Did You Know Hibiscus Tea Has These Health Benefits?

Hibiscus B

Deep magenta or ruby-red hibiscus flowers are not only colorful, but they make a delicious and healthful tea! Learn about why hibiscus flower tea is a great summer beverage that has numerous health benefits, and how to make it.

If you’ve had the chance to enjoy an iced hibiscus tea, you’ll know about the great tangy taste of this cooling beverage. But did you also know that hibiscus flower tea is a prized natural remedy?

The petals or calyxes of the hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa) also known as Roselle, Roselia or Red Sorrel, are used to make either an iced or hot tea. Because the hibiscus thrives in semi-tropical to tropical climates, you’ll find dried hibiscus flowers in several African countries, throughout Central and South America, in Asia, the Middle East, and even in southern European countries, such as Italy. From bustling cantinas in Mexico to crowded street stalls in Egypt, hibiscus tea is a favorite.

Dried Hibiscus Flowers

Not only is hibiscus tea beautiful and tasty, but it has many known health benefits. You’ll often find hibiscus as an ingredient in herbal teas, due to its high level of antioxidant anthocyanins (the natural polyphenol that also makes the lovely color) and for its signature tangy flavor. Hibiscus is useful for health in so many ways.

Organic hibiscus tea can be purchased in regular tea bags, like this box from Gaia Herbs ✓ or, if you love hibiscus tea and want to take it over time for health, you can also buy it loose, like this 1 pound bag from Frontier Co-op ✓. The dried hibiscus flowers will last a long time, so you can safely buy them in bulk and save some money! Just be sure to buy organic dried hibiscus flowers so you don’t get nasty pesticide residue along with your healthful tea!

Here are just a few reasons to drink hibiscus tea:

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

1. High in Vitamin C

Hibiscus flowers are high in Vitamin C and are useful in fighting coughs and strengthening the immune system.

2. Heart Healthy

Hibiscus is high in bioflavonoids, natural plant chemicals that are a whloesome remedy for hypertension, with no side effects! Hibiscus reduces blood pressure and also helps to regulate blood cholesterol levels.

Note: If you have low blood pressure, consult your physician before adding hibiscus to your diet as you may not need your blood pressure lowered more!

3. High in Iron and Other Minerals

One of the great benefits of hibiscus is that it is quite mineral rich, including iron, calcium, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and more. Hibiscus is a great natural remedy for anemia, and can be taken as a tea, daily, to increase vigor and stamina.

4. Helps Memory and Brain Health

Flavonoids particular to hibiscus are neuro-protective and can help improve memory. They may be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus Tea

5. Balances Hormones in Women

Hibiscus, with its balancing and cooling properties, is an effective treatment for reducing menopausal hot flashes. It’s also good for soothing menstrual cramps

6. Anti-Inflammatory, Reduces Fever

Drinking hibiscus flower tea also helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu, while stimulating immunity. With its cooling effects, hibiscus tea is excellent for reducing fevers and reducing body heat in summer, as well.

Note: Avoid hibiscus if experiencing severe chills.

7. Calming and Anti-Depressive

Another great result of drinking hibiscus tea is that it has calming effects and can relieve feelings of depression (especially during women’s monthly cycle) and in general, has a “brightening” effect on mood levels.

8. Digestive Aid

Hibiscus tea is beneficial for digestion, helps to relieve constipation, and improves urinary tract health.

9. Improves Hair and Scalp Health

The flavonoids, vitamins and minerals in hibiscus tea help to improve hair growth from the inside out, so drinking hibiscus tea is beneficial. However, to really improve hair quality, you can also make a paste of dried hibiscus flower powder, and apply that to the scalp. Leave on for at least ½ hour and rinse out.

With repeated use, and also with use of hair oil made from ground hibiscus leaves and hibiscus flower powder, many find that their gray hair is reduced and their hair returns back to its normal color. This will take time, however and is not an overnight process.

Hibiscus Frappé

How To Make Hibiscus Tea and Other Options

Hibiscus is very tart, almost to the point of tasting quite sour! So, it is usually sweetened to taste.

1. Iced Tea – steep hibiscus flowers in hot water and sugar; you can add a few squeezes of lime or lemon juice, refrigerate and drink cold.

Optional variations:

For Flor de Jamaica, the favorite beverage of Mexico:

Boil water with sugar, chopped fresh ginger slices and cinnamon sticks; then steep hibiscus flowers in the mixture. Strain and chill, then drink over ice.

For an Iced Hibiscus Frappé – Blend sweetened hibiscus tea, a few squeezes of lemon and ice cubes. Drink immediately.

2. Hot Tea – Steep dried hibiscus flowers in hot water, strain, sweeten and drink warm

3. Syrup – You can make a simple syrup of sugar and hibiscus flowers, with addition of lemon juice. Strain and keep on hand to mix with other juices, pour it over ice cream or yogurt, blend into chia pudding – there are so many tasty uses for hibiscus syrup!

4. Hibiscus powder – Add dried hibiscus powder to drinks, smoothies, yogurt, chia pudding etc.

Attributions: Featured image and image of dried hibiscus flowers by “azerbaijan_stockers” courtesy of Freepik.

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