Hibiscus tea is one of the most popular flavors and is usually made from different parts of the hibiscus plant. The flowers, especially, are quite a common source for the well-loved tea.
But can you use all hibiscus flowers to make tea? Are all parts of a hibiscus flower edible?
If so, what hibiscus flowers can you use to make tea?
Varieties of hibiscus plant used to make tea
Not all hibiscus flowers can be used in making tea.
H. Sabdariffa is the strain that has been used for long in making hibiscus tea. It is commonly referred to as “red sorrel” or “roselle”.
The red-colored flowers of the hibiscus are the ones used in making hibiscus tea.
Apart from H. Sabdariffa, research has shown that the H.acetosella variety of hibiscus can also be used in making tea.
Other varieties of the hibiscus plant also contain medicinal properties, but they are not used for making tea.
Hibiscus tea is not seen as true tea since it does not come from the tea plant Camellia sinesis. However, it lies in the category of herbal teas that come with a lot of health benefits. Herbal tea comes from plants, spices, herbs, and flowers.
Hibiscus tea is not as popular as green tea, black tea, or even white tea. However, its popularity is on the rise as more people recognize the massive health benefits that it offers.
This tea comes into the market in the form of dried flowers. You will recognize it easily because of its tart flavor.
You can also enjoy hibiscus tea either as a hot drink or iced. Hibiscus tea has a refreshing and tangy taste that leaves you enjoying your cup and wishing for more.
Which parts of the hibiscus plant are edible?
The hibiscus plant is known for its medicinal value. For instance, H. sabdariffa comes in handy in treating illnesses such as blood pressure, coughs, and it also kills bacteria. Additionally, the plant increases urination, relieves coughs, and lowers fever.
Most of the parts of the plant are used for healing purposes.
So which specific parts of the hibiscus plant are used in making hibiscus tea?
The calyx is the first part of the flower to show when it begins to form. The calyx consists of a collection of small leaves that form where the flower and the stem meet.
The calyx comprises of sepals that are tiny leaves to protect the flower at the base. It offers the flower stability at its base.
The calyx offers a tangy flavor for your cup of hibiscus tea, and it is also rich in vitamin C.
It is also used in making other foodstuffs such as jams, sauces, and much more.
Apart from the calyx, you can also use the large green leaves of the hibiscus plant to make hibiscus tea. The leaves also offer you a tangy flavor for your tea.
The branches of the H. sabdariffa plant carry some beautiful yellow flowers. When the flowers go through pollination, they form the ripe calyx, which has a seedpod inside. You can also use the beautiful yellow flowers to brew your cup of hibiscus tea.
Nutritional value of hibiscus tea
Does caffeine make you jittery and anxious?
Would you prefer a cup of tea without caffeine?
Well, if you do, then you can go for hibiscus tea as an alternative. Green and black tea are made from the Camellia Sinensis plant that contains caffeine. As such, whether you take them either hot or cold, you will have a level of caffeine.
As such, if you completely want to avoid caffeine, you should stay away from black and green tea.
Hibiscus tea is decaffeinated which comes with a lot of health benefits. It is also calorie-free.
Additionally, a cup of hibiscus in the morning offers you a dose of manganese. Manganese is an essential mineral in your body as it activates your metabolic reactions. The mineral is also vital in aiding blood clotting, bone formation, and boosting the body’s immune system.
Also, a cup of hibiscus tea will offer you a daily dose of the essential calcium and potassium, which are major minerals in the body. The two minerals aid in bone formation and strengthening. Potassium also works to provide you with the necessary energy that your body needs.
You will also get zinc and iron, which help to boost the immune function, muscle contraction, and formation of proteins.
What’s more? Hibiscus tea also offers you two essential vitamins: vitamin B3 and B9. The vitamins are essential in aiding metabolism. Vitamin B9 is vital during pregnancy, and a deficiency of the vitamin can lead to babies born with congenital conditions.
Other health benefits of hibiscus tea
The liver is an essential part of the body that helps in breaking down fat, production of proteins and bile, and so on.
A cup of hibiscus tea will help in keeping your liver healthy and working efficiently.
For instance, hibiscus tea decreases the markers of liver damage.
Loss of weight
If you want to lose some kilos, you may consider taking a cup of hibiscus tea. A study shows that hibiscus tea can be used in reducing body weight.
Using hibiscus tea is better than using black or green tea as it has no caffeine.
However, note that hibiscus tea alone will not make you lose weight. You should consider combining your cup of tea with other activities such as morning exercises.
Hibiscus contains polyphenols, which are compounds with anti-cancer properties.
Hibiscus tea side effects
No side effects exist for taking hibiscus tea if you are healthy. However, if you have some underlying conditions such as blood pressure and diabetes, then you may experience some side effects. The same applies to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Some of the side effects include:
Low blood sugar
Hibiscus can make it difficult to control blood sugar levels. If you have had surgery, then you should avoid taking hibiscus tea for about two weeks.
If you have diabetes, you may consider having your medications adjusted by your doctor so that you can continue enjoying your hibiscus tea.
If you are pregnant, then you should be cautious while taking hibiscus tea. The fact that it affects your blood sugar and blood pressure may be unsafe for you and your unborn child.
If you don’t like caffeine, but you still want to enjoy a cup of tea, then you should go for hibiscus tea.
Hibiscus tea comes from the H. sabdariffa plant. You can also get it from H. acetosella, which is also a variety of hibiscus plants.
You can brew hibiscus tea from various parts of the H. sabdariffa, which include the leaves, flowers, and the calyx.