Fun fact: ancient healers and physicians associated red foods with the heart. There’s actually some truth to that, as the red-orange pigment that’s present in foods like tomatoes and peppers, and the red-purple pigment in cranberries and raspberries, are all nourishing to the heart, and help strengthen the blood vessels. Hibiscus flowers make a dark red tea that has a pleasantly tart flavor, and some amazing health benefits!
Hibiscus can support healthy blood pressure
Scientific research has shown hibiscus to be effective at lowering blood pressure in individuals with mild to moderate hypertension. For people who want to manage their blood pressure naturally, include hibiscus into your life. It is also shown to be helpful for diabetics with high blood pressure. (Note that if you’re currently under the care of a physician for hypertension, make sure to consult with your practitioner before making any changes.)
Hibiscus promotes healthy cholesterol levels
In more scientific studies, hibiscus demonstrated an ability to help lower what’s considered to be “bad cholesterol” but leaving “good cholesterol” alone.
It’s high in vitamin C
Hibiscus’s high vitamin C content makes this a healthy tea any time of year, but especially during cold and flu season.
Hibiscus helps keep you cool on hot days
Some foods, like cinnamon, ginger, and other spices, help to warm you up. Others keep you cool! Hibiscus, along with raspberries, strawberries, and rose, all help your body feel cooler and more refreshed during hot weather.
It keeps things flowing
Hibiscus is a natural diuretic, so it keeps fluids moving in your body, and can help relieve water retention. It might be a perfect tea to drink during PMS, or if you’re doing a cleanse.
Hibiscus is used in India, Central America and the Caribbean used to stimulate hair growth
Typically, hibiscus is made into a preparation that you apply to your scalp. Here is an article that has some tips on using hibiscus for growing gorgeous hair.
It’s reputed to be good for muscle and menstrual cramps
Try a cup of hot hibiscus tea on achy, crampy days to help relieve pain. Combine equal amounts of raspberry leaf and hibiscus and drink a cup or two on the days leading up to your menstrual cycle to help prevent cramps before they start.
Hibiscus is loaded with antioxidants
It’s the dark red color of hibiscus that contains potent antioxidants. The type of pigment that makes hibiscus so red is called an anthocyanin pigment, an amazing type of compound that does three incredible things: it’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer.
A great way to make hibiscus tea is to use the cold brew method, which uses cold or room temperature water rather than hot water. This brewing method actually preserves more vitamins and antioxidants than traditionally brewed tea. The proportions are easy to remember: simply use one teaspoon of leaves for every cup of cold water. Steep the hibiscus either on the countertop (for 40 minutes) or in the refrigerator (several hours or overnight.) Strain out the leaves and enjoy!
Do YOU love hibiscus tea? Let us know what you think!