Hibiscus is a flowering plant native to tropical regions around the globe. It belongs to the family Malvaceae. The flowers are bright red, white, or pink and they bloom from June through September. Once mature, your hibiscus flowers may bloom year-round.
Hibiscus tea has become very popular over the years due to its health benefits. In fact, it contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that promote good health.
Hibiscus has been cultivated for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, hibiscus was known as the Queen of Flowers. Today, it is grown worldwide and its popularity continues to rise. There are also many different colors available like yellow, orange, maroon, and so on.
The leaves of hibiscus can be used as an ingredient in cooking, while the flower petals can be added to salads. They also make a great addition to beverages such as lemonade, iced tea, and cocktails.
The hibiscus plant has been used for centuries in China, Africa, India, and Mexico for medicinal purposes. Today, hibiscus tea is widely consumed around the world, especially during hot summer days. The flowers contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, copper, manganese, selenium, sodium, and sulfur.
It's important to note that not all varieties of hibiscus have the same nutritional value. For example, some varieties may have higher amounts of vitamin C than others.
You can use fresh or dried hibiscus leaves in your recipes. To prepare them, simply wash the leaves thoroughly and pat them dry with paper towels. Then chop them into small pieces and store them in airtight containers.
If you prefer, you can purchase pre-made hibiscus teabags at most grocery stores. Simply place one bag in a cup or mug filled with boiling water. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes before serving.
You can use fresh or dried hibiscus leaves to flavor foods like soups, stews, salads, and desserts. Dried hibiscus leaves have an intense floral aroma that adds a distinctive taste to dishes.
To prepare dried hibiscus, soak the leaves in hot water for several hours. Then strain and discard the liquid before using the leaves in cooking.
You can also add hibiscus to fruit juices and smoothies as well.
Medicinal uses of Hibiscus
In Chinese medicine, hibiscus is considered to be a cooling herb. It helps relieve fever, reduce inflammation, and treat diarrhea. It is also believed to help prevent cancer because it contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants.
It is often used to treat ulcers, burns, insect bites, wounds, and skin infections. It is also useful for treating stomach problems such as indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
The hibiscus flower has been used for centuries to treat various ailments such as colds, coughs, fevers, and skin diseases. Today, hibiscus tea is popularly consumed throughout the world.
Benefits of drinking hibiscus tea
There are numerous health benefits associated with drinking hibiscus. Here are just a few:
• Antioxidants - Hibiscus contains anthocyanins, catechins, chlorogenic acids, and kaempferol. These compounds protect against free radicals and help fight off disease.
• Vitamin C - Hibiscus is rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. This makes it beneficial for people who suffer from scurvy.
• Anti-inflammatory properties - Hibiscus contains anti-inflammatory agents called polyphenols. Polyphenols help reduce swelling and pain caused by arthritis and gout.
• Digestive system - Hibiscus is very effective at relieving digestive disorders such as constipation and diarrhea. It stimulates digestion and improves appetite.
• Skincare - Hibiscus tea is known to soothe sunburned skin and ease minor cuts and scrapes. It also works well on pimples and blemishes.
• Heart health - Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Cancer prevention - Hibiscus tea has been shown to inhibit tumor growth. It also protects cells from damage caused by radiation therapy.
How to Grow Hibiscus
Hibiscus plants grow best in warm weather climates. They require full sunlight and regular watering. You should start seeds indoors about six weeks prior to planting outdoors. Seeds will germinate within two to three weeks.
When you're ready to plant out your seedlings, make sure they get plenty of light and water regularly until they reach their final size. Once mature, your hibiscus flowers may bloom year-round.
To keep your hibiscus blooming all season long, cut back spent blossoms when they begin to fade. If you want to harvest your own hibiscus flowers, wait until after the first frost.
Choose the Right Planting Medium
Before planting your hibiscus, choose a good growing medium that's easy to work with. Sand or soil can clog up roots and cause stunted growth. A mixture of peat moss and sand is ideal. Peat moss is available at garden centers and nurseries.
Prepare the Container or bed
You'll need to prepare the bed before planting. Remove any weeds and debris, then rake the area smoothly. Add some compost if necessary.
Plant the sapling
You can use a trowel to dig holes for each plant. Make sure to space the holes 2 inches apart. Insert the root ball into the hole and fill around the base of the stem with the prepared planting mix.
Once your hibiscus begins to sprout leaves, give it a drink every day. Water deeply once a week. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
If you've planted your hibiscus in sandy soil, add some organic fertilizer to the planting mix. Apply according to label instructions.
Harvest Your Flowers
Cutting back spent blooms helps encourage new ones. To do this, remove the flower stalk just above the last set of petals.
Keep your hibiscus healthy
Mulch around the base of the plant to prevent weeds.
Dr. Vandana K.