I have a confession: I used to drink a disgusting amount of coffee every day. Starbucks was my second home. My day didn’t officially start until I had my first (or second) cup and I couldn’t imagine life without coffee.
One day when I took things a cup too far. My heart raced for the rest of the day and the shortness of breath made me feel like I was having a heart attack.
That one episode shocked me into realization that my health had fallen apart from eating a western diet and drinking coffee by the gallon.
So I committed to a Melanin Plant Based Diet and eliminated white sugar, white milk, and GMOs from my life.
Translation = no more coffee.
That was 3 years ago, and since then I have completely replaced my coffee habit with African teas and I have never been healthier or happier. I cant count how many African teas I have tried, but there are 5 that have the research to back them up.
This is going to be a long article, so use the Table of Contents below to jump down!
The Specific Benefits of African Teas
African teas dont get the credit they deserve. Research has shown that African teas are some of the best on the planet for health and well-being.
One thing that all the teas on our list have in common is that they are rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, immune system, and fat burning benefits. Here are some of the benefits that flavonoids deliver:
- Flavonoids present in African teas neutralize harmful free radicals that damage cells, change the structure of DNA, and speed up the aging process.
- Diets rich in flavonoid-containing foods are sometimes associated with cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease prevention.
- Clinical trials of a specific flavonoid called proanthocyanidins showed significant reduction of heart disease risk by reducing inflammation and slowing aggregation of platelets.
If you are a coffee drinker, switching to African teas will help you avoid the anxiety and sleeplessness that coffee can cause.
Since most of the teas below contain very little caffeine, they can be consumed any time of day.
Finally, teas are far more interesting than coffee. There are thousands of blends and leaves that will keep you stimulated for years to come.
How I Chose The African Teas Below
All the teas I chose had to meet the Melanin Plant Based Diet criteria. That means:
✓ No genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
✓ Naturally grown
✓ Proven to have medicinal properties that back up claims
I personally chose teas that taste good – because lets be real, if its disgusting you are not going to drink it!
One of the other criteria that was important in choosing the items we did was whether it was produced by a Black company. If I could not find a Black supplier, I made sure the company met fair trade and environmental standards that were higher than typical corporations.
Lastly, almost all of these products come from Amazon. There are many Black sellers and companies that use Amazon as their eCommerce vehicle. If you know of Black farmers and tea producers, let me know in the comments section!
Now that you know how I picked the African teas below, here are the 5 that made the cut.
The 5 Teas That Made The Cut
Moringa is called “Nebedaye”, which means “never die” in several African languages and has a long history on the Continent.
One of the oldest uses we know of was oil from the moringa plant being extracted and used as was used as a beauty product in Kemet (Egypt) to soften and protect the skin.
As time went on, the plant spread from Kemet to Axum and Kush (present day Ethiopia and Somalia) where it was used to purify water, supplement other crops, and as an important folk medicine.
Since then, new species of Moringa evolved with the most notable being Moringa stenopetala, a plant that is native to Kenya and Ethiopia.
Today Moringa tends to grow in areas with bad soil and the plant is drought resistant, making it a perfect plant for areas at risk of food insecurity. In fact, countries like Malawi are actively growing Moringa to fight hunger and malnutrition.
How does Moringa taste?
Let me be honest – you are going to need some honey. Moringa has a bitter, earthy taste that takes some serious getting used to. The aftertaste is light and grassy – almost citric – but I highly suggest using a sweetener until your taste buds adjust.
Of all the African teas I have tried, Moringa has been the best replacement for coffee and the most effective. Thats because Moringa has no caffeine, but still delivers a burst of energy that comes from magnesium, potassium, and the all important B vitamins.
Moringa tea has also been shown to fight as many as 71 different microbes. Here is the full list
1. Aspergillus flavin
2. Trichoderma sp
3. Staphylococcus aureus
4. Shigella dysenteriae
5. Shigella boydii
6. Bacillus megaterium
7. Escherichia coli
8. Enterobacter aerogenes
9. Providencia stuartii
10. Klebsiella pneumoniae
11. Pseudomonas aeruginosa
12. Bacillus subtilis
13. Mycobacterium phlei
14. Bacillus cereus
15. Sarcina lutea
16. Basidiobolus ranarum
17. Basidiobolus haptosporus
18. Propionibacterium acnes
19. Staph epidermis
20. Strep pyogenes
21. Trichophyton mentagrophytes
22. Microsporum canis
23. Trichophyton rubrum
24. Epidermophyton floccosum
25. Pseudomonas fluorescens
26. Citrobacter freundii
27. Serratia marcescens
28. Enterobacter sp.
29. Salmonella sp.
30. Proteus vulgaris
31. Streptococcus mutans
32. Vibrio parahaemolyticus
33. Enterococcus faecalis
34. Aeromonas cavieae
35. Streptococcus aureus
36. Streptococcus mutans
37. Penicillium expansu
41. Aspergillus niger spp.
42. Microcytis aeruginosa
43. Salmonella typhi
44. Vibrio cholera
45. Candida albicans
48. Urinary Tract Infection
50. Viral Common cold
51. Epstein-Barr Virus
52. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1)
55. mouth disease virus
56. foot disease virus
58. Dranunculiasis (guinea-worm)
63. External Sores/Ulcers
65. Hepatic infections
66. Skin (Dermal) infections
67. Throat Infection
68. Water treatment (general)
Moringa Weight Loss Benefits
Moringa is great for weight loss for two reasons: it curbs cravings and induces a fat burning process called ketosis.
First, Moringa stops cravings that could lead you to smash a bag of cookies in one sitting. Thats because there is so much nutritional value in the form of vitamins, minerals, and even protein that the body gets what it is asking for instead of snacks that make you fat.
Second, Moringa tea is filled with Vitamin B2. Like all other B vitamins, B2 plays a key role in energy metabolism by burning fat. This process is called ketosis, and happens when you either starve yourself (by fasting) or when you consume ketone bodies.
Moringa Diabetes Benefits
Moringa tea and leaves are filled with compounds called isothiocyanates that help regulate blood sugar levels. Thats good news if you suffer from diabetes (or know of someone who does).
If you want to get into the science of how Moringa can treat diabetes, here is the full body of research on moringa diabetes benefits.
Where To Buy Moringa Tea
African Rooibos Tea
Rooibos (pronounced ‘roy-boss’) is among the most popular of all African teas. Also known as redbush tea, Rooibos comes from a group of fynbos shrubs that are only found in South Africa.
The Khoisan called Rooibos ‘red bush root’ and have known about its health benefits for thousands of years. They would bruise the leaves with hammers, ferment them, and dry them out before brewing them.
Rooibos has a smooth caramel taste that works well with a splash of almond milk. In its unflavored form, be ready for some earthy and tobacco flavors that might take some getting used to. The good news is that you wont get the bitterness that comes with most black teas here.
Rooibos Tea Health Benefits
There are volumes of research that support Rooibos tea health benefits. Here are just a few that come from The National Institutes of Health in the United States:
- Prevents age related brain damage
- Reduces muscle spasms associated with irritable bowel syndrome
- Helps control blood pressure in both laboratory and in real world conditions
- Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease and other ailments associated with ageing.
- Relieves nervous tension, allergies, and digestive problems.
- Helps to treat and manages diabetes
Where To Buy Rooibos Tea
Lavender and Vanilla Rooibos Tea
One of the complaints that some have about Rooibos is that the taste can be a little too earthy. To get the health benefits of Rooibos tea without the harsh flavor, I suggest using herbal blends. My two favorites are lavender and vanilla.
I chose lavender both for the flavor and for its calming properties. So if you want a deep, full night of sleep, this should be in your tea collection.
Everyone seems to love Vanilla Rooibos tea for its great flavor and health benefits, too. Specifically, vanilla has been shown to lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation, and is great for mental health.
I love the more exotic African teas, and Honeybush doesn’t disappoint. The name comes from the honey scent that the leaves of the cyclopia plant. These plants are indigenous to Africa and only grow in a small region in the South.
If you are looking for something with a sweeter taste, you will like Honeybush tea. Unlike Moringa and Rooibos, Honeybush has a light bodied, smooth, sweet tangerine taste.
You will still get the earth and roasty wood flavors that all teas have, but those are toned down.
Honeybush Tea Benefits
Honeybush shares many of the same benefits as other African teas on our list. However, studies have shown a unique direct positive effect on the urinary and digestive system.
Since Honeybush alleviates heartburn and nausea, it makes a great after dinner digetif.
If you are suffering from a cold, allergies, or asthma, Honeybush tea is a natural expectorant that will help clear out mucus while reducing inflammation in the airways.
Other potential Honeybush tea benefits include prevention of skin cancer, alleviation of menopausal symptoms, and lowering of blood glucose levels
Where To Buy Honeybush Tea
Kemetic (Egyptian) Mint Tea
Did you know that breath mints were invented in Kemet? Facts.
Mint was such an important plant in Kemet that dried leaves have been found in pyramids dating back to 1000 B.C. Egyptian mint was mixed with diluted vinegar to make a skin toner, burned as incense, and
Since Egyptian Mint has a rich aroma and a nice, fruity taste it is probably the sweetest of all the teas on this list.
Benefits of Egyptian Mint
One of the biggest benefits of mint is its versatility. You can use it in salads, in alcoholic drinks like mojitos, in chocolate, and – of course – in tea blends.
Mint tea gets its fresh and clean flavor from menthol oil. Thats the same ingredient that you can find in many medicines that relieve congestion, making mint an excellent home remedy.
If you are having trouble with sleeplessness or anxiety, mint tea can help you relax.
Besides that, Egyptian mint is also known to soothe many stomach ailments, including stomach aches, stomach pains, stomach cramps, heartburn, gas/flatulence, indigestion and diarrhea, and to promote healthy digestion.
Where To Buy Egyptian Mint Tea
As always, don’t take my advice on any health matters. Seek a qualified professional. Try one of the teas above and tell me what you think in the comments below!