Many people now know some of the health benefits of drinking tea – especially green and white tea – but the new kid on the block is hibiscus tea. So is this fashionable tea just as healthy?
A quick caveat: hibiscus tea is not really new and – strictly speaking – it’s not really a tea as it is not from the tea plant Camelia sinensis; it’s an infusion. But it is certainly growing in popularity, so let's take a look at what it is.
Hibiscus tea: botany
The hibiscus used in tea comes from the green part of the hibiscus flower called the calyx, which is rich in pigments called athocyanins. These are responsible for the production of antioxidants and also give hibiscus its rich red colour.
Hibiscus tea: taste
It tastes sweet but quite tarty and I think it is best mixed with other ingredients, though it is perfectly drinkable on its own and has been for thousands of years.
Hibiscus tea: health benefits
Because hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals, it is great for boosting the immune system. It has also been identified as being beneficial for helping with upper respiratory tract infections and some claim it can slow down the growth of pre-cancerous cells.
The ingredient has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic, the system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent, to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol and has widely been known by Egyptians to act as a coolant to regulate body temperature, while Iranians often use it to treat occasional restfulness and difficulty sleeping.
However it has had a real surge in popularity due its alleged slimming properties. It is a natural diuretic, which is something the Mexicans have known about for years, so it has great stomach flattening powers! Put this together with boosting mood and detoxifying the liver it really could be a woman's best friend.
Where can I find some?
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