Although coffee is the morning drug of choice for blurry-eyed Americans, tea reigns as the “favorite hot beverage” in many parts of the world. One of my friends loves tea so much he dubbed his wife Vanilla Honeybush (she calls it her Bond Girl Name). But teas have properties beyond caffeine injections and cool monikers. Teas have been used as health elixirs for thousands of years. Drinking and using them topically can alleviate problems inside and outside the body.
A little herbal tea that’s popular in swanky cafes on both coasts is the mildly sweet South African Rooibos tea. On my last two-day whirlwind trip to New York City, I enjoyed a cup of coconut infused rooibos tea in a little out-of-the-way shop on a winding street in the West Village. It was magical.
Rooibos tea is technically an herb that looks a bit like a three-foot pine tree. That’s odd. Anyway, the plant is green, but when it’s naturally fermented and dried, it turns the beautiful warm red color most people are familiar with. It’s caffeine-free and a good source of Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, and Magnesium. If teas normally bother your tummy, Rooibos probably won’t because it’s low in tannins, the residue in teas that cause digestive problems for some people.
As a beauty aid, what can it do? Rooibos tea is often used as a natural remedy for acne because rooibos tea was shown to reduces levels of inflammation, which is one of the reasons acne develops. It’s also soothing to sensitive skin. The antioxidants found in rooibos tea attack free-radicals, which damage cells which, in turn, causes premature aging.
Lastly, like camomile and lavender, rooibos is said to be a sleep aid, which of course, makes you beautiful. Bye-bye dark circles!