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Rooibos for babies: What you need to know

Most South Africans were first introduced to Rooibos in their baby bottles and South African parents stand by Rooibos as the best drink for babies. In this blog post, we look at four reasons why!

1. Calms down babies with allergies

Many babies struggle with allergies which cause terrible irritation for the baby, and the nightmare for mom or dad trying to calm crying baby down. According to Dr Samukelisiwe Nyamathe, Rooibos tea can help calm down the baby and anecdotal evidence suggests it may even help relieve irritation.

Although no scientific studies yet prove that Rooibos has anti-allergy properties, Rooibos remains a great way to supplement conventional allergy treatment.

2. Can help with sleep

Rooibos is low in tannins and has been linked to reduced cortisol levels. It's also caffeine-free. Dr Nyamathe says that many of her patients find that lukewarm Rooibos tea helps to calm down their babies before bed, leading to a healthier night's sleep.

3. Helps relieve teething gums

Dr Nyamathe says that because Rooibos is naturally sweet and fruity, the taste sensation helps relieve babies with teething gums. Rooibos is also rich in anti-oxidants, some of which have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Anti-oxidants for healthy babies

Rich in antioxidants and other minerals, Rooibos tea is a great way to aid the baby's development. Dr Nyamathe says that the antioxidants found in Rooibos helps prevent damage to the body's cells. Add Rooibos to a balanced diet, and you have a recipe for success!

Dr Samukelisiwe Nyamathe (MBChB (UCT), Dip Public Health (UNISA), MSc Candidate Child Health (WITS)) is a medical doctor practicing in Cape Town, South Africa.

Note: The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Thereafter, rooibos and water can be given in between milk feeds and not as a substitute for milk feeds.

The information contained in this post does not equate to medical advice and parents are recommended to consult a physician. Few human studies on Rooibos exist and the information contained in this post is based on animal and cell studies, as well as anecdotal evidence.

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