Hibiscus Flower Tea

Did you know the beautiful Hibiscus flower can be drunk as a tea?

In recent days, this has become a regular herbal tea in my family. Due to its cooling nature, this is great for hot tropical climates in Singapore where the plant thrives.

Common names: Hibiscus, Chinese hibiscus

Species: Hibiscus spp., including H. rosa-sinensis, H. sabdariffa. H. syriacus

Family: Malvaceae

Energetics: Sweet, sour, bitter, cool; energizing

Dosage: about 5 fresh flowers to a pot, or 1 tbsp dried flowers to 1 cup (~240mL) water

Preparation: Tea (infusion/decoction)

  1. We first wash it with baking soda,
  2. then pound it to release the enzymes and beneficial compounds.
  3. Then add hot water, wait for it to cool a little before adding natural raw honey.

It tastes refreshing, clean and moisturizing!

This flower, which only blooms for a day, has numerous benefits!

ACTIONS / INDICATIONS:

  • Full of antioxidants (like anthocyanin found in berries; gd for repairing damaged cells & cancer; boosts immune system)
  • Natural Antidepressant (depression)
  • Lowers blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Lowers blood sugar (diabetes)
  • Benefits cholesterol levels
  • Combined effects benefit overall heart health
  • Diuretic (may benefit kidney stones)
  • Induces menstruation (for irregular cycles; help with cramps)
    *but HIGH RISK for pregnant women or those trying to conceive
  • Antimicrobial properties (like cranberry juice for urinary tract infections)
  • Anthelmintic (anti-parasitic)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic (relaxes smooth muscles of blood vessels, intestinal and uterine muscles and bladder)
  • Hydroxocobalamin absorption effects: might increase the oral bioavailability of vitamin B12
  • Promotes lactation
  • Wound healing effects
  • Weight loss effects: increase satiety, reduce hunger, reduce adipogenesis and fat accumulation, inhibit the breakdown and absorption of starch, has AMPK anti-obesity compound
  • Improve liver function: antioxidant and phase II detoxification (1)
  • Traditionally:
    • Tea used to lower the temperature of body (Fever, Constipation, and Colds)

CAUTIONS/CONTRAINDICATIONS:

  • miscarriage risk mentioned above due to emmenagogue properties – *HIGH RISK for pregnant women or those trying to conceive
  • Interacts with some medications
    • CHLOROQUINE (major, significantly reduces the bioavailability/efficacy of this malaria drug)
    • ANTIDIABETES DRUGS (moderate, additive effects)
    • ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS (moderate, additive effects)
    • ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol, others; minor, decreases half-life of elimination)

Other uses:

  • Flowers are edible and used in salads in the Pacific Islands
  • Flowers are also used as haircare
  • Flower can be used as a pH indicator – will turn acidic solutions dark pink/magenta; turns basic solutions green
  • Flower is used to shine shoes in India
  • Pulp or juice of leaves can be used to treat skin wounds
  • Crushed leaves in water makes it soapy, used to clean self and promote hair growth too
  • For more uses see Hibiscus facts and health benefits (healthbenefitstimes.com)

References:

  1. Antioxidant and drug detoxification potentials of Hibiscus sabdariffa anthocyanin extract – PubMed (nih.gov)
  2. Hibiscus – Golden Poppy (goldenpoppyherbs.com)
  3. Hibiscus Monograph, 2021, Natural Medicines Therapeutic Research Centre
  4. Hibiscus facts and health benefits (healthbenefitstimes.com)
  5. https://draxe.com/nutrition/hibiscus-tea/
  6. https://afternoonteareads.com/benefits-risks-hibiscus-tea/
  7. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – Wikipedia

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