The History of Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is a delicious herbal tea free from caffeine; you will also hear of it referred to as Roselle. The tea has been consumed for centuries, it is most popular in tropical countries such as Central America and the Middle East. Hibiscus tea is available in tea bags or as a herb, it can be purchased online or in a health food store.
Hibiscus tea is made from the hibiscus plant, they very large, bright and colorful flowers with powerful healing capabilities. The hibiscus plant belongs to the Malvaceae family. Plants in this family typically have alternate and veined leaves. Hibiscus originates from East Asia, it has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments. There are many different colors of hibiscus and each one of them has its own unique qualities. White hibiscus is extremely popular in India and is used by Ayurveda practitioners.
Hibiscus tea is not the only beverage to use the plant for flavoring, there are many other teas that contain hibiscus. In Mexico, they use hibiscus to make a drink called agua de Jamaica or Jamaican water. It is a very well-loved drink for its color, mild flavor and tanginess, it tastes similar to cranberry juice if sugar is added. In Jamaica, it is used to make jams, and it is also used as a vegetable in several other Caribbean countries. Dried hibiscus is also eaten as a delicacy in Mexico.
Hibiscus has many other uses, in Polynesia, the bark of the hibiscus tree is used to make grass skirts, it is also used to make wigs. There are also different species of hibiscus, one of which is referred to as Kenaf, and it is used to make paper. Southern Indian natives use Hibiscus to care for their hair, they apply red flower extracts to treat thinning hair and dandruff. Hibiscus is also used to make oils that protect the hair.
In the Philippines, the local name for hibiscus is gumamela, the children use it to make bubbles to pass the time. Hawaiian women wear the hibiscus flower, they tuck one behind their ear, and depending on the ear that the flower is tucked behind will let potential suitors know that they are available for marriage. In Hindu worship, the hibiscus flower is used as an offering to the Lord Ganesha and the Goddess Kali.
The Ingredients in Hibiscus Tea
The only ingredient in hibiscus tea is the hibiscus flower which is combined with water to make a tea. However, it is important to mention that there are several vitamins and nutrients present in the hibiscus flower, these include the following:
The Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
There are several benefits associated with hibiscus tea, here are some of them:
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For the Liver
Several studies have discovered that hibiscus assists in preventing liver damage. Additional research has highlighted that after consuming hibiscus, those with liver failure had decreased markers and a higher number of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For The Liver
A study conducted on rats found that hibiscus protects against kidney stones by prohibiting the transformation of oxalate crystals.
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For The Immune System
Hibiscus tea is packed with vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system. Additionally, hibiscus tea also has a high iron content and iron assists the body in maintaining blood cells and keeping the immune system in balance, vitamin C also assists in absorbing iron which also has many health benefits.
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For Digestion
Hibiscus tea is a natural diuretic, this process increases the amount of salt and water removed from the body. When excess salt is removed from the body, it reduces blood pressure. Additionally, hibiscus tea is similar to drinking flavored, caffeine-free and sugar-free water which keeps the body hydrated. When the body is hydrated, it prevents constipation which assists in the digestion process.
- Hibiscus Tea Assists in the Weight Loss Process
Studies have indicated that hibiscus tea reduces abdominal fat, body weight and BMI in obese and overweight people. Hibiscus is also an anti-inflammatory and this limits the production of the stress hormone cortisol which is linked to fat storage. However, experts advise that hibiscus tea should not be used as a substitute for exercise and healthy eating, because unless all three are combined, you will not experience significant weight loss.
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For Bladder Infections
Research suggests that people who drink hibiscus tea have a 36% less chance of developing a urinary tract infection.
- Hibiscus Tea Accelerates Hair Growth
The hibiscus plant contains properties that stimulate hair growth. A study conducted in Pakistan discovered that when the flower was soaked in warm water and then applied to the hair it assisted in improving the health of the scalp.
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For Skin Ailments
Research suggests that hibiscus has the ability to accelerate wound healing faster than prescription topical treatments.
- Hibiscus Tea is Good For Cholesterol Levels
A 2011 study found that after 30 days of drinking hibiscus tea, participants experienced a significant increase in good cholesterol which is also referred to as HDL. Another study also found that hibiscus contributed to the decrease of triglyceride and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
The Potential Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is made from the natural herb hibiscus which means that it is safe for the majority of people to consume. There are no known side effects associated with drinking hibiscus tea; however, there are several warnings and special precautions:
Breast-Feeding and Pregnant Women: When taken as a medicine, there is a chance that it could be unsafe for pregnant or women who are breast-feeding. Side effects are exceptionally rare but may include issues such as shakiness, ears ringing, headache, painful urination, nausea, constipation, gas and stomach pains.
Low Blood Pressure: Blood sugar levels might decrease even further for those suffering from low blood pressure.
Diabetes: There is a chance that hibiscus has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels. If you suffer from diabetes and you want to start drinking hibiscus tea, it is advised that you consult your healthcare provider because you may need to adjust your medications.
Surgery: As previously mentioned, hibiscus may reduce blood sugar levels which makes blood sugar difficult to control after surgery. If you are scheduled to have surgery, stop drinking it a minimum of two weeks beforehand.
How to Make Hibiscus Tea
People love hibiscus tea as either a hot or cold beverage, here are the recipes for both:
Recipe for Hot Hibiscus Tea
- Two teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers
- 3-4 cups of water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A few mint leaves
- 1 wedge of lime
- Sugar, honey or sweetener of your choice
Directions to Make Hot Hibiscus Tea
- Heat the water in a saucepan until it starts to boil.
- In an empty, clean teapot, add the hibiscus.
- Allow the tea to steep for five minutes, you will notice that the water begins to turn into an intense red color.
- If you desire for a stronger or a deeper taste, steep the hibiscus for longer than five minutes.
- Get rid of the hibiscus flowers by straining the contents.
- Add your choice of sweetener.
- Serve with a garnish of a lemon wedge, mint leaves, and cinnamon.
Recipe for Hibiscus Iced Tea
The ingredients for the hibiscus iced tea are the same as the ingredients as the hibiscus hot tea. The only extra utensil you will need is a pitcher.
Directions for the Hibiscus Iced Tea
- Add the water and the hibiscus flower to a pitcher and stir together thoroughly. Cover the pitcher with the lid.
- Leave the mixture in the fridge overnight (approximately 8-12 hours) so that the flavors steep together well.
- Once the color and the flavor have developed, remove the pitcher from the fridge.
- Get rid of the hibiscus flowers by straining the contents of the pitcher into glasses.
- Add a sweetener of your choice.
- Add ice and garnish with mint leaves, lime, and cinnamon.
Hibiscus Tea Interaction
Consuming hibiscus tea prior to taking acetaminophen has the ability to increase the length of time the body takes to expel the medication. In this case, you will not experience the full effects of taking the tablet.
The Dosage of Hibiscus Tea
People who are suffering from high blood pressure should drink three cups of hibiscus tea every day for 2-6 weeks.
Hibiscus tea is a delicious and healthy beverage that is safe for the majority of people to consume. However, people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes and pregnant and breastfeeding women should take additional precautions when consuming tea. Hibiscus has several benefits for the hair, skin, weight loss and general health. To experience the full range of benefits associated with drinking hibiscus tea, consume two to three cups per day.