Hibiscus tea has a great therapeutic value due to its cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cholesterol-lowering, and metabolism-stimulating properties. It also has a gentle laxative and mild antitussive action.
Healing Properties Of Hibiscus Tea
1. Eastern View
Hibiscus flowers are rich in iron, phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. They also contain vitamin C and carotene in small amounts. It is good for all pitta disorders as the astringency of hibiscus provides cooling relief from the summer heat. Hibiscus cools the liver and blood by purging hot bile from the gall bladder. Thanks to high levels of antioxidants, hibiscus reduces low-grade systemic inflammation, common if the lymphatic system is congested. Together, these cooling qualities help the liver complete a natural spring detox cycle. In late spring/early summer, our bodies naturally crave for foods and berries with the deep red hue of hibiscus.
2. Western View
A report from the AHA (American Heart Association) that was published in November of 2008 states that consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. It also states that 1/3 of adults in the United States suffers from high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension. A study conducted by Odigie IP suggests that it has anti-hypertensive and cardio-protective properties that can be beneficial to people suffering from hypertension and those at high risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, hibiscus tea can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 points, according to a research done at Tufts University in Boston. For this drastic improvement to occur, you need to consume three cups every day for a few weeks. Also, hibiscus tea has diuretic properties that increase urination, simultaneously lowering blood pressure.
Hibiscus tea also has impressive antioxidant properties. It helps to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, thereby helping to protect against heart diseases and protecting blood vessels from damage. The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of hibiscus tea can be beneficial for those who suffer from blood sugar disorders like diabetes. A research study conducted on patients with type-II diabetes suggests that consumption of hibiscus tea lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which helps to manage this unpredictable disease.
Research studies have also suggested that the antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea may also help in treating liver disease. Antioxidants help to protect your body from diseases because they neutralize the free radicals present in body tissues and cells.
Hibiscus tea contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College – in Taichung, Taiwan suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C. It is an essential nutrient required by your body to boost and stimulate the activity of your immune system. Hibiscus tea is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it prevents you from catching a cold. Hibiscus tea is also used to treat discomfort caused by fever, due to its cooling effect.
Recipe For Hibiscus Tea
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) dried hibiscus flowers
- Boiling water
- Honey, sugar, or your preferred sweetener (to taste)
- Tea bag (optional)
- Cinnamon stick (optional)
- Mint leaves (optional)
- Lime wedges (optional)
1. Set a pot of water on the stove to boil. While you’re waiting for it to heat up, you can ready your other ingredients and clean out the teapot you’ll use.
2. Put the dried hibiscus flowers into an empty teapot. The recipe calls for about 2 teaspoons (10 ml), but you can use more or less as needed for a stronger or weaker flavor.
3. Hibiscus does not contain caffeine, so adding a lot won’t give you a sudden “jolt” of energy. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Fill the teapot to the brim (or simply add as much as you plan to drink).
4. Use oven mitts and/or a tea cozy to protect yourself from burns here. Pour the water slowly and steadily to avoid splashing. Leave the tea to steep for five minutes. This is the easy part — all you need to do is wait. About five minutes should be long enough for the flowers to give the water a somewhat tart taste and a pleasant red color. Let the tea steep longer for a stronger flavor. Let it steep for less time if you want a weaker flavor.
5. Strain the tea as you pour it. Now, you just need to get the flowers out. If your teapot does not have a built-in filter or mesh, pour the tea into your cup through a fine metal strainer. In a pinch, you can also use a paper coffee filter.
6. Sweeten the tea as desired. Your tea is now ready to enjoy. If you like, you can add as much of your preferred sweetener as you want (or none at all). The smooth, sweet taste of honey goes especially well with the tartness of hibiscus.
7. Add cinnamon, mint, or lime wedge as garnish. If you want to give your tea a little “something extra,” try one of these garnishes (or all three). The flavor and aroma of these substances complement hibiscus tea for three different delicious combinations.
If you’re using mint, lay the leaves face-up in the palm of your hand and give them a slap by clapping your hands together. This is a technique used by bartenders in drinks like mojitos to release the flavor and aroma of the mint.