Many people are aware of at least some of the benefits of drinking tea - especially the well publicised antioxidant properties of green and white tea. However, a herb that is often overlooked in terms of its health benefits, yet regularly found in many tea blends, is hibiscus. Though its colour is quite vivid its benefits are less obvious. Hibiscus comes from the green part of the hibiscus flower called the calyx, which is rich in anthocyanins. These are responsible for the production of antioxidants and also give it it's rich red colour. It tastes sweet but also has a quite distinct tartness and though it is perfectly drinkable on its own (and has been used this way for thousands of years), I think it is best enjoyed when mixed with other ingredients to create exciting and delicious infusions.
Because hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals it is great for giving your immune system a well-deserved boost. It has also been identified as being beneficial for helping with upper respiratory tract infections as well as slowing down the growth of pre-cancerous cells. Hibiscus has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat many conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol and has widely been known amongst Egyptians to act as an effective coolant to regulate body temperature, while Iranians often use it to treat occasional restfulness and difficulty sleeping.
Recently, the humble hibiscus flower has had a real surge in popularity due to its suggested slimming properties. It is a natural diuretic (something the Mexicans have known about for years), so it has great stomach flattening powers. Hala El Shafie from Nutrition Rocks has said that it can also aid weight loss due to its ability to inhibit carbohydrates being stored in the body. Put this together with boosting mood and detoxifying the liver and it really could be a woman's best friend.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of this delightful botanical as a beautifully blended tea, it can be found in our Pink Pride, a delicate white tea with rosebuds or for a naturally caffeine free option, try our Deliciously Decadent blend - a lively, fruity infusion that will tickle your taste buds while you absorb all the benefits the hibiscus has to offer.