Floral drinks are having a big moment. There is just something distinctly loving about consuming the delicate flavors of various edible flowers that makes one feel she has transported to another realm—or perhaps just an excellent cafe. Lately, I’ve been inspired by Floral Libations: 41 Fragrant Drinks + Ingredients, a seductive take on floral beverages. If there’s one ingredient that stands out—and keeps cropping up in wellness/beauty talk—it’s hibiscus tea.
From its striking tropical red hue to its host of promising potential health benefits, hibiscus tea is indeed one alluring drink. Hibiscus tea is made by seeping parts of the hibiscus sabdariffa plant, one of the hundreds of species of hibiscus. Hibiscus tea’s slightly tart flavor pairs well with herbal, fruit and floral flavors, and you’ll often find it combined with other teas and plants—from green tea to dried berries! While the research on hibiscus tea is just beginning, there are multiple ways hibiscus tea may help boost health.
Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
In studies involving humans (rather than rats), hibiscus tea showed promising results for blood pressure. The floral tea may help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, making it a helpful addition to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Hibiscus tea is also likely to be healthy for the liver by increasing drug-detoxifying enzymes while reducing fatty liver and liver damage. Furthermore, although more research is needed, hibiscus tea may complement weight loss endeavors by potentially reducing body weight, fat, BMI, and/or hip-to-waist ratio.
Also of note, hibiscus is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which suggests that it could help prevent certain cancers while addressing inflammation. More studies are needed, however, to determine exactly how hibiscus’ antioxidant properties behave.
In addition to being cooling, hibiscus tea may also help decrease puffiness. It’s “a powerful flush to the system, helping to gently cleanse the kidneys, doing a wonderful and immediate job at reducing any puffiness in your face,” according to Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon.
In short, hibiscus tea shows promise for fighting inflammation and free radicals while boosting overall body health and radiance. I’ll sip on that!
How to Enjoy Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea drinks are wonderfully easy to make at home, and the stunning color of hibiscus will make your drinks (including cocktails) aesthetically pleasing, too! You can find loose-leaf and bagged varieties of hibiscus tea as well as pure hibiscus tea and hibiscus tea blends (such a hibiscus and rooibos, for example).
While hibiscus tea can be enjoyed hot, its tangy, tropical flavor and ruby hue make a beautiful iced tea that’s especially refreshing with sparkling water on a balmy day. I recently made a big jug for the fridge and have been using it to spike my carbonated water. Hello, instant mocktail! You can also up the health and beauty benefits by adding any other antioxidant-rich teas (such as green and white tea or rooibos, chamomile, etc.), rose water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and goji berries.
Alternatively, you can make an iced or hot vegan version of hibiscus tea horchata with frothed nut milk, cinnamon, and hibiscus tea.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy hibiscus tea?
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