WHAT IS HIBISCUS HERBAL TEA?
Hibiscus is a flower that is used to make herbal tea. Hibiscus has a tart flavour with notes of raspberries and cranberries and is bright red in colour. It is perfect served hot, iced, in cocktails or sparkling wine and can be used as a natural pink or red food dye.
Hibiscus is referred to as a herbal tea. Herbal teas are made up of a variation of plants, herbs and spices. Hibiscus can’t be classified as a tea because it does not contain camellia sinensis, the plant that is the basis of all tea.
This herbal tea is made by steeping dried hibiscus flowers and goes by many different names around the globe, for example, in Australia we call this flower rosella.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HIBISCUS
In Chinese culture, hibiscus flowers are believed to lower blood pressure, fight bacteria, aid weight loss, fight free radicals and promote liver health.
In Africa, hibiscus herbal tea is used to soothe sore throats, decrease body temperature and treat heart disease.
The supposed chemical that attributes to all of the health benefits of hibiscus is called anthocyanin, the same chemical found in red berries.
1. Lower Cholesterol: Hibiscus tea is rich in powerful antioxidants and may, therefore, help prevent damage and disease caused by the build-up of free radicals. It may reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides in those with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. People who drank hibiscus tea experienced an increase in “good cholesterol” (high-density lipoproteins) and a decrease in “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoproteins).
2. Lower blood pressure: One of the most impressive and well-known benefits of hibiscus tea is that it may lower blood pressure. Several studies have found that hibiscus tea may lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
3. May help prevents cancer: Hibiscus is high in polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer properties.
4. Boost liver health: studies have shown that hibiscus may promote liver health and help keep it working efficiently.
5. Aid digestion: Hibiscus tea has been shown to work as a natural diuretic, pulling salt out of the body which is a mechanism by which blood pressure is reduced. By pulling salt, it will help prevent constipation.
Avoid: Do not use it if you already have low blood pressure. Do not use it 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
HIBISCUS TEA NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Hibiscus herbal tea has negligible calories, is high in antioxidants and contains no caffeine. Adding sugar or honey to the herbal tea will add calories and associated carbohydrates to it.
WHAT DOES HIBISCUS TEA TASTE LIKE?
Hibiscus has a tart, cranberry and raspberry flavour. It has a combination of fruity, sweet, sour and bitter notes, which is why it is so commonly likened to the flavour of cranberries. People commonly make this tea iced with fruits or add honey to sweeten it.
HOW TO BREW HIBISCUS TEA
Water temperature: 90-100 degrees
Amount: 1-2 flowers per 250 mL water
Steeping time: 3-4 minutes
Approx. refills: 2-4 times
WHAT CAN I DO WITH HIBISCUS TEA?
The tart flavour of hibiscus herbal tea makes it perfect when blended with herbs, fruits and alcohol. Popular ways to use hibiscus herbal tea are to:
• Add it to sparkling wine. It will complement the sparkling wine beautifully, make it taste sweeter and turn it pink.
• Drink iced with honey.
• Blend with frozen fruit and mint. This makes for a refreshing summer beverage.
• Make a hibiscus Cosmopolitan.
• Hibiscus Sangria, the perfect Summer beverage
HIBISCUS TEA FOOD PAIRINGS
Hibiscus is perfectly paired with cinnamon dishes, ginger dishes, fresh fruit, fruit cake and christmas puddings.
Hibiscus herbal tea is used as a drink to welcome guests in Africa, used as the base in a Jamaican Christmas drink and made cold and heavily sweetened in Thailand.