Did you know teas can be made out of flowers? It’s true, there’s a wide range of flowers that can make a tea blossom, but one of the top flowers you should have on your radar is hibiscus tea.
Hibiscus tea is a great immunity boosting drink that can help reduce the risk of many chronic health conditions and can ultimately better your daily life.
A Few Facts About Hibiscus Tea
The hibiscus flower that makes tea does not come in one specific shape, color, or size, there’s a variety of them around the world, which is what makes the tea so unique! Hibiscus is also used for decoration and medicinal purposes in addition to tea. The flowers are so powerful they can be used to treat a variety of different conditions.
What Is Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus tea is a tasty herbal tea made from the dried parts of the hibiscus plant such as the leaves and the flower petals. Unlike most teas, this tea can be drunk either hot or cold. The color of the tea is a dark crimson like red and it has a strong cranberry flavor. Hibiscus tea is made by ensuring the parts of the tea are steeped in boiling water.
Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea
There is a wide range of health benefits of hibiscus tea, which are:
It’s full of nutrients
Hibiscus tea has a few calories in it and most of the time it’s calorie-free. Alongside this, it contains a lot of nutrients like the following: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Niacin, Folic acid.
In addition to this, it’s also believed to have the highest antioxidant content amongst other teas. There’s a lot of rat studies had been conducted that support this which show free radicals that have decreased in rats by up to 92%.
Might help manage your Cholesterol
If you need to significantly decrease your cholesterol level, you might find hibiscus tea working wonders. There’s research that has been conducted looking at 90 people with high cholesterol who sipped twice a day for 15 days. As a result, they have seen their HDL cholesterol increase and the LDL cholesterol (the bad type) decrease.
May lower your blood pressure
One main popular benefit of hibiscus tea is known to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can be incredibly dangerous as over time it can put an extra strain on your heart and cause it to weaken. Plus, it’s more likely if you have high blood pressure, you’ll have a higher risk of heart disease. On the contrary, though, there have been several studies showing that hibiscus tea can help reverse both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
One study, in particular, looked at 65 people who had high blood pressure and split into two groups, one drinking hibiscus tea, the other a placebo. After 6 weeks of consumption, those who drank hibiscus tea had a major decrease in systolic blood pressure, as opposed to the placebo.
Better your immune system
Hibiscus tea is packed with vitamin C which helps give your immune system that extra layer of protection. It’s one of the most important vitamins to help you fight off colds and flu that come when the seasons change. It also helps your body fight off a lot of infections.
Has compounds that may fight cancer
Hibiscus tea is high in polyphenols, which are compounds known to portray powerful anti-cancer properties. Some test-tube studies have shown impaired cell growth, inhibited stomach cancer growth and prostate cancer cells.
It may help weight loss
There have been several studies conducted to suggest that hibiscus tea could be linked to weight loss and protect you from obesity. One study looked at 36 overweight participants and found after consuming hibiscus extract for 36 weeks, that they had reduced body fat and body weight. The same results were also shown in an animal study where mice who consumed hibiscus extract for 60 days, had a reduced body weight.
Origin, Regions of Growing
When it comes to hibiscus tea, there’s a bit of debate about where it comes from, it’s believed it mainly originated from North Africa. In particular, Egypt and Sudan used it for hundreds of years and called it “Karkade”. Egyptians chose to serve the tea cold and its primary purpose in this era was to help pharaohs cool down in the desert.
You can also find this plant mainly grown in tropical climates in the following parts of the world:
- Africa: It’s mainly cultivated and drank across North Africa, especially Nigeria. In West Africa, it’s often paired with mint and ginger.
- Central and South America: Hibiscus tea in central and South America is often blended with fruit and other juices. Moreover, it’s commonly used in cocktails and vodkas.
- Caribbean: It’s especially popular in the Caribbean and in Jamaica, many locals grow it and use it as a Christmas drink.
Types Of Every Kind of Tea
If you’re looking to drink hibiscus herbal tea, there’s quite a few you can choose from, which are:
- Pure leaf hibiscus tea: These are tea leaves picked straight from the hibiscus plant and blended. Most of the time they contain just the plant itself therefore no artificial flavors, tea powders or concentrate.
- Raspberry hibiscus tea: This is a form of hibiscus tea that contains herbal leaves blended with leaves from the raspberry plant. Most of the time these are loose leaf teas or can be tea bags and contains other ingredients like lemongrass, orange peel, licorice root, and more. It can be served either hot or cold.
- Cherry hibiscus tea: This hibiscus tea contains cherries that have been blended directly into the tea. The tea itself is like an infusion of flavors and often contains other blends in the drink also.
- Hibiscus tea bags: Hibiscus tea bags often are an infusion of Hibiscus and not all of the plant itself. Sometimes the concentration of hibiscus is lower due to the other ingredients in the tea. Most of the time though, hibiscus tea bags are caffeine-free.
What To Look for In a Hibiscus Tea
If you’re looking to buy hibiscus tea, there are a few factors you should consider which are:
Most of the time, hibiscus tea is safe to drink for a lot of people. However, you should consult your doctor first if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Similarly, you should also monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes or are taking high blood pressure medications. This drink can cause your blood sugar and pressure levels to decrease if you’re not careful. Plus, some herbs in hibiscus teas can interact with certain medications like chloroquine which is prescribed for malaria.
Best Hibiscus Tea for You
Overall, hibiscus tea is a pretty unique red and tasty cranberry drink. It’s filled with a range of benefits that dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians and Sudanese. There are endless benefits to this drink such as helping you lose weight, lowering blood pressure, working as an anti-inflammatory, can help manage your cholesterol, and much more. Usually, there’s no maximum amount or limit to drinking hibiscus tea, however, if you’re taking any medication, you should plan on consulting a doctor first before doing so.
What is hibiscus tea good for?
There’s a range of benefits reported for drinking hibiscus tea which are helping weight loss, having anti-cancer properties, being anti-inflammatory, managing cholesterol, fighting bacteria, lowering blood pressure, and much more.
How to make hibiscus tea?
Hibiscus tea is really easy to make, all you need to do is add the leaves to the water and boil it in a large pot. When the water begins to boil, switch off the hob and cover the pan. Then, if you wish add additional herbs like lemon, basil, zest and more. Then let it steep for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Where to buy hibiscus tea?
You can easily buy a wide range of varieties of hibiscus tea from your local health shop, supermarkets, retailers, or specialist sellers online. If you plan on buying online, make sure it’s a verified seller and read reviews before buying.
How to dry hibiscus flowers for tea?
If you plan on drying flowers for hibiscus tea, you should place them on a drying rack in a dry spot. Make sure the petals dry completely, do note it can take anything from 3-7 days for them to dry fully all depending on the temperature and humidity. If you don’t live in a hot climate, you can also use a dehydrator indoors to achieve this.
Why is hibiscus tea bad for you?
Hibiscus tea tends to be safe if you drink 2-3 cups a day. However, if you drink a lot of cups of tea regularly, you could experience side effects like an upset stomach, excessive gas, and constipation.
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