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Rooibos & Mental Health

According to a new Gallup report, employee stress levels around the world are at an all-time high with worry, anger and sadness remaining above pre-pandemic levels. ‘Post-Pandemic Stress Disorder’, though not an official diagnosis, is widely used to describe the trauma experienced over the last two years and the returning to a ‘new normal’ still produces feelings of anxiety, mood instability and mental exhaustion for many.

One of the positive pandemic trends is an increased consumer focus on personal immune health and mood and energy-enhancing foods and beverages, especially functional immune-boosting herbal teas.

“Consumers are seeking natural ways to support wellness, strengthening immunity, helping reduce stress, or bringing oneself ‘back into balance’ with a cup of tea. As the food industry slowly adjusts to a new normal, we expect to see consumers prioritize food and drink products that deliver additional benefits and products that support their sense of well-being…”

This rising awareness of the advantages of herbal-based beverages – such as replenishing skin from the inside, enhancing and addressing health and mental health concerns, supporting healthy joints and rejuvenating the body – is facilitating the growth of the market for herbal beverages, according to research.

This is where Rooibos continues to play a significant role. It has proved itself as a truly calming cup of tea but what exactly does rooibos do for our mental health?

Studies have shown that Rooibos tea does lower the production of cortisol and by doing so, also lowers the body’s response to stress. An added benefit is that Rooibos is caffeine-free, which helps the body to relax, whereas caffeine interferes with sleep, dehydrates you, increases blood pressure and raises anxiety levels.

“Researchers have found that frequent tea consumption has a strong linear relationship with reduced rates of depression. One study determined that for every three cups of tea consumed daily, the relative risk of depression decreased by 37%. It’s likely that the healthy compounds in tea stimulate a positive response in the gut and brain, which improves mood. Similarly, the act of making tea is in and of itself relaxing, which allows us a mental and emotional breather.”

Rooibos is also rich in polyphenols – compounds found in plants, including flavonoids and phenolic acid that benefit the body and fight disease. It also helps to widen blood vessels, which in turn reduces blood pressure and anxiety.

Carmién Tea is at the forefront of developing an increasing number of functional rooibos blends targeted at specific health needs, the latest being Calm, a relaxing blend of rooibos, passion flower, lemon balm, lavender and Cannabis Sativa l (CBD isolate)**

Cannabidiol — otherwise known as CBD, is a plant-based cannabinoid that mimics the body’s natural endocannabinoids. In other words, it picks up the slack when our bodies are lacking, helping to promote overall balance and therefore, wellness.

All this leaves us with excellent product development opportunities but it’s time to think beyond wellness as just a program offered in most large organisations. Mental health and social relationships are important influencers of physical health. In addition, physical wellness fails to capture the broader dimensions of overall well-being: social, financial, career, and community wellbeing.

Gallup research from March 2022 found that fewer than one in four U.S. employees felt strongly that their employer cared about their wellbeing — the lowest percentage in nearly a decade. This is an area in which all companies can grow.