ROOIBOS TEA has taken the world by storm. Both fermented and unfermented Rooibos tea are primarily sold as a health drink however, it is also used as a raw material in the cosmetic industry. Green Rooibos Tea is the unfermented version of Rooibos Tea and it has a lighter, fruitier taste than regular Rooibos tea. Rooibos tea lacks the astringent taste of normal tea and green tea.

– The unfermented Rooibos emerged in response to recent interest in the health benefits linked to the antioxidants found in tea. Green Rooibos extract in particular is an extremely powerful natural antioxidant.

– Traditionally Rooibos tea is fermented after harvesting, which gives the unique colour and aroma to the Tea. Many antioxidants are destroyed during the fermentation process and it also has an effect on the Aspalathin, the anti-allergic property.

– With Green Rooibos, the natural fermentation and oxidization process is stopped immediately after harvesting. It is steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried. Green Rooibos has 100 times more antioxidants and 10 times more aspalathin than regular fermented Rooibos. The antioxidants in Rooibos are relevant for both internal and external health.


– Rooibos tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids that are potent free radical scavengers.

– Rooibos contains a host of minerals and trace elements such as calcium, potassium and zinc. Its health-promoting characteristics however, are mainly credited to its flavonoid content.

– Rooibos contains nine flavonoids. Two of these flavonoids quercetin and luteolin, also occur in fruit and vegetables. They are potent antioxidants that can cause cancer cells to “commit suicide” (apoptosis).

– Rooibos is the only natural source of the unique polyphenol, aspalathin which is known for its anti-allergic properties. It has been shown to be effective against various dermatological conditions including acne and atopic dermatitis.


– New scientific studies provide evidence that Rooibos tea may protect against cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Studies show that the Tea can protect against damage to all major components of cellular proteins, fats and DNA and enhance the activity of certain important carcinogen-detoxifying enzymes in the liver. Rooibos tea may also play a vital role in the battle against skin cancer. (Santa Barbara California.–Business Wire – 22 Nov 2004).

– In in vitro studies, it was found that Green Rooibos was generally more protective against DNA damage than fermented Rooibos. However, senior research scientist at the Medical Research Council of SA, Jeanine Marnewick says her group’s research shows that fermented Rooibos has a stronger effect against some mutagens. She says that both the fermented and unfermented Rooibos show significant protection.

– For cosmetic formulations, the most important qualities of Rooibos are associated with its anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

– The antioxidant content of Rooibos and the neutralising effect it has on free radicals are well documented in the literature and make it an exciting ingredient for anti-ageing skincare products, especially for the mature skin. The Anti-inflammatory properties make it suitable for products for sensitive or problem (acne) skin and baby care products. The use of extract derived from green unfermented raw material with its superior antioxidant content, is therefore to be regarded as very significant for the cosmetic industry.

– Recently independent research showed that it also improves hair condition and hair growth.


– Rooibos contains no caffeine and has low tannin content. In ordinary tea, tannins are involved in the binding of calcium and iron that makes it difficult for the body to absorb these minerals. In addition, tannins can interfere with the pigmentation of the skin. Therefore, the low tannin content of Rooibos extracts compared to extracts from ordinary green tea makes Rooibos the preferred choice for the application in skin care products.

– Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free; it does not have to go through a decaffeination process and, therefore, does not lose any of its essential polyphenol content. It is therefore an excellent drink for people who want to avoid the stimulating effects of caffeine. Because of the low tannin content, it can be a good alternative to ordinary tea for people who need to avoid beverages containing tannin.


– To conclude, Rooibos appears to be safe and free of side effects. The antioxidant content in Rooibos may help protect against free radical damage that can lead to premature ageing, cancer, heart disease and stroke. Green Rooibos, the unfermented version of Rooibos tea, has a higher percentage of polyphenols than traditional fermented Rooibos and generally displays higher antioxidant potential than regular Rooibos Tea. The use of an extract manufactured from unfermented raw material is to be regarded as very important new development for the development of skin and healthcare products.