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Hibiscus Tea – Healthy Remedies


Added/Modified on December 9, 2013

Also Known As: Roselle, hibiscus sabdariffa, sorrel, red sorrel.

The Hibiscus plant grows naturally in tropical regions that are warm and temperate. With over two hundred different species of hibiscus, the hibiscus sabdariffa is generally the type used to make Hibiscus Tea.

The plant has many different names dependant on the region. For instance in Jamaica the Hibiscus is known as Sorrel, or Red Sorrel in the Caribbean where at Christmas time it is a traditional drink.

Producing tiny pink to red flowers, the hibiscus plant sheds the flowers leaving seed pods behind. These pods become covered by fleshy red calyxes that are often called flowers.

The calyxes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants and are the part of the plant used to make Hibiscus Tea.

The tea has a cranberry-like flavor and its tartness is often offset by the use of sugar to sweeten the hot or cold beverage.

What is Hibiscus Tea? Hibiscus tea is the infusion made from the calyces or sepals of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. These calyces are often called flowers, and labeled on the product as such.

The tea is often made from fresh, dried, cut, or powdered “flowers.” There are tea bags available, hibiscus is often mixed with other herbs.

Hibiscus Tea Preparation:

Fresh Tea:

To make the tea from fresh calyces or “flowers” obtained from health food markets, steep a handful in a cup of very hot water for 5 minutes. Sweeten to taste.

Iced Tea from Dried Hibiscus: ◦1 Ounce Dried Hibiscus “Flower”

◦12 ounces of fresh boiled water

Pour water over dried hibiscus and steep for 10-15 minutes, then add sugar, 1/2 cup more or less to taste. Dilute this mixture with 3 cups of cold water and serve over ice.

Double or triple this recipe as required. It tastes better if served immediately.

Benefits of Hibiscus Tea:

Cold Hibiscus tea was used by the Pharaohs of Egypt for its flavor, medicinal properties, and to refresh themselves in the desert heat. The drink was called Karkade.

High in electrolytes, Hibiscus Tea is still the perfect drink to replenish the body in the heat of the day, or after a work out.

The electrolytes positively affect the body’s muscles, and the amount of water and blood acid levels in the body.

Hibiscus tea is also high in vitamin C and is used as an effective treatment for the flu, coughs, and cold. It is believed to lower blood pressure, and is used in weight control because it inhibits the enzymes that break down complex sugars and starches in the body.

This slows down the absorption of carbohydrates that can lead to obesity. It is also believed to lower bad cholesterol. It is used in other parts of the world as a treatment for cancer.

One research study on Hibiscus tea found, “People with high blood pressure (hypertension) can lower their blood pressure by drinking a tea made from a standardized extract of hibiscus flower every day.”

Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea:

In some, Hibiscus tea can produce a hallucinogenic effect or cause a sensation similar to intoxication. The first time you consume hibiscus tea you should not drive or do something that becoming sleepy or intoxicated would put you in a dangerous situation.

If you have low estrogen, are on hormone replacement therapy, or are using birth control pills, then you should not drink hibiscus tea as there have been some studies that indicate Hibiscus rosa-sinensis may contain estrogen or affect estrogen in some way.

It you are taking anti-cancer drugs you should not use hibiscus tea as it may have an additive effect on the treatment.

This tea may also affect the way acetaminophen and other anti-inflammatory drugs are processed by the body. To prevent interaction, avoid consumption of Hibiscus tea within two hours of taking an anti-inflammatory and vice versa.

People with low blood pressure should not drink hibiscus tea.

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