Agua de Jamaica or Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus sabdarifta

The roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus native to the Old World tropics.

One of our favorite drinks in El Salvador is  “Agua de Flor de Jamaica” (pronounced xaˈmajka), also called agua de rosa de Jamaica, known here in the US as hibiscus tea.

The Hibiscus plant grows in tropical and subtropical climates throughout the world. It’s beautiful red flowers have been used for thousands of years, consumed as a tea, added to salads, made into pies and jellies and for its medicinal properties in Ayurvedic medicine. This delicious deep red colored tea is consumed regularly in Egypt, Jamaica, Thailand, Mexico, Central America, Pacific Islands, Sudan and India. It has a pleasant unique tart flavor and hence is often sweetened with sugar or honey. It can be served both hot or cold. Scientific studies have unveiled profound health benefits from drinking this tea which ancient cultures have known instinctively.

Hibiscus tea is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin c and minerals. It also has amino acids and flavonoids which are all beneficial to our health. Approximately 15-30 percent of the hibiscus plant is made up of plant acids, including citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and hibiscus acid, which is unique to hibiscus.

Other important chemical constituents include alkaloids, anthocyanins, and quercetin.

Dry Hibiscus and hot tea.
You can add ginger, cinnamon and for hot summer nights drink cold.

Some health benefits of drinking hibiscus tea:

  • Lowers High Cholesterol
  • Lowers High Blood Pressure
  • Prevents the common cold, flu and other infectious illnesses
  • Slows down the aging process
  • Helps to treat painful constipation
  • Improves the overall function of the bowels
  • Prevents bladder infections
  • Helps to treat diabetes and liver disease
  • Helps to treat and prevent gout
  • Supports weight loss

Check out my next class How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally! A healthy heart a healthy you! this coming Saturday March 16th at Dandelion Botanical Company.

Sources

BBC News Hibiscus ‘may reduce cholesterol’ Retrieved June 20,2012

Suite101: Hibiscus Tea A Powerhouse of Health Benefits

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

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