You’ll love this wonderful and easy recipe for hibiscus tea, which makes an incredibly healthy and refreshing drink.
No wonder this tea is so popular lately. With its lovely characteristic deep red color, it is consumed and loved all over the world, both for its irresistible flavor, and for its health benefits! And you can make it at home which is always a bonus :-).
Into a plunger or a tea pot. And then just cover it over with some boiling. Water. And the colour and the scent and the flavor is just incredible.
A little bit on the history of hibiscus .
The origins of hibiscus go way back to Sudan, but as we have already said, the first traces of the use of hibiscus as a drink and remedy go back to the ancient Egyptians.
They thought that hibiscus water promoted sexual desire in women who were, therefore, forbidden to consume it.
The plant was introduced to Senegal in the 19th century, to become the flagship drink of the whole of West Africa, with ginger juice and bouye (baobab juice).
It is consumed for all occasions, parties, weddings, etc.
The whole plant is used, nothing is wasted with hibiscus as it is common with most natural plants and resources.
The leaves are used in sauces, to give a slightly sour and acidic flavor, the stems are used to produce fiber, and the roots are also used as a natural remedy, present in many pharmacopoeias.
Today, the hibiscus flower is used mainly as a drink of course, but it has also a few other uses too: –
You can make a puree, sauce or hibiscus rosella jam as they do in Cameroon, Congo Kinshasa, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, etc. –
In cosmetics, especially mixed with henna to color and make hair shine (see our article to prepare a mask with hibiscus) –
In food coloring, as a substitute for chemical dyes – to make shoes shine: yes ! In Asia, the hibiscus flower is known as the shoe flower, because it is used to make shoes shine – as an ceremonial offering:
In India, they are offered to the Goddess Kali so that she fulfills the vows.
Types of Hibiscus
There are many different species of hibiscus, but we are going to look at the most common ones, which you can see in gardens and parks worldwide.
Aside from being a devoted foodie I also love flowers and plants, so I also spend quite some time gardening when I have the time.
Hardy hibiscus ,Tropical hibiscus ,Perennial hibiscus.
Perennial hibiscus in best grown in non-calcareous, well drained, humus-rich soil. They find their place in solid soil, but require a cover of straw or ground leaves in winter to protect the roots from frost.
The exposure should be in a sunny place. Plant preferably in spring with a large amount of soil and/or compost.
Annual hibiscus flower .
Annual hibiscus can be planted in the open ground as early as May from seedlings sown in warm March.
Water well. A sunny or half-shade location is to be preferred but sheltered from the winds.
If your land soil is clayey, then amend it with compost and sand.
rosella flower The hibiscus sabdariffa which is used to make hibiscus tea, also called Guinea sorrel or rosella, is a tropical perennial plant, native to Asia and the Pacific Islands, which grows up to 3 meters high and at least 2 meters wide.
It produces many paper-like flowers that, when they fade and the petals fall, reveal the bright red chalice.
Even though all the flower can be used to make the drink, only the calyx is usually used.
With hibiscus you can decorate your garden, your balcony, and flower your interior with hibiscus!
This ornamental plant is covered with the sublime flowers and beautiful Shape of its Corollas, with shimmering colors.
Choosing a hibiscus by its main features
Hibiscus aside from making a wonderful tea is also a popular ornamental flower that has the following characteristics:
The hibiscus plant belongs to the family Malvaceae which has more than 200 species of hibiscus, and about thirty thousand varieties.
It is very popular for the beauty of its flowers of varying colors and shape.
The largest specimens of hibiscus can reach a height and span of 5 m.
Depending on the variety, hibiscus can be perennial or annual.
In our latitudes, only 2 species of hibiscus-declined in multiple varieties-are cultivable.
Among the outdoor hibiscus cultivable, we can mention for example the hibiscus syriacus or Althea, sometimes nicknamed “tree Mallow”.
It is an outdoor hibiscus that can be grown quite nicely in your garden.
This genus of hibiscus includes shrub varieties that cover between July and October with single or double flowers, evocative of the tropics, with bright and varied colors.
Their foliage has lapsed. This type of shrub to plant in the open ground, enjoys being placed in a well sunny area of the garden throughout the year. It also pleases in a tray at least 40 cm deep, to be placed on the balcony or terrace.
Here are some examples of hibiscus syriacus: Hibiscus syriacus Duke of Brabant: double flowers of blood red color. Hibiscus syriacus Woodbridge. Its pale red flowers, 10 cm in diameter, open in a trumpet. Hibiscus syriacus Red Heart: flowers with dark red heart and white petals, 8 cm in diameter. Hibiscus syriacus Blue Bird: pale blue flowers. Hibiscus syriacus blushing Bride: large flowers with red heart and pale pink petals. Hibiscus syriacus Kakapo: simple flowers of sustained pink color.
Their shape resembles the peony flower.
Good to know:
The hibiscus esculentus variety gives a fruit called “OKRA”, famous for its food and medicinal use.
Some examples of indoor hibiscus
The most sparing varieties of hibiscus should be grown indoors.
These potted hibiscus will winter warm and can be placed outdoors during the summer.
Among these indoor hibiscus flowers , we recommend you : Hibiscus sabdariffa, sometimes called “Guinea sorrel”:
to be planted in a medium-sized tray.
It provides abundant flowering.
Its large Corollas have a dark red heart and its pink-edged petals are yellow. '
If it enjoys a maximum of sunshine during the summer – provided it is watered abundantly – it should be put indoors as early as October.
Hibiscus Rosa siniensis, emblem of Malaysia:
To be grown in a pot of moderate size, inside the house as soon as the outside temperature drops to 6°C.
More commonly called “China Rose”, it produces – under good growing conditions-a flowering throughout the year.
Its large flowers of red, cream, pink, yellow or orange are very ephemeral since they last only for a day.
But the flowering of this hibiscus is constantly renewed.
You can grow it outdoors, even in winter, if you live in a Mediterranean region.
However, consider covering him with a wintering veil and mulching his foot in case of severe winter, because the cold can be fatal.
Good to know: the fruit of hibiscus sabdariffa is dried and then infused to prepare an antiseptic and diuretic drink, very popular for its pink color. In Egypt, this delicious infusion full of benefits is called “Karkade”, and in Senegal, “Bissap”.
What is bissap (a traditional hibiscus tea drink)?
Bissap is the name given in Senegalese wolof language to an infusion of hibiscus sabdariffa flowers, but this drink is also found in many other countries thorough the world.
Here are the most widespread designations of the hibiscus tea in the world:
Karkade (Egypt), agua de Jamaica or Jamaica juice/water( Mexico), folere (Cameroon), gooseberry country (Antilles), dableni (Mali, Ivory Coast, or Burkina), karakandji (Central Africa), Zobo (Nigeria), Ngai Ngai (Congo), rose tea, Tea of the Empire, drink of the Pharaohs, etc.
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hibiscus flowers or calyces are often used for the preparation of sauces and different condiments, and it is common to use the red flowers to make a really wonderful thick hibiscus syrup.
Be careful though, as there are more than 200 species of hibiscus in the world,
they are not all consumable, and only the infusion of hibiscus sabdariffa gives a proper hibiscus tea.
Some people also make confectionery like candied hibiscus which can be enjoyed just like a candy.
What are The Health Benefits of Roselle Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus infusions have been used as a remedy since ancient Egypt, where it was used in particular to lower body temperature in case of heat stroke, as an aphrodisiac, and against insomnia and agitation.
They are still used today in many traditional medicines. Great action on blood pressure an