Hibiscus is so much more than a beautiful flower! It can be used to lower high blood pressure, up to 10 points, if 3 cups of tea are consumed daily for a few weeks. It also lowers high cholesterol and can be beneficial to diabetics, as it balances blood sugar.
It is often used in digestive, immune and inflammatory problems and can be used to help with liver disease. Hibiscus not only reduces your risk of cancer, but also contains protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor properties.
If you're looking for a healthy way to lose weight, hibiscus can help to speed your metabolism. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. Hibiscus can be a great ally for premenstrual symptoms, as it relieves cramps and restores hormone balance.
Iced hibiscus tea is wonderful for satiating thirst and cooling the body fast, making it a great choice for summer. It is also diuretic, so it flushes excess fluids and toxins from the body.
You can use a rinse of cooled hibiscus tea to aid in hair loss and dandruff issues. It can also be soaked in water and then ground into a paste to use as a natural shampoo. A protective hair oil can also be made from the flower.
In Hindu worship, hibiscus is used as an offering to the Goddess Kali and the God Ganesh. It incites passion and is used for attraction and lust. Carried in a sachet or burned as an incense, it is used to attract love. For centuries, hibiscus has been used as an aphrodisiac.
HIBISCUS ICED TEA
48 ounces water
3 Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
2 cinnamon sticks
1/8 cup sugar
1 small orange, sliced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Bring water to light boil. Turn off the heat and add hibiscus and cinnamon. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain tea into desired container. Add sugar and orange slices and serve over ice, garnished with the lemon.
by Kristy Baird