Drinking Rooibos to Chase Away Colds

Wouldn't it be great to be able to chase away colds and flu by drinking Rooibos? In their battle against winter coughs and sniffles, a third of South Africans cite a special rooibos tonic among their top three colds and flu fighting strategies.  Now scientists have identified evidence that drinking Rooibos can help enhance the body's natural defence system.


Studies suggest that rooibos has potent antioxidant, antiviral and immunomodulating effects, which enhances the body’s natural defence system.  It is packed with polyphenols, which are micronutrients with antioxidant activity. Polyphenols act as scavengers of free radicals throughout the body, which are detrimental by-products of cell metabolism that can cause a host of ailments. Aspalatin and nothafagin are two vital antioxidants found in Rooibos tisane, making it a great beverage to boost immunity, whilst protecting the body against all types of diseases.


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.

Du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council, notes that caffeinated drinks should be avoided as it can deplete your body of fluid. Don’t drink a hot toddy either, since alcohol is equally dehydrating. To keep your fluid levels balanced, rather opt for water, an electrolyte drink or Rooibos, which is 100% caffeine-free.

“Remaining properly hydrated when ill will help replace lost fluids from sweating (if you have a fever) and a raised metabolism as your body increases its internal level of activity to battle the infection. Look out for signs of dehydration, such as thirst, dry lips and skin, headaches, lethargy and decreased urination,” she says.


Sore throats and other aches and pains that are characteristic of colds and flu, could also benefit from Rooibos. Drinking this tisane will keep your throat moist and help to reduce irritation.  It can also have a calming effect on the body, alleviating tension and promoting better sleep, which is essential to getting over a cold.

If you’re struggling with a sore throat, feeling congested or downright miserable, try the following Rooibos remedies:


  • 1 teaspoon rooibos leaf
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 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

Pour boiling water into a cup or mug, add a teaspoon of Rooibos and let it steep for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh or strainer to remove the leaf.  Add a teaspoon of lemon, honey, ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Reheat if necessary.

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



Ingredients for one generous serving

  • 2 teaspoons of Rooibos leaf
  • 250 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


  • Put the Rooibos leaf in a teapot or heatproof jug and pour over the water. Steep for 8 to 10 minutes, then pour through a fine strainer.  Leave to cool.
  • Put the liquor, 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


“Whether you consume it hot or cold, Rooibos tea is a smart, natural choice which is sure to comfort and elevate your mood when you’re feeling under the weather” remarks du Toit.


Article Extract obtained from Rooibos Council of South Africa website.  Visit their site for more information on the many health benefits of Rooibos www.sarooibos.co.za

Contents Tea Science  Tea Research  

Posted: Tuesday 23 July 2019