Why Rooibos is good for fighting colds and flu Picture supplied

Sipping on a cup of rooibos tea can do more than just fight the winter chill.

In the battle against coughs and sniffles, a third of South Africans cited Rooibos tea among their top three colds and flu fighting strategies.

A recent survey conducted by a leading health firm revealed that many South Africans' go-to cold and flu remedy is a cup of rooibos mixed with honey, lemon and/or ginger. 

But, can drinking Rooibos really help you get over your cold quicker?

Studies suggest that it has potent antioxidant, antiviral and immunomodulating effects, which enhances the body’s natural defence system.  

Rooibos is packed with polyphenols, which act as scavengers of free radicals throughout the body.

Aspalatin and nothafagin are two vital antioxidants found in Rooibos tea, making it a great beverage to boost immunity, while protecting the body against all types of diseases.

Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council says there is also plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests that drinking Rooibos daily could help stave off the common cold. “The fact that a third of respondents polled swear by it, makes for a compelling argument.”

Another factor to keep in mind when you do have a cold or flu, is to load up on caffeine-free liquids to stay hydrated.

Sore throats and other aches and pains that are characteristic of colds and flu, could also benefit from Rooibos tea.

Drinking the tea will keep your throat moist and help to reduce irritation.

Furthermore, Rooibos’ calming effect on the body could also help to alleviate tension and thus promote better sleep, which is essential to get over a cold.

Rich in nutrients and minerals, Rooibos tea is also filled with anti-oxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Try the following Rooibos remedies to help you fight the coughs and sniffles this winter.

Spicy Rooibos

Ingredients

  • A cup of strong Rooibos
  • 1 tsp of lemon
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • ½ tsp of preferably fresh ginger (try a full tsp if it’s not too strong for you)
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

 Method

  1. Pour boiling water into a cup or mug, add one Rooibos teabag and let it steep for at least 5 to 6 minutes. Add a teaspoon of lemon, honey, ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

* If you prefer something cold, make your own herbal ice lollies or ice chips using the same Rooibos tea combination as above.

Rooibos, Strawberry and Orange Smoothie

Ingredients for one serving

  • 1 - 2 Rooibos tea bags
  • 125 ml boiling water
  • 225 g frozen strawberries
  • ½ a peeled and chopped orange
  • 125 g silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp liquid honey, optional

 Method

  1. Put the Rooibos bags in a teapot or heatproof jug and pour over the water. Steep for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove the bag. Leave to cool.
  2. Put the tea, berries, tofu and protein powder into a blender and process until smooth. Sweeten to taste with honey and pour into glasses. Serve immediately.

Handy tip:

  • Silken tofu adds a lovely creamy richness
  • Replace the rooibos tea bag with a red berries rooibos tea bag