooibos has anti-carcinogenic properties.
- Rooibos has a soothing effect on the skin, relieving itching and certain skin irritations such as eczema, nappy rash and acne when applied directly to the affected area.
- Rooibos contains natural non-nutritive sweeteners, which makes it ideal for people on a slimming diet.
- Rooibos contains little tannin and therefore does not inhibit the absorption of iron in the body.
- Rooibos supplements the daily requirements of several minerals (e.g. magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and fluoride), which are essential for metabolic function and the development of strong teeth and bones.
- Rooibos contains zinc and alpha hydroxy acid, which promote a healthy skin.
- Since Rooibos contains a very small amount of oxalic acid, it can be drunk freely by people suffering from kidney stones.
For the latest product information, scientific research findings, Rooibos recipes and more, visit our website www.rooibosltd.co.za
PO Box 64, Clanwilliam, 8135, Western Cape, South Africa
Tel: +27 27 482 2155 • Fax: +27 27 482 1844