As the days begin to heat up and we become more active, it is important to stay hydrated. Water becomes boring on the palate, soda is unhealthy, and we shouldn't drink beer til after 5pm :)
Hibiscus tea is a great alternative. It is quite tart, it's taste resembling cranberry juice. The tea is made from the calyces, or sepals of the Hibiscus plant. This drink is not only exciting for the taste buds, it is very cooling on the body. In the medicinal plant world, Hibiscus is known as a refrigerant. A refrigerant can help cool the core body temperature, relieve thirst, and lower fever. No wonder why this tea is common throughout Africa, Mexico, Asia and the Caribbean. Hibiscus is also high in antioxidants, and minerals such as iron and zinc. That being the case, this is another great herb for the cold and flu season.
Regularly drinking Hibiscus Tea is very beneficial for heart health. Medical studies and trials have shown that Hibiscus is helpful in maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure. This herb is said to lower arterial inflammation, thin the blood, and strengthen vascular and capillary walls.
This tea is great to consume both hot and iced. In the summer, add lemongrass, citrus and ginger for a refreshing drink. In the winter, Hibiscus pairs well with warming spices like cinnamon and clove.
Below is a very basic recipe. This will allow you to have a great base to work with in case you would like to add other herbs.
6 cups of water
1 cup of Hibiscus
1/3 cup of sugar
Pour water into a saucepan and add Hibiscus. Heat just to a boil and then remove from heat. Let the herb steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain into a container. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.