In 1968, South African mother Annique Theron discovered another fantastic property pertaining to rooibos and stumbled upon the very factor that began my affair with the herbal tea. While trying to calm her infant from the effects of colic and insomnia, she used rooibos and found that the herb relieved her child of the symptoms and offered peace and quiet. Surprised, she began to document the natural healing potential of the herb and published her findings in a 1970 book.
In my case, I turned to rooibos tea for the large presence of antioxidants (similar to the polyphenols found in green tea). Rooibos is also caffeine-free, which is favourable for me because caffeine tends to exacerbate my ulcerative colitis.
Beyond being utterly delicious, rooibos tea has been used to still and pacify infants by offering relief of colic and stomach cramps. It also is used in South Africa to treat allergies, including hay fever and asthma symptoms. Containing almost no oxalic acid, rooibos tea is an idyllic drink for those with kidney stones.
What began as a brief affair has now become a full-on bond. My wife and I enjoy the company of rooibos tea habitually and are relentlessly on the lookout for new ways to include this passionate herb in our lives. Standard tea bags of the stuff may strip out some of the health benefits, so a loose leaf variety is probably best. All the same, the delicious, vivacious herbal tea has become an important part of my life and has offered healing, comfort, and, yes, passion.