Latin Name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Parts Used: Flowers
Contra Indications: none known
Hibiscus is a beautiful red flower native to Egypt and North Africa. There are over 200 varieties of this plant, most of them are of the “garden” variety and the only species used for tea is the Hibiscus sabdariffa.
Hibiscus has long been valued by Egyptians for its refreshingly tart taste, its cooling effects and is said to have aphrodisiac powers. It is rich in Vitamin A, C and beta-carotene, therefore making it a good antioxidant.
Medicinally, hibiscus is used in form of tea to treat loss of appetite, to ease symptoms of colds, flus and couhgs. Externally used it can help reduce bruises and swelling.
Lately, hibiscus has gotten much attention because clinical research studies showed that drinking hibiscus tea can lower high blood pressure and reduce high cholesterol levels, thereby helping to maintain overall cardiovascular health.
But aside from its benefits to your health, hibiscus makes a wonderful thirst-quenching iced tea and the ruby red color provides a dramatic effect to many herbal blends and lemonades.
For an extra cooling summer iced tea blend, mix equal parts of hibiscus and mint (either spearmint or peppermint). Pour boiling water over the leaves, steep for 5-8 minutes and pour over ice – Delicious!