12/11/2017 12:34 SAST | Updated 12/11/2017 12:34 SAST

A Cup Of Rooibos A Day May Help Your Heart, And Libido Too

So go on, have a cup.

Rooibos tea.
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Rooibos tea.

Rooibos tea is packed with antioxidants that help in the fight against a number of diseases -- and it turns out a cup a day could be especially good for your heart, and do wonders for your libido too.

"Rooibos tea is known as a bronchodilator -- which not only relieves respiratory conditions, but also reduces high blood pressure. It helps blood vessels to relax and widen, making it easier for blood to flow through," said Dr Dawie van Velden, a medical doctor with a special interest in intergrative medicine.

Speaking to HuffPost SA, van Velden explained that when blood vessels constrict, blood pressure increases, putting you at a greater risk of a heart attack or a stroke.

The heart, however, is not the only area affected by blood constriction. Your sexual health too.

Healthy blood circulation is critical for optimal sexual health -- it helps maintain erections in men, and increases the sensation and lubrication in women as a response to sexual arousal. In comes antioxidants - which allow for the healthy functioning of vital blood vessels.

Good blood flow to the brain also ensures a healthy flow of hormone signals back and forth from the brain to genitals, explained sexologist Christa Coetzee.

This makes rooibos tea a steady contender for well-known libido jump-starters like red wine, strawberries and oysters.

READ: Hit A Slump In The Bedroom? Try Red Wine And Strawberries

So go on have a cup, it may help your heart and bedroom issues too.

Just remember to "make it a daily health choice alongside your five or six portions a day of fruit and vegetables," said van Velden, so it becomes "a total, healthy lifestyle approach."

The doctor also cautioned against abandoning conventional treatment because of the tea's benefits. "I am not saying that [one should stop conventional treatment], but integrative medicine can definitely sit side-by-side with mainstream medicine."