Hibiscus Sabdariffa is a sub tropical and tropical plant. It is a bushy plant which gives large size flowers of crimson, magenta and reddish hue colours. Tea is made from the dried flowers or even fresh flowers. The flowers are used in making other beverages also. Various parts of the plant are used for making jam, sauce, spices and soup. It is also used as a flavouring agent. The flowers are used for making medicines also. Since ages the flowers of the plant are used in worshipping gods in India. The Hibiscus plant and its flowers are used in Ayurvedic Medicine which is a system of ancient Indian medicine. Hibiscus has been used for treating ailments like heart & nervous system problems, constipation, stomach disorder, inflammation, weight management and respiratory tract issues. It is also used as a diuretic and a laxative.
Hibiscus Tea Benefits
Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea which is made from dried calyces of hibiscus flower. The dried magenta or crimson coloured hibiscus flowers are steeped in boiled water. The tea is has a tart flavour and is very appealing, refreshing and revitalizing. Following are health benefits of hibiscus tea: –
Hibiscus Tea for Blood Pressure
If you are a pre hypertensive or mildly hypertensive adult, drink this tea to lower your blood pressure. It has cardio protective properties which are beneficial for people suffering from hypertension also. As it has anti inflammatory properties it is known to reduce blood pressure by 10 points. Drinking three cups of hibiscus tea will show positive results in few weeks.
Diuretic Properties of Hibiscus
The tea also increases urination because it has diuretic properties. This lowers blood pressure.
Hibiscus Lowers Cholesterol
The flower is loaded with antioxidants which fight and eliminate free radicals in the body. Free radicals are destructive molecules that can damage our body cells. This lowers the LDL level (bad cholesterol) in the body. So it is immensely beneficial in protecting us from heart ailments. It also keeps the arteries healthy and protects from hardening of arteries.
Hibiscus for Diabetes
It has hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties. Therefore it is beneficial for those who have diabetes or any other type of blood sugar problem. Those who have Type II diabetes can drink hibiscus tea to lower triglycerides and LDL. This helps in managing the diabetes.
Hibiscus Tea for Weight Loss
If you eat food that has starch and sugar (carbohydrates) you are likely to gain weight. Tea of this vibrantly coloured flower can help with weight loss. This tea is brimming with antioxidants. They increase the metabolic rate of the body. Due to this the body burns more calories in a natural way resulting into weight loss. In addition to weight management the free radicals improve immune system of the body which protects us from various deceases. Hibiscus also has an enzyme inhibitor called phaseolamin. This enzyme breaks down complex carbohydrates and also reduces carb absorption in our body. This helps in weight loss.
Hibiscus Protects Liver
The antioxidants in the tea help in keeping liver healthy and re also effective in treating liver deceases. However medical guidance is required. So consult your doctor.
Hibiscus has Anti Inflammatory Properties
The flowers contain ascorbic acids, also known as Vitamin C. So it boosts immune system of the body. It also has anti bacterial and antibiotic properties due to which hibiscus tea can help you from catching cough and cold.
Hibiscus for Menstrual Pain
Drinking of hibiscus tea is beneficial for women. It provides relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It also reduces tendency to over eat, mood swing and depression during menstruation.
How to Make Hibiscus Tea
Dried Hibiscus Flower – One Cup
Water – Two Quarts
Sugar – One Cup or Less as per taste
Cinnamon Stick – Half Stick (It is optional)
Ginger – Few Slices (Optional)
Lime Juice – Few Drops (Optional)
How to Brew Hibiscus Tea
- Put four cups of water in a saucepan.
- Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger slices to the water.
- Now heat the water till it boils.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add dried hibiscus flowers to hot water. Stir the flowers well.
- Let it sit for 20 minutes or so. Strain it in another vessel and throw the flowers, cinnamon and ginger pieces.
- The tea is ready to drink. You can add ice to make a cool refreshing drink. You can now add some lime juice to give it a punch like flavour.
Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea
There are some side effects that might occur, as given below
- It may cause dizziness and faintness in those who already have low blood pressure (also known as hypotension).
- It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or who are taking hormonal treatment. Consult your doctor if you must drink hibiscus tea under these conditions.
- It may produce hallucinatory effect in some people. So for first timers, please drink this tea in moderation and see its effect on you.
- In some people it may develop allergic reaction like hay fever, sinus and red eye.