Are you drinking rooibos yet?

Another reason to start drinking this “miracle at red bush” now

I’ve told you before about the astonishing ability of the South African plant rooibos—or “red bush”—to tackle a problem from which almost all of us suffer: dehydration. But research shows it may also help with another epidemic in our country.

As I explained in the Insiders’ Cures bonus report The Miracle at Red Bush, this plant that grows only in the Cedarburg Mountains above Capetown, South Africa, has surprised researchers across the world with its effectiveness in hydrating the body at a cellular level.

It was little-known until we started testing it in high-performance athletes, as well as weekend warriors on the golf and tennis courts…with AMAZING results.

But it isn’t only athletes who need to worry about dehydration. I explained in January’s Insiders’ Cures that we’re all susceptible to dehydration, even in the middle of winter. WHY? In winter, cold outdoor air does not hold moisture, and heated indoor air bakes out what moisture there is—so you can get dehydrated just breathing the air. That’s one reason I suggest drinking rooibos all day every day, instead of just WATER.

Now here’s another reason: New research shows green rooibos helps lower blood sugar. (Which, incidentally, will also help with dehydration—high blood sugar is one of the things that can dehydrate you by pulling excess fluid into the urine.)1

A major flavonoid in green rooibos, called aspalathin (after the botanical name of the plant), lowered blood sugar levels in experimental models, increasing the uptake of glucose into cells. In fact, aspalathin was as effective as the potent drug metformin in laboratory mice that had been made diabetic.

Personally, I was glad to hear my old friend the diabetic rat is still helping to advance science. When I was in high school, my neighbor Dr. Richard Mahler was conducting research to develop a diabetic rat as an experimental model. Later,

Dr. Mahler’s colleague Dr. Patrick Mobley obtained research funding from Mrs. Ray Kroc (the wife of the founder of McDonald’s) so I could conduct some experiments of my own using the diabetic rat. Mrs. Kroc was also quite generous with her own good fortune back when private philanthropy would still support a good, new idea (see Daily Dispatch on “Missing Philanthropists”)—and everyone did not have to turn to the medical minions at NIH for every drop of medical research funding…

But back to the topic at hand…

Rooibos is not at all just another form of green tea. As a member of the legume family of plants, it has special properties and is abundant in active phytochemicals called alkaloids and flavonoids—the sources of many of nature’s most potent medicines. So while rooibos has a similar antioxidant profile to regular green tea, it also has a whole lot more.

I say we raise a toast (of rooibos, of course!) to the diabetic rat…and to lower blood sugar, and to good dehydration!

1. Muller CJF, Joubert E, de Beer D, et al. “Acute assessment of an aspalathin-enriched green rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) extract with hypoglycemic potential.” Phytomed. 2012;20(1):32-39.