zazen5 said

Rooibos Tea effects on physiology hypotheses

About 1 year ago when I was in Market Mall, NW Calgary with my wife there was a Teaopia shop right in front of us. Due to my negative experiences with caffeine which I used to stack with pseudoephedrine, a really bad idea, for physical training, I had stopped all forms of caffeine, including chocolate, for 15 years. I liked what I saw though in this shop and we both tried some tea and bought some. I noticed some distinct positive effects from all of the teas I tried and liked the tastes too. I still dislike coffee due to its up-down effect in addition to acidity and peristalsis effects, not to mention the cost. I was quite displeased when Teaopia was purchased by Teavana and disturbed quite recently by Starbucks acquisition of Teavana. But in any case Teavana appears to be doing quite well. Which brings to the present topic: Rooibos. As it is quite cold in Calgary, I dont want to get sick. So I did some research and have found that while most teas help, in junction with Traditional Chinese medicine and actual Harvard studies, black tea is the key for illness prevention in really cold weather. Of course this is my biased interpretation, study size of 1(me). This being said, I also noticed that the yang or male quality of the black tea at times makes me feel aggressive. This is a paradox in that this is helpful in getting things done and displacing psychological stress, too much aggression and wanting to fight isnt always a good thing. So when my dad recently visited I needed a tea that would combine well with the other truckload of teas we had in the cupboard from Teaopia/Teavana which I am presently on a mission to ingest via tea(taking a while as I resteep 3x for most teas). So my wife has some Rooibos that I previously thought nothing of. I actually thought Rooibos was nonsense, but given that she has headaches almost constantly(not from me but the variability in the temps here in Calgary) she really likes the Rooibos tension reducing qualities. I decided to give Rooibos a shot to survive my dads visit. So I mixed rooibos, 3 tsp, with 3 tsp of yerba mate, and 2 tsp of white tea for 6 cups of tea, and resteeped this concoction 3x for each serving. The effect was amazing physically. It was the most bizarre thing in that my physical dexterity improved immensely on the musical instruments I play: electric guitar and piano. It has been so many years(since 1993 in fact) since I had the ability to get the timing right on the music I was playing as most timing in music is very subtle to get the correct mood across for the listener. I attribute this physical benefit directly to the Rooibos. I am thankful that this tea exists and have found that Teavana and many other places have some great mixes with Rooibos. The mineral content of Rooibos and its ability to relax muscles I think paradoxically also makes the caffeine of other teas if mixed more effective for a boost. I highly recommend the properties of Rooibos for anyone requiring physical precision and am wondering what trials for Parkinsons disease would find about Rooibos.

17 Replies
Denny said

Cool post. I steep 3X also. Cheers.

zazen5 said

Thanks for your feedback!

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Finn88 said

I find it interesting. I work as a nurse and there is one woman (who could be a freak of nature of course) who is Japanese and states she has drank tea her whole life, over 4 glasses a day. She’s 100 years old now and probably healthier than I am at 25. Could be a coincidence, but when I see numerous people her age and younger with Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, Diabetes, etc. it makes me wonder.

zazen5 said

I work as a tech in a cardiovascular unit at a hospital. I have seen patients who contract a normal flu which somehow affects the myocytes in the cardiac muscle with an inappropriate immune response of the system with resultant LV dysfunction and heart failure. All of this from a basic flu. There are actual peer reviewed studies(google scholar on tea of your choice) that illustrates which teas do what. It is worth investigating as the somewhat rampant use of antibiotics has possibly some coincidence with some of the new strains of TB in India which are antibiotic resistant. The information is out there I just keep looking as I cannot afford to get sick.

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Hm, I wonder if it would help me. I have trouble getting around due to a still undiagnosed illness…basically I have chronic pain and difficulty moving, could be any number of things. It might not help the pain, but maybe it’ll improve dexterity? Unfortunately I’ve already gone over my tea budget for…a long time, so I’m going to have to wait to find out.

zazen5 said

It is documented somewhere that tea has different effects on smooth muscle and skeletal muscle. I have read that black teas help with exercise performance and recovery http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/11, and green tea helps with endurance and fat burning http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/288/3/R708.short
although I wonder if the chemical composition of rooibos does have elements that are helpful to muscle contraction/recovery? Given that smooth muscle and skeletal muscle act differently Im not sure if this is a stretch and there are no studies to confirm/disprove my hypothesis. Rooibos is known to have effects on smooth muscle apparently specially the potassium(K+) channels and to a lesser affect the Ca2+ channels: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2006.pto_507.x/full

Despite the lack of studies, I am convinced that yes Rooibos has an immediate effect on benefitting muscular control including both postural gross motor movements of the skeletal muscles(walking etc,) including also fine motor performance(typing, piano and guitar playing), with my biased interpretation sample size of 1(me) and not placebo effect as I initially thought Rooibos was bs and nonsense when my wife was drinking it.
Given that Rooibos is inexpensive you can probably get a decent supply for $10 if you choose.
Here is a study with extensive information on what is known for health benefits of Rooibos whoever cares to read it:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1992/pdf

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Finn88 said

You never know. I insist that drinking tea regularly improved my immune system this winter. I haven’t been sick nearly half as much as I normally am. Who knows…it could work where modern medicine doesn’t.

zazen5 said

Tea has been shown effective against various bacterias including Staph and others: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.1991.tb04435.x/abstract

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It’s possible. I may have to pick some up if I can. Sometimes it’s the home remedies that work best. I know that when my stomach hurts, ginger (or ginger tea) works better than any medicine I’ve ever tried, including prescription anti-nausea meds, and there have been studies that indicate that honey works better than cough syrup. If I can find a tea that makes me feel better, I’d greatly prefer that to being on prescription pain medicine.

Uniquity said

Honey has always been the cough suppressant/throat soother of choice in my family. Mmm, honey. Mmm, tea!

zazen5 said

Honey is a known antiseptic and healer. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bjs.1800750718/abstract It requires no refrigeration and in addition to the information you mentioned it has also been used topically to help with burn injuries and general cuts.

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DaisyChubb said

Amazing post! Thank you for sharing <3

zazen5 said

You’re welcome!

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interesting, I know that I react badly to Rooibos (headaches) personally, but it seems to be healthy for others.

zazen5 said

A person cant just assume that because the general population responds a certain way to a tea that will have that effect on them obviously there are genetic variations which affect what substances react, for example Plavix the heart medication doesnt work for many people due to a lack of the specific enzyme in the liver that affects metabolism of the drug(CYP450 enzymes mainly CYP2C19. Of course tea is not a drug, nonetheless there are certain general characteristics that a person can investigate of a tea. The reason drugs are categorized as drugs is because they must work. As I am not a pharmacist I am delving into an interest of mine which I cant elaborate on further right now. Foods such as teas have many different ways they can be utilized and obviously the best way to find out which teas work for what and taste good is to read and try.

right. I know I have an allergy to a certain drug that I found out recently has a genetic component. And of course there are plenty of food allergies in the world. (I know someone who developed an allergic intolrance to the tannins in tea…can only have white now)

zazen5 said

One of the comforting ideas about tea is that there is a tea that you can drink and will work for a specific persons flavour preferences and individual’s genetics. And tea is quite inexpensive for what it offers.

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