Rooibos in the Fight Against Skin Cancer

According to Professor Wentzel Gelderblom of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa has one of the highest incidence rates of skin cancer in the world, surpassed only by Australia.

The sun produces ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can be categorised in two ways;
• UVA rays are longer rays and penetrate the skin on a deeper level, right through to the dermis. This kind of ray travels through glass and damages collagen, which speeds up the ageing process. These are the rays responsible for ageing the skin.
• UVB rays cause the every-day sunburn we encounter on a regular basis. These rays are shorter and only penetrate the epidermis. They cause sunburn and cancerous changes to the skin.

The Rooibos plant, scientific name Aspalathus linearis, grows naturally in an area northwest of Cape Town, South Africa called the Cedarberg mountains. The plant itself is a small shrub that can reach about 1,8 metres, with yellow flowers that resemble pea blossoms. The fruit of the tree is a pod that usually contains two seeds. The leaves of the plant are long and needle-like and are the primary source of rooibos tea.

Recent studies have shown that Rooibos may play an instrumental part in the prevention of cancer. The flavonoids in Rooibos work as antioxidants – a major protagonist in preventing and slowing down the progress of cancer. Rooibos may prevent the healthy cell from undergoing mutagenesis (by binding free radicals, increasing the antioxidant capacity of the liver and helping the liver to cope with carcinogens) and it may also prevent a cell with damaged DNA from becoming a cancerous cell.

We have been investigating the effect of Rooibos on various kinds of cancer for years and have been able to prove the benefits of Rooibos in preventing or slowing down different kinds of cancer,” says Dr Jeanine Marnewick of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology who also worked on Rooibos and cancer at the Medical Research Council (MRC) for many years. “We have found that Green Rooibos, the unfermented version of the tea, significantly inhibits the growth of cancer cells and that traditional Rooibos also achieves this effect, albeit at a slightly lower rate.”

Annique has exceptional products that all contain Rooibos and aid in the fight against cancer. Remember, South Africa has an exceptionally hot climate and prevention is always better than cure so wear SPF at all times.


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