I was reminded recently about the powerful health benefits of hibiscus. There are hundreds of species of this herbal flower however Hibiscus sabdariffa is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea. As I happened to have a container of dried hibiscus, I’ve enjoyed refreshing cups of hot tea this week and renewed my appreciation for this healing plant.
What is Hibiscus?
This herbaceous plant is a member of the flowering mallow family. Also known as a rose mallow, the hibiscus plant produces showy flowers in a range of colors and can be either an annual or a perennial, depending on location.
Several species are widely cultivated as ornamental plants. The tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names around the world and can be served hot or cold. The beverage is known for its deep red color, tart flavor, and high vitamin C content.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
There are many known healing benefits associated with hibiscus tea.
• Rich in powerful antioxidants, the tea helps to prevent damage and disease caused by the buildup of free radicals.
• Contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor properties. Research suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
• Boosts and supports the immune system by providing anti-inflammatory properties.
• Rejuvenates the liver and helps to treat liver disease.
• Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
• Lowers the absorption of starch and glucose which may aid weight loss.
• Relieves cramps and menstrual pain. It helps to restore hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, and overeating.
• Satiates thirst and improves digestion.
• Calms the nervous system, and helps to reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.
**Do not drink hibiscus tea while pregnant or if low pressure is a problem.
How to Prepare Hibiscus Tea
The tea is easy to prepare. Steep 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried hibiscus in very hot water for 15 minutes. The tea is a beautiful deep magenta color and has a tart taste similar to cranberry juice. Sweeten with raw organic honey if desired.
The tea can be chilled after brewing and served over ice for a thirst quenching cold drink as well. Add lemon or lime juice and a spoonful of honey. I appreciate sour and tart flavors more than sweet, so I don’t add honey to my tea. I love iced hibiscus tea with just fresh lemon juice added.
Dried hibiscus can be purchased at health food stores or health conscious grocery stores, or ordered by clicking the link below. Hibiscus tea bags are available as well.
I’ve just enjoyed a cup of hot hibiscus tea as I wrote about its health benefits!
Order dried hibiscus below.
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