July 12, 2023
Hibiscus tea, made from the dried petals of the hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa), has been consumed for centuries and is known for its tart, refreshing taste. It is a popular drink in Mexico and can be infused in different ways. I grew up drinking this delicious and refreshing drink and recently learned about all of the fantastic health benefits. You can find the dried hibiscus flowers at almost any Mexican market (look for "flor de Jamaica"), or you can order them online. Agua de Jamaica has a tart, tangy, and berry-like flavor. It’s quite similar to fresh cranberry juice, but with a little more sweetness. Read more below on how to make this unique drink with four simple ingredients.
1. Antioxidant properties: Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and anthocyanins, which help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals. Antioxidants benefit overall health and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
2. Blood pressure management: Research suggests hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure levels. Some studies have found that regularly consuming hibiscus tea can have a modest blood pressure-lowering effect, potentially due to its ability to improve blood vessel function.
3. Heart health: Besides its potential blood pressure-lowering properties, hibiscus tea may positively affect heart health. It may help lower LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, contributing to a healthier cardiovascular system.
4. Liver health: Preliminary research indicates that hibiscus tea may have hepatoprotective properties, meaning it could help protect the liver from damage. Animal studies have shown that hibiscus extract may reduce markers of liver injury and improve liver function. However, more studies are necessary to determine the exact mechanisms and benefits of human liver health.
5. Digestive support: Hibiscus tea has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for digestive issues. It may have mild laxative properties, helping to alleviate constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Additionally, hibiscus tea has been reported to have diuretic effects, which can support urinary tract health.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and stir in 1 cup of the dried hibiscus flowers using a spatula. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
Once the flower has been steeped for about 20 minutes. Strain the tea into your choice of pitcher or tea dispenser.
Mint is a versatile herb known for its medicinal properties. Benefits include aiding digestion, soothing ailments like headaches and skin irritation, supporting respiratory health, promoting oral health, relieving stress, benefiting skin care, and potentially enhancing cognitive function. Mint's refreshing aroma and flavor make it a popular choice.
As I mentioned above, agua de jamaica can be infused with nearly anything. Some other alternatives can be:
Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo or Siraitia grosvenorii, is a Southeast Asian fruit with notable benefits. It serves as a natural calorie-free sweetener with intense sweetness, making it an ideal sugar substitute for those aiming to reduce sugar intake, manage blood sugar, or follow a low-calorie diet. Monk fruit doesn't raise blood sugar levels like sugar does. It contains mogrosides, natural antioxidants that combat free radicals and offer potential protection against chronic diseases. Research indicates anti-inflammatory and potential anticancer properties.
I use about ½ a cup of Monk Fruit Extract but you can use cane sugar, honey, or agave.
Sweetened to your taste preference.
Jaimaca tea concentrate is quite bitter and can be sour to drink alone.
Add another 3-4 cups of water to taste to dilute the concentrate.
Add ice and mix around and enjoy!
This is a great alternative drink to replace sodas, alcoholic drinks, and highly processed juices.
Are you going to try this recipe? Share your thoughts below!
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