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Hibiscus means grace and beauty. Hibiscus a native to Africa is related to a bushy shrub 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 flavoured tea.
Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin A and C and beta-carotene making it a good antioxidant. Many purport that its health benefits are:
- Replaces electrolytes and quenches thirst during and after athletic endeavors.
- Eases symptoms of colds, flu and coughs
Tea uses - Hibiscus petals are commonly used as a base for herb and fruit infusions.
Hot tea brewing method: (this makes a popular Egyptian drink called Karkadé)
To prepare as an infusion, use 1 teaspoon (for a stronger infusion use 2 teaspoons) per cup of tea put into your teapot and add boiling water. Let steep for 5-10 minutes and then pour. It is not necessary to strain the hibiscus as they sink to the bottom of the teapot and are not easily ‘stirred up’. For additional flavor add a large slice of orange or lemon or three slices of fresh juicy peaches. Sweeten to taste.
Herbal teas are great because they are caffeine free and taste amazing. Hibiscus flowers are therapeutic and rich in vitamins making this tea great for helping prevent illness.