An informational sheet I have says that Rooibos tea is now clinically prescribed for nervous tension, allergies, and stomach/digestion problems. It has reportedly been found to relieve insomnia and stomach cramps and has a soothing affect on skin when directly applied. It offers relief for diaper rash (add lukewarm brewed tea to bath water) and other skin irritations, and is especially helpful for babies with colic (I think you would just give them 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp., much like the "gripe water").
Some of my friends have given up coffee for Lent, and I've encouraged them to turn to Rooibos tea as a delicious alternative. You can even brew a pot in your coffee pot. I've tried it; it works great! (You can use 1 tsp.-1 T. per cup, depending on taste preference.).
Whether hot or cold, it's a delicious thirst-quencher, and a healthy option for all members of the family. In Mad Hungry, Lucinda Scala Quinn writes,
"Soda? Don't. Obviously if you never keep soda at home, your kids won't drink it all the time because it won't be there. Instead, teach them to drink plain and sparkling water and other fresh and delicious beverages, such as fresh, natural juice, cold sweetened herbal infusions, and various milks and nectars. As long as something good is there to quench their thirst, they'll avoid loading their bodies with too much sugar and empty calories. "Ms. Quinn's recommendation is to prepare a large batch of rooibos tea and leave it chilled in the refrigerator as an alternative to soda or juice. I especially love that my kids can drink this, since it's caffeine free (they don't need any more energy than they already have--trust me!). They love a small cup in the morning with milk (you can add honey if you want). (The recipe in Mad Hungry is: (1/4 c. loose tea, 5 c. boiling water, 2 T. honey; steep for 4 minutes and strain. Stir in the honey. Serve hot or cold over ice.)
Now what kind of friend would I be if I left you hanging after making you thirsty for some Rooibos tea? :)
I purchase my loose Rooibos tea from a local coffee roaster (I recommend their fresh-roasted coffee as well; they roast it when you order it, so it is as fresh as you'll find anywhere!). They generously agreed to give away a quarter-pound bag of Rooibos tea to one lucky reader. The winner can choose the flavor of her choice. For future orders, P. Hawk Coffee and Tea can be reached via email at email@example.com, or phone (307) 234-6073. They ship within the continental United States.
The flavors are:
Plain, anise, Belgian chocolate (this is great!), black currant, blueberry, creme au caramel, masala chai, cranagrante, cranberry, earl grey, sunshine lemon, lemon ginger, mango, Florida orange, Dutch licorice, Georgia peach, corsica pear, pina colada (this is one of my favorites!), Provence, rainbow, raspberry, Segovia muffin, Sgt. Peppers, Le Marche Spice, strawberry, bourbon street vanilla, and wild berry
Leave a comment to be entered to win. I'll draw a winner Wednesday. (Due to possible customs complications with shipping loose tea, the winner must be in the continental U.S. Thanks for understanding!)