I call it hibiscus. I recently learned it has many other names around the world including… karkade, red tea, Jamaica sorrel, roselle, and sour tea.
Whatever you call it, it’s a staple in my home, especially now with so many viruses and germs floating around.
Using it as a tea is supposed to have tons of health benefits including fighting a cold, lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, it can even help with weight loss.
That’s why I add it to my tea every morning!
I love the red hibiscus variety! It’s called Hibiscus sabdariffa. Not only is it gorgeous but it’s filled with antioxidant and anticancer properties. That’s why the red flowers of this variety are most commonly used for medical purposes.
So let’s talk more about the benefits!
It contains Vitamin C and iron and as I mentioned, it’s a rich source of antioxidants. But what does that really mean?
Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which attacks your cells and raise your risk for disease.
It also helps reduce oxidative damage, which is known to exacerbate the aging process.
I don’t know about you, but if there’s a chance that one plant can help protect me from disease, strengthen my immune system, lower inflammation, AND reduce wrinkles, I’m sold! Did I say it’s also a delicious drink?
How to use it
One way to seep the benefits of hibiscus is by making hibiscus tea. It’s naturally caffeine-free. I found many articles online with several ways to use the flower for tea. I keep it simple; I drop three whole calyxes (pictured above) into my mug, add boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes. I sweeten it with a little honey or stevia leaves from the garden. Once you’ve taken your calyxes from your tea glass, they are still useable for all sorts of things including relish.
Throughout the season, I dry the calyxes and leaves so I can have fresh tea all year long. Remember the whole plant is edible! So toss the leaves in your smoothies and salad. You can even sauté the leaves like spinach, although fresh will give you more benefits.
If you have a yummy recipe, I’d love to try it! Send us photos and recipes to our email and I’ll post them on our social media pages.
If you don’t have the honor of planting a hibiscus plant right now, you can still reap the benefits.
You’ll find supplements and teas at grocery stores and online.
- Do keep in mind; since hibiscus is supposed to lower your blood pressure and affect blood sugar levels, some suggest you stop using it at least two weeks before scheduled surgery. The idea is that since it affects your blood sugar, it could make it difficult to control during surgery.