Tea is, undoubtedly, one of the most comforting beverages. Besides the regular black tea and green tea, a new class of herbal and caffeine free teas has emerged in the last few years. These herbal teas are actually infusions of herbs, plants, spices or flowers that add flavour and many health benefits to your cup of tea. Hibiscus tea is one such herbal tea which has been used in traditional medicine for many years as a remedy for high blood pressure and also for its potent antioxidant properties. Hibiscus tea is a fragrant hot beverage with a tart flavour. It is made by steeping bright hibiscus flowers in hot water which gives you a crimson drink.
How to make hibiscus tea
Take 1/2 a cup of dried hibiscus flower petals and 4 cups of water. Boil the water and put the dried petals in an empty teapot or tea cup. Once the water is boiled, add it to the cup or pot and cover it. Let it steep for 5 minutes to allow the flowers to give the water the pleasant colour. You can add a tea bag if you want a caffeinated drink or totally skip it. You can even add a cinnamon stick, a small piece of ginger and some fresh mint leaves for more flavour and aroma. Sip it plain or drizzle some honey to sweeten it or squeeze a lime to enhance the tartness. If you want a stronger flavour, let it steep for longer.
You can also place the dried flowers in cold water and let it sit for one or two days or till the colour of the flowers fades away. Drain this liquid and store. You can use it to make a hibiscus iced tea and other floral beverages. Be careful while using hibiscus flowers as their bright red colour may stain your hands and clothes.
Health benefits of drinking hibiscus tea
1. Lowers high blood pressure: A study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) showed that drinking 3 cups of hibiscus tea daily may help in reducing high blood pressure. Studies have also shown that high blood pressure is a risk factor for diabetes and therefore, drinking hibiscus tea may prevent the risk of both ailments.
Hibiscus tea can lower high blood pressure.
2. Full of antioxidants: Hibiscus tea is regarded for its antioxidant property. It is made with the dried calyces of the hibiscus flower that are known to contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body get rid of disease causing free radicals and protect against chronic diseases such as heart trouble, arthritis and diabetes.
3. Controls visible signs of ageing: Antioxidants may also help in slowing down the ageing process and control visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines leaving you with clear and beautiful skin.
Antioxidants in hibiscus tea may also help in slowing down the ageing process
4. Treats disturbed digestion: The tea is herbal, low in calories and caffeine free. It helps to regulate your bowel movements and can also be used to treat constipation.
5. Reduces anxiety: Hibiscus tea is full of antioxidants and Vitamin C which may help in treating anxiety and has a calming effect on your mind. It also has the ability to cool down your body.
6. Reduced menstrual pain: A soothing cup of hibiscus tea may provide relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It helps in restoring hormonal balance and controls others symptoms such as mood swings.
The great thing about hibiscus tea is that it can be served as both a summery beverage or a comforting winter drink and it takes only few minute to make it.