What better way of rejuvenating your mind and body than by having a refreshing cup of tea that’s loaded with health benefits. Every tea has its special flavor and compounds that make it special. Hibiscus tea is one of the most demanded herbal teas in the world.
And why not?
The tea is not just special in its flavor and appearance but promises a huge range of health benefits too.
There are various delish recipes to create that special cuppa. The good news is, all recipes are easy, and the article is going to guide you on the procedures based on your preference for hot or iced hibiscus tea.
The article also highlights hibiscus tea benefits for overall health.
What Is Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus tea is a type of herbal tea that is prepared from the green part below the petals of the hibiscus plant. Scientifically known as Hibiscus sabdariffa, Hibiscus flower tea is a popular drink and medicinal beverage around the globe and is recognized for its significant positive health impacts.
The dried flowers of the Hibiscus sabdariffa are the main ingredients that go into the tea. Hibiscus gives a deep red or ruby color to the tea and has a partially sweet-sour and fruity taste. The tea’s flavor is close to that of the cranberries.
Most tea drinkers like to consider the question “does hibiscus tea have caffeine?” before planning to consume it on a regular basis. The good news is that hibiscus flower tea is absolutely free of caffeine.
Being low in calories, this caffeine-free beverage is a favorite with health enthusiasts and tea drinker communities in the world.
Roselle is a name given to the hibiscus flowers and the tea is hence also available under the names of Roselle Tea. You can consume this delish beverage in both hot and cold versions. Various hibiscus flower benefits are summarised in the section below.
Top 12 Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
So what is hibiscus tea good for?
Organic hibiscus tea is loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C which makes it a good choice for health reasons. Additionally, a significant percentage of hibiscus is made out of organic acids like malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, which are the key reasons for its medicinal properties.
Following is a list of top 10 health benefits of hibiscus flower tea:
1. Antioxidants for Immunity
Antioxidants are known to fight the damage-causing free radicals within the human body. Various animal studies have reportedly proven that Hibiscus drink is packed with strong antioxidants that help in fighting diseases by boosting immunity.
Regular consumption of hibiscus extracts found in various parts of the plant including the leaves and flowers increases the production of antioxidant enzymes
Additionally, extracts taken out of hibiscus leaf are shown to contain significant quantities of Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid). Vitamin C helps in maintaining healthy immune system.
2. Lower’s Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular health issues have been on a rise in the past few decades. High blood pressure is the leading cause of various heart-related issues. High blood pressure is known to exert pressure on the heart and weaken its muscles.
While there are various traditional medicinal options to treat high blood pressure, the need to look into natural remedies has always been there.
One of the most talked about hibiscus uses is to lower blood pressure. Various pieces of scientific research prove that regular consumption of hibiscus help in lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Natural remedies like hibiscus tea are a safe option for health issues like high BP. However, the compounds in the tea are known to interact with hydrochlorothiazide (diuretic present in blood pressure medications). It is hence suggested to discuss your plans to include hibiscus tea in your diet with your healthcare provider if you’re on blood pressure medications.
3. Promotes Weight loss
Bodyweight above the ideal category is one of the main reasons for triggering various metabolic and health disorders like type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, etc. Keeping the BMI within the normal range is suggested by all health experts. While there is no alternative to healthy eating and regular exercise, various natural remedies help boost the process of weight loss.
Organic hibiscus tea is also sometimes referred to as the best weight loss tea or diet tea.
Regular consumption of hibiscus tea is known to enhance weight loss and provide protection against obesity. This amazing fat burning tea attacks body fats and help in increasing the metabolic rate which helps in reducing body weight and body mass index (BMI). Hibiscus is one of the best tea for weight loss.
4. Prevents Cancer
Hibiscus extracts have been tested to contain high quantities of polyphenols and protocatechuic acid. These compounds contain strong anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor properties. Regular consumption of hibiscus tea can hence have impressive effects on reducing the invasions and growth of cancer cells in the body.
Certain pieces of scientific research point out the effectiveness of hibiscus leaf extracts in the prevention of spreading of prostate cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and mouth cancer.
Hibiscus benefits include of induction apoptosis of the cancer cells is under more research.
5. Fights Bacteria
Bacterial infections like UTI (urinary tract infections), skin and scalp infections, RTI (respiratory tract infections like bronchitis, pneumonia), stomach infections, etc are very common.
While various medicinal treatments are commonly taken up by patients suffering from bacterial infections, natural remedies that have antibacterial properties are a great way to keep these infections at bay.
Hibiscus extracts have shown to inhibit bacterial activities (like that of E.coli) which cause various stomach infections. Similarly, studies have proven the efficacy of hibiscus tea extracts in fighting some other strains of infection-causing bacteria.
6. Lowers Cholesterol
In addition to obesity being a key contributor to cardiovascular diseases, high levels of blood cholesterol is another important risk factor that needs to be considered. Various conditions like Type 2 diabetes, unhealthy eating, hypothyroidism can lead to high cholesterol levels in the blood.
High cholesterol in the blood tends to get stuck around the arterial walls which creates a restriction in the blood flow, thereby stressing the heart muscles.
Research shows that hibiscus tea reduces LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and increases HDL (Good Cholesterol). Additionally, hibiscus is also known to act by reducing triglyceride levels which are usually associated with heart attacks.
Hibiscus has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties which help in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.
7. Protects Liver
Liver is one of the most important internal organs. It organizes multiple functions like secretion of bile, production of other important proteins and working on fat metabolism. Good liver health is hence essential for overall well being.
Hibiscus extracts are known to reduce the harmful liver fat (fatty liver condition) which is one of the leading reasons for liver failure. Additionally, the strong antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea help neutralize the free radicals and work effectively on the liver cells.
Hibiscus extracts have been observed to work on the accumulated fats around the liver to help is work efficiently.
8. Reduces Inflammation
Hibiscus tea has been traditionally used for treatment against fever, rashes, throat issues, etc due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
9. Works as an Antidepressant
As mentioned earlier, hibiscus tea is loaded with vitamins, minerals, flavonoids which together work to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Hibiscus tea hence works as an antidepressant and helps provide calming effects to the nervous system.
10. Reduces Menstrual Pain
Hibiscus tea has compounds that help restore hormonal balance in women during the menstrual as well as menopausal phases. Consumption of hot hibiscus tea is known to reduce the menstrual symptoms like pain, cramps, mood swings, and depression.
11. Improves Digestion
Hibiscus tea has strong diuretic properties and is used as a natural remedy against constipation. Additionally, the beverage has been found useful for regularising urination and improving overall gastrointestinal health.
12. Keeps the Body Hydrated
The importance of staying hydrated has been stressed by health experts around the globe. Hibiscus tea can be a healthy alternative to drinking plain water. Work out enthusiasts often use it as a sports drink in its iced form.
How to Make Hibiscus Tea
Making your own cup of hibiscus tea is easy. While nothing works as good as fresh leaves and flowers, hibiscus tea recipes can also be made out by using dried flowers which are available online.
Read on for some handy tips for brewing a refreshing cup:
Brewing Hot Tea
Hibiscus tea can be prepared by either using dried tea leaves or loose petals of dried hibiscus flowers. You can buy the latter from your local store or online store. If you have hibiscus flowers in your garden, you can also use them.
Here are some guidelines on how to prepare hibiscus tea:
Step 1: Harvest and Dry Hibiscus Flowers
This step is not important if you already have pre-dried hibiscus flowers. However, if you are using fresh flowers from your garden, you will have to harvest and dry them before using them to brew your tea.
To make your work easier, harvest a reasonable amount of hibiscus flowers, dry them, and preserve it in an airtight container to avoid going through the process every time. Every pot of tea will require 8-10 petals.
Wait until the flowers are in full bloom to harvest. Remove the bulb-like part of the plant between the stem and the flower (calyx). To avoid any health issues, only harvest flowers that are free from pesticides – the latter could also alter the taste of the tea.
Remove the stamen of the flower – this is the stem-like filaments that have yellow pods that make the flower unique. Soak the flowers in clean water to remove dust from them.
Put the flowers on a clean rack and place them in direct sunlight. The time taken to dry the leaves could be anywhere between three or four days. If you live in a very cool area, this may take forever. Instead of relying on the sun use a dehydrator in the house. You may use the method during winter too. Wait until the sepals and petals begin to crumble to take tea.
Step 2: Prepare Water
Boil water in a sauce and pour it in a teapot and add at least two teaspoons of the flowers. If you love your tea strong, add a few extra spoons of the dried flowers.
Step 3: Steep
How long you steep the tea depends on how strong you love it. If you prefer a mild flavor, allow the tea to steep for two minutes and taste it after every 30 seconds to get the desired taste. For a stronger profile, allow the hibiscus tea to steep for 5 minutes and taste in intervals of 30 seconds until you reach the desired flavor.
Step 4: Strain and Enjoy
If your teapot does not have an in-built filter, place a mesh strainer on your cup and pour the tea in your cup. You can drink the tea plain or add honey or syrup to sweeten it. Garnish it with a slice of lime and enjoy your tea.
Hibiscus Iced Tea
Hibiscus tea isn’t just for cold wintery days. You can enjoy it ice cold on those hot sunny afternoons. Preparing a glass of iced tea is the same as that of hot tea, but it takes more time.
Step 1: Add Hibiscus Flowers
If you are harvesting hibiscus flowers from your garden, use the procedure explained above. Put water in a pitcher and add the flowers. For every four cups of water, use half a cup of dried flowers.
Step 2: Refrigerate and Steep
Coldwater takes longer to suck the flavor from the flowers compared to hot water. Cover the pitcher and put it in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. Covering the pitcher prevents any unwanted products from entering the tea and interfering with the flavor.
Step 3: Strain, Sweeten and Serve
Add some ice cubes in a glass and pour your strained tea. Coldwater does not dissolve honey and sugar well, so instead go for a ¼ cup of syrup if you have to sweeten your tea.
Garnish it with a slice of lemon and serve your tea.
What Else is Hibiscus Tea Good For?
You can prepare your hair oil using hibiscus flowers. Grind the flowers and add the paste to coconut oil. After 48 hours of infusion, simmer for five minutes to low heat and store your oil in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can use brewed tea to shampoo your hair.
The amazing Hibiscus plant is packed with the goodness of nature. Including hibiscus tea in your daily routine helps create better health conditions like low blood pressure, good skin, improved cardiovascular health, better digestion, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Add to that its unique flavor and delish aroma, the tea is a must-have in your diet routine. Being absolutely caffeine-free makes it a wonderful alternative to your regular tea and coffee. A cup of hibiscus tea before bed is known to do wonders to your sleep.
Consider the aforementioned hibiscus health benefits, its flavor, and aroma and there’ll be absolutely no reason as to why you wouldn’t want to brew a cup of hibiscus tea and begin enjoying the benefits.