A brief history
The virtues of the hibiscus flower have been known since classical times and they are still used now by Egyptians in traditional medicine for its virtues.
There are several varieties of hibiscus, but the edible variety which is used to make delicious refreshing drinks and for its virtues is hibiscus Sabdiriffa.
The best-known drink made from this plant is no doubt bissap, a traditional drink from Senegal, but this drink can also be found in many countries around the world:
- karkadé (Egypt),
- agua de Jamaica (Mexico),
- foléré (Cameroon),
- local blackcurrant (the Caribbean),
- dableni (Mali, Ivory Coast, or Burkina Faso),
- karakandji (Central African Republic),
- zobo (Nigeria),
- Ngai Ngai (the Congo)…
Properties of hibiscus flower tea
Hibiscus sabdariffa is said to have many health benefits. It is especially known for:
- Reducing high blood pressure (1)
- Reducing bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Acting as an antioxidant, thanks to high vitamin C and anthocyanin content, natural pigments from the polyphenol family, which give the flower its pretty red colour (2)
- Acting as a diuretic and reducing water retention
- Stabilising and maintaining a good blood sugar level
- Helping with weight loss by speeding up the metabolism, and also by reducing the absorption of starch and saccharose after meals thanks to the amylase it contains
- Helping with urinary infections
To find out more about the benefits of hibiscus, we recommend that you read our article “the health benefits of hibiscus” .
Tea made from hibiscus flowers has a very sharp flavour which is reminiscent of red berries. The taste is similar to the taste of cranberry juice, especially if sugar is added to the tea. The colour of the brew is an intense purple.
2 or 3 tablespoons for 1L of water. Infuse in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes or allow the flowers to infuse in cold water for 4 to 8 hours for iced tea.
To fully benefit from its virtues, we recommend you use it in a herb tea or an iced tea, adding only a little sugar. Hibiscus flowers can also be used as an ingredient in many recipes.
Precautions for use
In large quantities, hibiscus tea can be harmful for the liver (more than 1.8L per day). Do not drink during pregnancy.
Hibiscus flower petals which are certified organic.
Free from caffeine or theine, this herb tea can be drunk at any time of the day.
Also called: Hibiscus Sabdariffa, Bissap, Karkadé, Carcadé, Guinea sorrel
Did you know ?
The hibiscus sabdariffa is a tropical plant originating in Asia and the Pacific Isles, which grows to 3 metres high and at least 2 metres wide! Its flowers can measure up to 8 cm in diameter.
The pretty red colour of hibiscus tea is due to the anthocyanins.
These molecules change physically depending on pH levels, that is the acidity of the environment they find themselves in, and so the colour of the tea may vary…
You can do this test for fun: add a little bicarbonate of soda and the tea will turn purple.
But if you add lemon juice, the tea will turn lighter in colour!