The Healthy Qualities of Hibiscus

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The World Health Organisation defines hypertension as blood pressure higher than 140/90. An ordinary condition in the developed world affecting roughly 20% of adults.
People with high blood pressure generally do not experience any symptoms and are not aware that their blood pressure is high. Hypertension can lead to worrying health troubles such as heart failure and strokes.
It is said that blood pressure can be lowered by drinking an extract of Hibiscus flower each day, in the form of tea. Hibiscus tea consists of high levels of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which are excellent for our bodies and hearts. These antioxidants help our bodies resist the harmful molecules known as free radicals, which can cause cell damage, leaving the body in a sick condition. By taming free radicals, antioxidants help look after the health of the body.
Hibiscus tea can successfully contribute to the weight loss process without making you tired, dizzy or ill. Most people are not familiar with the wonderful weight loss qualities of Hibiscus tea.
The effects of this flower on weight are better if consumed in a natural form rather than processed forms like powders or capsules.
Hibiscus makes a very pleasant red, rose or pink tea, tasting tart and refreshing. It is popular both hot or iced, and is very often blended with rose hips to make a rich colored antioxidant tea. You can make the tea by soaking the dried or fresh flowers in hot water, straining and then adding sugar, if needed.
Jamaican Tea Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffe)
This is a big shrub with yellow flowers with green lobed leaves. Both the flower and the calyces can be used to make a lovely acidic tea. It grows best in a sunny position with a rich, moist, well drained soil, but is unable to tolerate frost. Jamaican tea is also called Roselle.
False Roselle (Hibiscus acetosella)
This large tropical plant has pink flowers and reddish lobed leaves. The leaves and blossom can be used for tea making. In the winter it grows well indoors as a potted plant. It is also called Red Shield Hibiscus.
Hibiscus tropical fruit tea
2 qts water
3 tbs hibiscus flowers
3 tbs mint leaves
3 tbs lemon grass
½ cup pineapple chopped
2 oranges slice
1 papaya sliced
1 mango or other tropical fruit
Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and add the hibiscus, mint and lemon grass. Let steep for 20 minutes and strain. Put fruits into a 2 quart jar and pour the tea over them. Refrigerate overnight. Serve the next day with a hibiscus blossom floating in it.
Hibiscus tea for colds
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
1-2 sticks of cinnamon
Put ginger, hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks in 3 cups of boiling water. Simmer for several minutes, then turn off the heat and cover. Sweeten with fresh orange juice or honey.
The sweet, mild flavor of hibiscus blossoms makes the flowers ideal for use in teas, as well as this recipe. Begin preparation of this dish one day before you plan to serve it.
Sweet rice stuffed hibiscus
1 cup raw brown rice
1 tsp herbal salt replacer
½ clove garlic - minced
2 cups boiling water
¼ cup butter
dash nutmeg
1 tsp honey
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup almond butter (optional)
15 hibiscus flowers
1/8 cup green peas, cooked for garnish
The day before serving, combine all ingredients except the almond butter, hibiscus flowers and peas in a large saucepan or pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. Mix in the almond butter, if desired, to thicken mixture. Place in refrigerator overnight.
Before serving, gather and wash flowers. Gently cut off green stems but leave enough of the base to hold the flower together. Fill with cold mixture and top with one or two green peas. (Makes 15 servings).
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