Hibiscus Tea - what you need to know


As part of my week of writing and talking about brain health - I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the food element. I believe that healing has to commence as the whole being and not just in fragments, focusing on specific bits. I believe in the mind and body connection so food is very much part of our recovery from emotional abuse, psychological about and toxic people in our lives.

If you’ve ever wondered, "What is hibiscus tea, and why should I drink it?" I hear you—you've probably heard it's delicious and good for you, but maybe you have yet to try it. First, let me tell you this: I've never been a big fan of tea, because I never liked the taste. Bu over recent years I have become to like the taste of green tea. The one that I particularly like is:


Its not secret, I love my tea's.. I am a tea-aholic but when I realised I had to ditch my four-cups-of-tea-a-day habit to heal from adrenal fatigue, I started to experiment with no-sugar, noncaffeinated beverage options. That's when I found hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus tea has many uses and health benefits—the caffeine-free, sugar-free brew is anti-inflammatory, is a powerful antioxidant, and can improve digestion, promote circulation and blood flow, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure. And while the health benefits of hibiscus tea are plentiful, the uses of hibiscus tea are just as versatile.

As a trainee psychologist and wellness blogger I’m always sharing natural ways for my clients to unwind, de-stress, get off the stimulant cycle, and return to nature to find some peace and respite from a busy, stressed, urban lifestyle. In this article, we’ll chat about juicy hibiscus tea recipes that you’ll actually want to drink and ways to use hibiscus tea to slow down, stress less, and even promote your natural beauty practice using hibiscus tea.

Ready, set...steep. And most importantly give your brain some healing.

First things first: Hibiscus is really a flower.

Around the world, the hibiscus plant thrives in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates. There’s a Hawaiian tradition that says that if the hibiscus flower is worn behind the left ear, the woman is in a relationship. If the flower is worn on the right, she is single and available. Remember that the next time you pose for a photo with a hibiscus flower in your hair!

In continuing our brief history of hibiscus, the plant has symbolic meaning across many cultures: Hibiscus is the national symbol of Haiti, the symbol of Hindu goddess Kali in India, and the national flower of Malaysia and South Korea.


What hibiscus tea tastes like.

Now that you know more about this gorgeous flower, I bet your curiosity is piqued. So what should you expect hibiscus tea to taste like? While I think it has a mild sweetness to it, it does have a bit of a reputation for being tart, sour, or bitter. Don’t let that scare you away! Just like cranberry juice, hibiscus tea has a zing to it; you’ll want to try it a few times and make your own decision on the flavor profile.

Leslie McDonald, wellness blogger of Balanced Life Leslie, recommends sweetening hibiscus tea with a bit of raw honey to enjoy this ruby-red, medicinal flower tea. Leanne Maciel of Brew You Wellness shares, "Hibiscus tea has a tart taste, so I generally add some combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg to balance it out. Heaven in a cup, I like to call it!"

As with anything, adjust the level of added sweetness to your liking. Over time, as your taste buds adapt, continue to reduce your added honey or stevia or natural sweetener of choice. I drink mine as is—and I find it just sweet enough! But if you want to go the refined-sugar-free route, consider adding honey, maple syrup, stevia, or coconut sugar. If you try a little added sweetness, I can pretty much guarantee you won't be able to get enough of it.

How to brew hibiscus tea.

The most important thing to remember when brewing hibiscus tea is not to over-steep it. If you let the petals brew too long, you’ll end up with a tea that’s bitter to the taste. More, in this case, is not better—the best thing you can do is get it just right! And remember, hibiscus tea is caffeine-free, so you don't have to worry about getting the jitters if you drink too much of it! Does it get better than that? Here are step-by-step instructions for brewing the perfect steaming mug of hibiscus tea:


Boil water.

Add approximately 2 teaspoons of hibiscus tea leaves to your loose-leaf teapot, individual tea strainer, tea strainer mug, travel mug, or reusable tea infuser—really any of those will work in this case!

Add boiling water to hibiscus tea and let it steep for five minutes.

If you like strong tea, steep for a bit longer; if you prefer weaker tea, steep for a bit less time. But remember, don't over-steep! So if you want stronger tea, don't steep it for more than an extra minute.

Strain the tea using a mesh strainer. Sweeten or garnish with stevia, raw honey, coconut sugar, lemon, ginger, or mint.

If this whole process feels like too much, I promise it's not. Sometimes all you need is a little practice: If you feel intimidated by the steeping process, why not start by buying pre-made hibiscus tea bags and enjoy your self-care moment and a chance to breathe? You won't regret it.


Health benefits of hibiscus tea.

I'm a trainee psychologist, and let me tell you this: It's an excellent tea to incorporate into your self-care routine. Here's why you should add it. Hibiscus is a great tool for:

Hydration

Reducing inflammation

Loading you up with vitamin C

Increasing immunity

Improving digestion

Promoting circulation

Regulating blood pressure

Lowering cholesterol

Fighting cancer-causing chemicals with all those antioxidants

Since I’m always telling my clients to watch their sugar and stimulant intake, I’m partial to the caffeine-free, sugar-free properties of hibiscus tea. Caitlin Padgett, a certified holistic health coach who works specifically with successful women who struggle with alcohol, also points out that hibiscus tea eases menstrual pains and protects the liver. Talk about an added bonus!

Hibiscus tea for stress relief.

When we race through our day, never taking a moment to breathe or slow down, cortisol (the stress hormone) is in the driver’s seat. One of the "lures" of coffee breaks or cigarette breaks is the opportunity to slow down for five to 10 minutes, take a few moments to yourself, and come back to your workday refreshed and recharged. Want to know a great way to do that without stimulants? Try noncaffeinated tea.

Plus, curling up with a hot cup of hibiscus tea can be the perfect moment to exhale and create your own few minutes of self-care especially when that afternoon slump becomes upon you.

I hope that you have found this blog useful and helpful. Please do share your comments below.

Your thoughts

Do you like hibiscus tea? Do you find that it is bitter in taste? What do you prefer - Green Tea or Hibiscus?


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