Hibiscus Flower Tea - Tart, fragrant, colorful... and incredibly good for us, too

Hibiscus flower tea is an herbal tea (aka herbal "tisane") enjoyed hot or chilled 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 just-boiled water. (Learn more below about beneficial calyces.)

Hibiscus Flower Tea | The Tea Talk

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). As hibiscus tea has a tart flavor, it is typically sweetened before serving.

| Related:  Yummy Iced Tea Recipes on Pinterest

Over 300 varieties of hibiscus have been identified, but the Hibiscus sabdariffa and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis varieties are especially known for their wellness benefits. 

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 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 also has a reputation as an effective wellness tea.

In various parts of the world, hibiscus flower tea is appreciated for helping to reduce high blood pressure, lower body temperature, support a healthy weight, promote liver health, encourage regularity, support healthy sleep, soothe skin irritations, for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and as a diuretic.

Making Hibiscus Flower Tea

You'll love how versatile hibiscus tea can be! Why not add a favorite fruit juice or summery wine (for an adults-only version) to iced hibiscus tea? Some fresh herbs or fruit can also be a lovely addition to iced hibiscus tea. Or, try brewing hot hibiscus tea with aromatic spices. 

Recent research about hibiscus tea benefits has focused primarily on how this tea may support healthy blood pressure and healthy blood sugar levels. Learn more here about the many wellness benefits this aromatic, satisfying tea can offer. 

Hibiscus Flower Tea | The Tea Talk

Fragrant, revitalizing, and thirst-quenching, hibiscus flower tea can be so very good for us. For more about hibiscus tea, drop by our Hibiscus Tea Pinterest board.

And, before enjoying some of this refreshing herbal tisane, be sure to read up on any safe-use tips and precautions associated with this tea, and have a chat with your natural health physician about hibiscus tea for you. 

You + Hibiscus Tea Benefits

If you have a story to share about hibiscus tea and its benefits for wellness, we'd love to hear it! Click here to share your hibiscus tea story and comments (and see what other visitors have to say about this healthful tea, too).  

Hibiscus is an extremely popular ingredient 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 love this tasty, healthful tea!

What are "Calyces?"

A "calyx" (plural "calyces" or "calyxes") is the name given to all of a flower's sepals together (sepals are the leaf-like part of the flower that encloses the developing flower bud). The calyx provides protection for the flower before it opens and, once the flower has bloomed, the calyx can still be seen at the flower's base. Calyces are most often green, but can be found in other colors, as well - such as the vibrant crimson or magenta calyces of the hibiscus flower.

Calyces contain very high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, and have been used in traditional medicine for many years for various wellness issues and for supporting health and well-being.

> > About Hibiscus Flower Tea

Sources


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Al-Niaimi F, Yi Zhen Chiang N. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Jul; 10(7):14–17.

Celleno L, Tolaini MV, D'Amore A, et al. A Dietary Supplement Containing Standardized Phaseolus vulgaris Extract Influences Body Composition of Overweight Men and Women. Int J Med Sci. 2007;4(1):45–52.

Gale CR, Martyn CN, Winter PD, Cooper C. Vitamin C and risk of death from stroke and coronary heart disease in cohort of elderly people. BMJ. 1995 Jun 17;310(6994):1563–1566.

Gladstar R. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2012. 

Haji Faraji M, Haji Tarkhani A. The effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on essential hypertension. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Jun;65(3):231-6.

Hallberg L, Hulthén L. Prediction of dietary iron absorption: an algorithm for calculating absorption and bioavailability of dietary iron. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5):1147-60.

Herrera-Arellano A, Flores-Romero S, Chávez-Soto MA, Tortoriello J. Effectiveness and tolerability of a standardized extract from Hibiscus sabdariffa in patients with mild to moderate hypertension: a controlled and randomized clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2004 Jul;11(5):375-82.

Lin HH, Huang HP, Huang CC, et al. Hibiscus polyphenol-rich extract induces apoptosis in human gastric carcinoma cells via p53 phosphorylation and p38 MAPK/FasL cascade pathway. Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2005 Jun;43(2):86-99.

Mars B. Healing Herbal Teas: A Complete Guide to Making Delicious, Healthful Beverages. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, 2006. 

McKay DL, Chen O, Saltzman E, Blumberg JB. Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Tea (Tisane) Lowers Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive and Mildly Hypertensive Adults. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010 Feb 1;140(2):298–303. 

Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Jalali-Khanabadi BA, Afkhami-Ardekani M, Fatehi F. Effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on lipid profile and lipoproteins in patients with type II diabetes. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):899-903. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0540. 

Mozaffari-Khosravi H, Jalali-Khanabadi BA, Afkhami-Ardekani M, et al. The effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on hypertension in patients with type II diabetes. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2009;23:48–54. 

Padayatty SJ, Katz A, Wang Y, et al. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Feb;22(1):18-35. 

Tillotson, AK. The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2001.

Wright CI, Van-Buren L, Kroner CI, Koning MM. Herbal medicines as diuretics: a review of the scientific evidence. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Oct 8;114(1):1-31. Epub 2007 Jul 31. 

Zak V. 20,000 Secrets of Tea. New York, NY: Dell Publishing, 1999.  

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