Hibiscus Tea

When I was a city dweller fantasising about coastal living my dream sea-side house had white walls, bougainvilleas and hibiscus plants. Ten years on and, to quote the immortal Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad. My walls might be brown wood but I have an enourmous bougainvillea and hibiscuses in every colour.

The original owners were obviously crazy about hibiscuses. There are 17 huge bushes, decades old, which flower so riotously it’s vulgar.  When I googled ‘hibiscus’ yesterday the first prompt was ‘hibiscus tea’ – the preferred drink of the ancient Pharos.

Not just a tipple for Nefertiti, hibiscus tea naturally lowers blood pressure. A study conducted at Tufts University in 2008 demonstrated that consuming 3 cups of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. tea each day reduced systolic blood pressure by 7-14mm Hg in people with mild hypertension.

The two hibiscus species commonly used medicinally are H. rosa sinensis and H. sabdariffa. I’m not sure what species I have in the garden, but it seems none are poisonous, so I picked a variety and made the tea. It’s very fragrant, almost like incense or bubblegum, and probably an easily acquired taste. My mix of flowers resulted in a dark purple brew which stains – perfect to write that missive in hieroglyphics.

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2 Responses to “Hibiscus Tea”


  1. 1 shoreacres January 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    That tea’s a beautiful color. Do you use just the petals or the whole flower? I presume not the leaves. Since the blossoms only last for a day, drying them and making use of them seems just plain thrifty, not to mention tasty!

    I love bougainvillea, and am going to give it a go again this summer. I had a potted one, but something happened to it. I don’t even remember what, at this point – I could have given it away. But they will do well in the heat and drought, so it should be perfect. The worst thing that will happen is the garden gods will see what I’m up to and send rain and cooth. That would be ok, too!

  2. 2 Lisa February 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Hey Jeannine
    That’s so pretty! Haven’t stopped in here for a while, but it’s lovely to see you’re still blogging, and still living coastal…

    Cheers
    Lisa


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