Tealight: Hibiscus!

Each month we’ll take a look at a special herb, spice, or other ingredient that we use in some of our most popular teas and tisanes. This month, we’ll focus our Tealight (get it?!) on Hibiscus.

In history every herb and flower has a symbolic meaning. Hibiscus means grace and beauty. Hibiscus (hibiscus abelmoschus and hibiscus sabdariffa) a native to Africa is related to a bushy ornamental shrub that decorates many tropical gardens has become a popular showy houseplant in Europe and North America and is a flowery accessory to many young women in the tropics. The calyces (often referred to as the hibiscus flower itself), which form the outer covering of the flower buds, are dried and used to make a rosy citrus flavored tea.

There are more than 200 species of hibiscus. The type used for tea is Abelmoschus or Sabdariffa. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin A and C and beta-carotene making it a good antioxidant. Purported health benefits include:

  • Replaces electrolytes and quenches thirst during and after athletic endeavors.
  • Eases symptoms of colds, flu and coughs

The following information can be found in The Essential Tea Guide by Teressa Hansch:

The hibiscus plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world. These beautiful red flowers have been used for tea-making and salads for centuries. It is extremely popular for its medicinal qualities in ayurvedic medicine. The tea which is a deep red color is regularly consumed in Thailand, Jamaica, Eqypt, the Pacific Islands, India and Sudan. It has a unique flavor which is pleasant and tart, hence it is generally sweetened. […] The health benefits linked to hibiscus flower tea are immense. It is high in vitamin C and this helps the body to fight infection. Colds and flus can be stopped in their tracks if the tea is consumed as soon as the flu symptoms are recognized. It acts as an antiseptic and aids in the healing of wounds.

Studies have additionally shown that hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure and slow the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and fat, and it contains bioflavonoids that prevent the accumulation of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Excess consumption can also cause dizziness, and it is wise to consult your health care professional if you are pregnant or have a chronic health condition.

Feel free to shop our assortment of teas and tisanes made with hibiscus leaves.

If you have any questions about this or any other product in our catalog, you may comment here or drop us a line at assamteashop@gmail.com.

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