How To Detox Using Rooibos Tea – A Step by Step Guide

Can you detox with Rooibos tea?

Yes, yes and yes again!

Rooibos is a tea with zero caffeine. It’s loaded with antioxidants and minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron and calcium. These facts alone make it a safe and effective detox tea. And it’s low in tannins so it won’t interfere with iron levels.

But I’m jumping the gun here. What do we mean by “detox”? Why do we need to detox? And why is Rooibos so beneficial to detox with?

And of course, the most important question. How do you use Rooibos for detox?

Why Rooibos is a good detox tea on its own

  • Aids digestion
  • Supports liver, kidney and bladder function
  • Keeps you hydrated
  • Supplies you with trace minerals and antioxidants
  • Curbs hunger by keeping blood sugar levels stable ( reduces insulin resistance)
  • Will have diuretic effect during detox. (It is not a natural diuretic, like honeybush tea)
  • May reduce the risk of leptin resistance. (leptin is the satiety hormone that tells us when we have had enough to eat)

What Do We Mean By “Detox” – Detox 101

A detox is a process that allows the body to begin excreting and eliminating toxins.

Did you know that your body is an effective detox machine? Our liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and skin get used to filter and excrete toxins.

When we eat healthy, natural wholefoods our bodies can detox efficiently.

But we don’t.

We eat foods with additives, preservatives, artificial flavors and colorants. We eat too much per meal. We consume alcohol and take medicines and drugs.

Diets high in fats, sugars and salt put immense strain on our bodies’ ability to detox effectively. And we don’t drink enough water.

Add to that the pollutants from food packaging (plastic), car fumes, cell towers etc. And add to that, stress. Stress is by far the worst because when we get stressed our hormones can’t do their jobs.

Doing regular detoxes or cleanses help our bodies deal with the overload.

Rooibos Hydrates and Flushes – It’s essential to drink enough of the right liquids daily. It’s accepted that 8 glasses of water daily is what we need to stay hydrated.

One cup (250ml) of Rooibos = 1 glass of water.

If you do nothing else other than to increase your daily fluid intake you have already started a detox.

A Note On Fasting

Fasting is not the same as a juice diet or a detox, like the one I lay out here.

Fasting can be harmful, as can enemas and colon cleanses. The detox I describe is safe for anyone to do and you can continue with medication at the same time.

A detox done wrong will affect your metabolism. This will lead to weight gain, fatigue and a sluggish metabolism.

A detox done right will have you feeling lighter, full of energy and mentally alert.

Preparing For Rooibos Detox is simple.

  • Each day you will make 3 liters of Rooibos tea(recipe below). That is equivalent to 12 cups. You can make Iced Rooibos too(recipe below).
  • You will need 12 rooibos teabags for each day. Use Green Rooibos or Organic Rooibos. Or both.

I want to focus on three types of detoxes. Each one has a specific goal. Do them as separate cleanses or start with the One Day Rooibos Detox. Follow it with the 7 Day Rooibos Cleanse and then go on to the 21 Day Rooibos Elimination Detox.

Each one is safe and easy to do. Remember there is no short cut to weight loss. For lasting results you need to change lifestyle habits and stay committed.

Exercise is as important as a healthy, balanced diet.


When fasting for extended periods (more than three days) you shouldn’t take medicines. This is because all meds get recognized by the body as toxic. So a detox is a better option. If you take prescribed meds, please consult you doctor before attempting a detox. This is especially important if you are doing a “liquids only” detox.

Detoxing with smoothies and small meals is better for people who have to take medicine daily.

Side Effects of Detoxing

When you detox by eliminating all solids (including smoothies), your body enters a phase called “healing crisis”. You may suffer headaches, cramps, nausea and even nose bleeds as the body throws out the toxins.

Do these types of detoxes with caution. End a water fast gradually. There are reported cases of people dying because they broke a fast incorrectly.

A man who was a big meat eater fasted on oranges for an extended period. When he broke his detox he went straight back to eating meat, as he had done before. And died.

So I prefer advising people to do gentle detoxes on a regular basis. And change bad eating habits instead of doing extreme detoxes.

Extreme detoxes done under supervision are ideal for people with serious illnesses or diseases. Do these types of fasts with the help of qualified practitioners. For example, Natural Hygiene or Functional Medicine practitioners.

Sometimes when detoxing you will get constipated. Toxins may end up recirculating back into the blood stream. The safe way to detox is to add herbal teas with laxative effects. A common herb used is senna. I advise against enemas and colon cleanses.

The One Day Rooibos Detox is ideal for anyone

  • That wants to give their bodies a break from digesting food for 36+ hours.
  • That gets bloated after eating certain foods.
  • That has overindulged.
  • That has a headache, stomach ache or feels nauseous.

How to make a pot of Rooibos Tea to Detox with:

Rooibos tea being brewed

1. Place large pot on stove. Add 3L (6.3 pints) water. Bring to boil. Turn stove off.

2. Take 12 bags of Rooibos or Green Rooibos. Cut open. Remove tea leaves.

3. Add loose Rooibos leaves to hot water. Cover pot with lid and allow to draw for 25 minutes.

4. Reheat the brew and turn off heat before it boils. You can let it simmer or reheat before each cup.

5. Pour into a cup. Use a tea strainer to catch leaves. Put leaves back into pot.

Note: The used leaves make a good mulch. So if you grow herbs or veg collect the leaves for that purpose.

You may modify the brew to suit your needs.

For example:

  • Add 3 tsp of fennel seed to water before heating. (Diuretic – good for weight loss
  • Grate ¼ cup of fresh ginger into the brew, at the same time you add leaves. (Good for nausea)
  • You can even add turmeric, cayenne and black pepper. (For inflammatory conditions.

Step by Step Guide for One Day Rooibos Detox

1. Have your last meal of the day before 6p.m. Make your first 3L pot of Rooibos.

2. Before going to bed you may drink as much Rooibos as you want, or none at all. But do try to have at least 250ml of plain water or a cup of Rooibos.

3. On rising, boil a kettle of water, let it cool but not too much.

4. Squeeze juice of one lemon into 250ml of warm water. Sip it all.

5. Heat up and drink your first cup of Rooibos. (The antioxidants in rooibos get 30% more potent when brewed for more than 25 minutes.)[1][2]

Rooibos gets stronger the longer it brews. It will not get bitter cos it’s low in tannins.

6. Drink a cup of Rooibos every hour. 3 liters is equivalent to 12 cups. So for example, wake at 6, have your lemon juice and drink your first cup at 7a.m. Drink your last cup at 7p.m.

7. You may add a bit of honey and lemon juice to your Rooibos. Avoid milk.

8. When you rise the next morning. Repeat the warm water and lemon juice, as you did the day before. Drink your Rooibos, as much as you want, until 11a.m..

9. At 11a.m.(or sooner if you are starving) – Break your detox with a green Rooibos smoothie. Recipe below

The One Day Rooibos Detox is a safe, gentle cleanse that you can do once a week or once a month.

Recipe for Green Rooibos Smoothie – Serves 1

You will need:

  • 1 to 2 cups Rooibos from your brewed pot and let it cool.
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned and cubed
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup shredded greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, rocket, dandelion, parsley, etc.
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup berries (of your choice)
  • 1 small papaya, peeled, pips removed and cubed
  • 1 tsp spirulina or kelp or both
  • 1 tsp hemp seed protein powder

Throw everything into a blender, pour and drink. You may want to add more Rooibos to thin. Sweeten with honey or stevia if you need to. Use this recipe as a guide but feel free to make your own versions.

7 Day Rooibos Cleanse Guidelines

The goal of this detox is threefold.

1. It is a great way to ease into a more restricted eating plan.

2. Do it to lose a pound or two.

3. Do it once every three months to keep your body healthy.

You decide how strict you want to be. By this I mean you can still use a bit of milk in your tea or have a slice of toast with breakfast or lunch. (gluten is not as bad as it is made out to be.)

This 7 Day detox is to prepare you for the 21 Day Rooibos Elimination Detox. If you are not going to follow on with the Elimination Detox then try cut all the foods I list. If you are following on then you can “cheat” a bit during the 7 Day Rooibos Cleanse.

Remember: To change lifelong eating patterns is not an overnight process. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. Be kind to yourself.

But I would suggest you follow the guide if you want optimal results.

Foods to omit during 7 Day Rooibos Cleanse

  • Meat, eggs, dairy.
  • Soya products.
  • Potatoes
  • GMO Wheat and corn (you can still use grains like oats, which does contain gluten. This is not a gluten free detox)
  • Sugar

Try use organic as much as possible.

Substitute dairy milk with rice, oat or nut milk. Make sure that the rooibos brand you use isn’t full of E’s (additives).

For all 7 days the meals will be repeated. A salad for lunch and a salad/veg and protein for supper. This makes it easy to shop and easy to prepare.

For lunch and supper, you may eat as much salad and veg as you want.

Everyday you will prepare 3 l of Rooibos. If you would also like to drink Iced Rooibos, this is what you do –

To Make Iced Rooibo

1. Make a pot of Rooibos. (Same as for One Day Rooibos Detox)

2. Let it cool. If adding honey/stevia, do it now.

3. Strain the tea into a jug and leave in fridge overnight.

4. To make even colder, add ice before serving.

5. Add sliced lemons and/or a few sprigs of chopped mint, if you like.

Enjoy throughout the day in place of hot tea. You may drink as much Rooibos, hot or cold. There are no side effects or adverse reactions.

Tray full of ice rooibos tea glasses

Step by Step Guide for 7 Day Rooibos Cleanse

Day 1 – Start with the One Day Rooibos Detox.

Day 2 – 7

  • On rising, drink lemon juice and water. Drink Rooibos, as much as you want, up to 10am.
  • 11a.m drink Green Rooibos Smoothie.
  • 12p.m drink 250ml Rooibos. Hot or Iced.
  • 1p.m. Eat salad made with Avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, green peppers, mushrooms, grated carrot, dates, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. Dressing can be plain lemon juice or a dash of apple cider vinegar and a cold pressed oil of your choice. (hemp, flax, almond, grapeseed etc)
  • 2p.m Drink Rooibos
  • 3p.m Drink Rooibos
  • 4p.m Drink Rooibos
  • 5p.m Eat salad as above. Add cooked (or raw) veg like peas, beans, carrots, broccoli, pumpkin or butternut squash. Add 1 cup cooked ancient grains like amaranth, teff, quinoa, buckwheat.
  • 6p.m Drink Rooibos

And that is how simple it is to do the 7 Day Rooibos Cleanse. If you get hungry during the 7 days, add another Rooibos smoothie. If you feel the need for a slice of toast or even a boiled egg, by all means have it.

Once the 7 days is done and you go on to the 21 Day program then you can try be more strict. If you deviate from the plan, be kind to yourself. Often the psychological effects of trying to get healthy is what causes us to stumble.

The 21 Day Rooibos Elimination Detox

The main reason for doing this detox is to see if you are sensitive to one or more food types.

A quick story: I developed a pain in my ankle that wouldn’t go. Then my heels began to ache. My back was killing me at night and then my other foot got sore. I hobbled around like an old arthritic woman for almost two years. I was overweight. I thought I had the start of metabolic syndrome and decided to act.

My health practitioner made me do a 10 day stretch with No dairy, No gluten. All my aches disappeared! After the 10 days she told me to eat dairy and gluten again. Reluctantly, I did. I felt so sick and my aches returned. After some experimenting I realized I could take cheese but not milk. And although eating bread does bloat me, I can live with that. I do try limit my bread intake though.

So my point is: Your health is in your hands. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find your balance. No need to be extreme.

This 21 Day Rooibos Elimination Diet is perfect for losing weight. But more important, stored toxins get released without dire side effects.

The Rooibos is what gives this detox the edge over the conventional method. It curbs hunger, supplies high levels of antioxidants and maintains blood sugar levels.

Your body takes the goodness of Rooibos and uses it to enhance the cleansing effects. It also boosts your immune system and begins to reverse conditions that could be precursors to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Step by Step Guide to 21 Day Rooibos Elimination Detox

Day 1 – Start with the One Day Rooibos Detox

Day 2 – 7 – Follow the 7 Day Rooibos Cleanse

Day 8 – 21 – Repeat Day 2 – 7 of the 7 Day Cleanse. But be strict for this last stretch and don’t have any gluten, dairy or meat.

On the 22nd day you may feel so good you want to carry on. You can. But if you want to treat yourself, please remember to take it easy. Have a treat, but halve the portion. Introduce dairy, eggs, meat, gluten slowly. Be aware of what you eat and how it affects you. You may have no symptoms or you may find certain foods that you ate before now make you feel ill.

Keep drinking 6 cups of Rooibos daily. It’s proven that the antioxidants in both green rooibos and regular can reverse damage that may lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.[3]

Please feel free to leave comments and questions. I will respond as soon as possible.

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