Rooibos is one cuppa you need to stock up on this winter to help boost your immunity as the temperature drops.
The homegrown tisane has been used to help ease and provide protection against colds and flu for generations. Its ability to support the immune system in fighting viruses, enhances the body’s natural defence system, which will give you a leg up this winter.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) says Rooibos’ warm liquid will not only alleviate a sore throat and ease congestion, but its antibacterial properties could aid in preventing and easing colds and flu symptoms.
“The tisane is packed with polyphenols that help to remove free radicals from the body, which are detrimental by-products of cell metabolism that cause inflammation and disease. Researchers attribute Rooibos’ healing effects to the unique combination of antioxidants in the tisane that helps to boost immunity, whilst also protecting the body against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other metabolic conditions.
“Ancient cultures have long claimed the use of food as medicine. Spices and herbs, like Rooibos, can help protect us from many common ailments and their use is becoming more popular among nutritionists and alternative healers. Every day new research confirms much of the ancient wisdom surrounding spices and herbs.”
She says adding honey and warm spices to Rooibos will further bolster the immune system.
Below are some spices, also purported to have healing properties, that can be steeped with Rooibos to make a healthy, warming winter brew:
Cardamom: Both green and black cardamom help to boost immunity, but research suggests that the black pods are especially effective at alleviating colds, dry coughs and other respiratory issues.
Cinnamon: Chinese and Indian medicine has used cinnamon to treat a variety of conditions. It’s known for its ability to help relieve colds and flu symptoms and soothe sore throats. It is rich in polyphenols that boost the body’s natural immunity, is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Soak a cinnamon stick in Rooibos with a few drops of honey two to three times a day to clear a sore throat.
Black pepper: Many traditional Indian drinks contain black pepper, because of its expectorant properties and soothing effects on stubborn coughs and colds. It contains vitamin C, antioxidants and is antibacterial. It’s also said to keep the winter chills at bay and will help strengthen your immunity and guard against respiratory infections and chest congestion.
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Cloves: This spice is a potent anti-inflammatory, which is often used to help soothe coughs, sore throats, sinusitis and other common cold and flu symptoms. It’s also an expectorant, which will help to loosen mucus in the throat and oesophagus making it easier to cough up.
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Ginger: Known and used around the world as a herbal cold treatment, this root is sure to warm you up. Antioxidants and other nutrients in ginger, combined with its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will help ease a sore throat and other cold symptoms.
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Turmeric: This powerful all-in-one spice is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic and is a trusted colds and flu fighter among traditional healers. It’s also known for bolstering the immune system and supports healthy joint function.
Du Toit says with more viruses in circulation during winter, it’s important to make the right additions to your diet.
“Combining these spices with Rooibos will help boost immunity and is far tastier than conventional colds and flu medicine. For convenience, shoppers can also find most of these spiced-Rooibos blends in supermarkets or retail pharmacies.”
For more insights into Rooibos’ health benefits, go to www.sarooibos.co.za