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Rooibos tea is a kind of herbal infusion popular in South Africa. Rooibos is the Afrikaans spelling, Rooibosch is an older Dutch form of the word. Both mean Red Bush.

The rooibos plant, Aspalathus linearis, a fynbos plant, grows in the Cedarberg mountains of the Western Cape area of South Africa. It is not closely related to the Tea plant.

It is free of Caffeine, low in Tannin, and is claimed to contain lots of antioxidants. It has its own taste, which I quite like. Outside of South Africa, you can occasionally find it in health food stores.

Technically, Rooibos is not a tea proper (see: Tisane), but it does contain anti-oxidants, and indeed contains more of these beneficial chemicals than green tea.

Advocates of Rooibos attribute many medicinal properties to the plant, and claim that it is beneficial to the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, irritability, headaches, stomach cramps, disturbed sleeping patterns, insomnia, nervous tension, mild depression or hypertension, liver diseases, allergies, cataracts, and skin irritations (just to name a few).

As for the taste, many (including myself) find that Rooibos has a light, somewhat fruity, cinnamony taste. It is most certainly a self-drinker (or a tea that can be had on its own, with nothing added in).

The infusion created from rooibos is a bright, rich red color, garnering it the nickname "Red Tea".

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