Hibiscus flower tea is an herbal tea or 'tisane' enjoyed hot or chilled by people in many countries around the world. Not only is this tea a delightful and effective thirst quencher (especially the iced version!), but it also has a rich, varied history in traditional medicine.
To make hibiscus tea, the dried magenta- or crimson-colored calyces of the lovely Hibiscus sabdariffa flower are steeped in boiled water. (Learn more about calyces and how healthful they are below.)
This tea is prepared in a variety of ways around the world - it may be served hot or iced; mixed with fruit, fruit juices, or alcohol (such as rum, wine, or beer); or enhanced with herbs or spices (such as mint, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, or cloves). Because hibiscus tea has a tart flavor, it is typically sweetened before serving.
Even though, for many of us, the beautiful hibiscus flower brings to mind visions of the Hawaiian Islands, the hibiscus plant is actually native to Africa.
A member of the mallow family, hibiscus thrives in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and it is now also cultivated in Jamaica, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Sudan, Senegal, Tanzania, Mali, and Egypt.
You may know the vibrantly colored hibiscus flower tea by another name, depending on where you live. Hibiscus tea is also known as 'sour tea,' 'roselle' or 'rosella,' 'sorrel' or 'red sorrel,' 'flor de Jamaica' or simply 'Jamaica,' 'karkade,' or 'Sudan tea.'
Not only is hibiscus tea a calming, delicious, versatile beverage, but it has a reputation as a beneficial healing tea, as well.
In various parts of the world, hibiscus flower tea is well-known for reducing high blood pressure, lowering body temperature, helping with weight management, enhancing liver health, encouraging regularity, preventing insomnia, soothing skin irritations, for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and as a diuretic.
Current scientific research about the health benefits of hibiscus tea has focused primarily on this tea's ability to manage high blood pressure and provide support for those with type 2 diabetes. If you'd like to learn more about the many hibiscus tea benefits, click here.
Hibiscus flower tea is appealing, fragrant, revitalizing, and thirst quenching - and it provides many health and wellness benefits, too. Hibiscus is one of the most popular ingredients in tea blends and, if you haven't tried hibiscus tea yet, you'll have no problem at all finding a wonderful hibiscus tea or tea blend in your favorite local or online tea shop. You're sure to enjoy this tasty, healthful tea!
If you're thinking of adding high amounts of hibiscus tea (or any tea, for that matter) to your diet - say, to help manage your type 2 diabetes, to lower your blood pressure, or to help with weight loss, it's very important that you pay a visit to your healthcare provider first to discuss hibiscus herbal tea benefits and safe amounts of this herbal brew for you. This is particularly true if you are currently taking any prescribed medications or if you have high or low blood pressure.
And, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important that you talk to your healthcare provider before drinking any hibiscus tea. Certain types of hibiscus may have emmenagogue effects (meaning they may stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus, and may encourage menstruation) and, as such, might have the potential to bring on a miscarriage.
Please protect yourself and your unborn baby by discussing hibiscus tea with your healthcare professional. Also, if you are a nursing mom, ask your healthcare provider if hibiscus tea is a safe choice for you and your little one.
Keep in mind, too that some people are very sensitive to hibiscus tea and experience tummy troubles or nausea - even vomiting - after drinking it. So, if hibiscus tea is new to you, introduce it to your diet slowly until you know how your body will react to this tea.