ROOIBOS – THE SOUTH AFRICAN LULLABY

For generations Rooibos tea has been used among South African mothers as a supplement to breast-milk and is often referred to as “nature’s healing hand” – due its remarkable ability to cure and soothe. If your little one suffers from colic, insomnia, food allergies, stomach cramps or eczema, Rooibos tea may be the perfect answer to your problems.

This phenomenon was discovered accidentally in 1968 when one day Dr Theron, a frantic mother with a crying baby in her arms, searched for a quick way to warm her baby’s bottle. She added some warm Rooibos tea to it and fed it to her baby. To her profound surprise the baby stopped screaming and actually went to sleep peacefully and happily. She went on to help literally hundreds of colicky and allergic babies using Rooibos tea as a supplement to both breast, formula or cow’s milk. She recounted her experiences in a book called, “Allergies: an amazing discovery”.

Now over four decades of mothers’ hands-on experience is backed by scientific research into the healing properties of Rooibos, and international recognition for its ability to soothe infants. Dr Kareemah Gamieldien, a former Senior Researcher at the Medical Research Council, proudly tells how she bathed her baby in Rooibos to soothe away her skin allergies, “It’s something that has been passed down the generations and I found that it provided a noticeable anti-inflammatory action”.

By mixing some Rooibos tea with expressed breast milk or formula, you can make all the difference to your baby. Rooibos supplements the daily intake of calcium, manganese and fluoride needed by growing children for strong teeth and bones, while its zinc and magnesium contents promote a healthy skin and a well-developed nervous system. Being a caffeine free and low tannin beverage, Rooibos is also highly recommended for babies with digestive troubles as it benefits the digestive system, calms your child and promotes untroubled sleeping patterns. When applied directly to the skin, in liquid form, it relieves irritation from nappy rash, eczema and itching.

Rooibos is also believed to stimulate the development of milk in the breasts and pass on minerals and vitamins to the baby either through the milk or through the blood during pregnancy. Mothers themselves can also benefit from drinking Rooibos tea. During pregnancy and breast feeding the body’s iron levels could become depleted. Tannins in regular teas can strip you of up to one third of your diet’s iron – which can leave you with chronic fatigue. With Rooibos, this is not the case. Pregnant women can drink Rooibos throughout the day without increasing nausea and heartburn, and because it is caffeine-free, this tea can be drunk in unlimited quantities and will not disrupt sleeping patterns.

Rooibos is 100% natural, harmless and nutritious, with no colorants or preservatives. Babies and tots tend to love the naturally sweet and aromatic flavour, especially when served as iced tea to replace acid-containing fruit juices or carbonated soft drinks.

Tips for Moms:
– How to Prepare Rooibos tea for your baby:
Add Rooibos tea bags to water (strength at your discretion), bring to the boil to extract maximum goodness; cool off & pour into sterilised baby bottle(s). For extra strength, tea bags may be added to bottle(s) and left there. Sweeten with honey or brown sugar. Feed on demand.
– Weaning Your Baby onto Rooibos:
While its sweet taste should appeal to your infant’s newly-formed taste buds, like all good things, Rooibos tea can take a little getting used to. As you know, patience and perseverance are the only remedies for the junior palate. But when it comes to Rooibos, it’s well worth the wait.

 

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