In history, every herb and flower has a symbolic meaning. Hibiscus means grace and beauty. Hibiscus (hibiscus Abelmoschus and hibiscus sabdariffa) a native to Africa is related to a bushy ornamental shrub that decorates many tropical gardens has become a popular showy houseplant in Europe and North America and is a flowery accessory to many young women in the tropics. The calyces (often referred to as the hibiscus flower itself), which form the outer covering of the flower buds, are dried and used to make a rosy citrus flavoured tea.
There are more than 200 species of hibiscus. The type used for tea is Abelmoschus or Sabdariffa. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin A and C and beta-carotene making it a good antioxidant.
Many purport that its health benefits are:
- Replaces electrolytes and quenches thirst during and after athletic endeavours.
- Eases symptoms of colds, flu and coughs
Hibiscus petals are commonly used as a base for herb and fruit infusions. When blended with rosehips and various other dried fruits the resulting drink is lively, fruity and Vitamin C and A healthy. If you are using hibiscus petals in a tea and you intend to add milk to the tea, keep the ratio of hibiscus to tea low, as hibiscus will curdle milk.