(Hibiscus sabdariffa) Hibiscus is a plant that is found throughout the world in warm, tropical climates. It is both an annual and a perennial plant. Used primarily in herbal tea recipes, hibiscus flowers are also used to make jams, syrups and cocktails. Hibiscus, or Roselle as it is also known, has many medicinal uses, together with the most appealing flavor as an herbal tea. It has a well-balanced, tart and astringent flavor with a deep red color in the cup.
While Hibiscus is used mostly for its color and flavor, it does have reported uses as a medicinal herb. It is a natural diuretic, so it is beneficial for dieters and for people who suffer from kidney problems. It is used to relieve coughs and respiratory problems, by either a tea infusion of the flowers, in conjunction with other herbs in a cough syrup, or a strong decoction is made and used in steam inhalation treatments. It is high in Vitamin C and, with its great color and taste, hibiscus is a perfect addition to herbal formulas for children. Studies have also been conducted showing that hibiscus can be used to help reduce LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Brew 1 tsp of herb in 1 cup of water at 212º - steep for 5 minutes.
Hibiscus Fruit Tea
2 quarts water
4 Tbsp hibiscus flowers
2 Tbsp peppermint leaves
2 Tbsp lemongrass
4 cups fresh fruit (any combination: melon, oranges, papaya, mango, berries…) cut into bite sized pieces
Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and add the hibiscus flowers, mint leaves and lemongrass. Steep 20 minutes. Put the fruit into a 2 quart jar. Place a large mesh strainer over the top of the jar and pour the herbal tea liquid over the fruit (straining out the herbs). Refrigerate overnight.
Jamaica Hibiscus Tea
8 cups boiling water
2 cups dried hibiscus blossoms
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Preparation: Pour boiling water over hibiscus flowers, ginger and sugar in a large pot. Stir and cover and steep for 1 hour. Strain out the herbs and add the lime juice. Chill and serve over ice.
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Please Note: The information given here has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.