Medicinal & Edible Benefits of Hibiscus

The colors of Fall are beautiful with the trees changing into an array of yellow, red, gold, orange and brown. You don’t expect to see many plants producing as you do in the Summer.

hibiscus-close-up

There are some exceptions of course. The beautiful Hibiscus Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), with its ruby red calyces and deep burgandy stems. After flowering, the calyx swell with a seed pod at which time we harvest the calyces and peel the red outer covering off to use for teas and jellies and more!

hibiscus-parts

The leaves, flowers and calyces are all edible. The calyces are well known around the world for their gorgeous red color for your teas. In Jamaica they call their drink,  Jamaican Sorrel which is made from the hibiscus calyx along with fresh ginger and sugar. It is delish!!!

I do have one hibiscus plant but it bloomed late so I only have a few calyces to pick BUT I am lucky enough to have some good friends that invited me to the farm they work at to pick all I wanted!

hibiscus-roselle

My Hibiscus plant

hibiscus-harvest

My friend Denise helped me process this giant load of hibiscus. I could not have done it without her. 🙂

hibiscus-closeup

hibiscus-fresh

fresh hibiscus peeled from seed pods. Pic Credit*Denise Hardin

hibiscus-seed-pods-denise

the leftover pods pic credit* Denise Hardin

hibiscus-tray

All my trays of drying hibiscus!

hibiscus-by-denise-hardin

My favorite photographer Denise Hardin

Here is an Herb Profile for you about Hibiscus:

Herbal Lesson on Hibiscus

Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as Roselle or Jamaican Sorrel, is a beautiful tropical plant with reddish green leaves, red stems, red calyces and pale yellow flowers with a red center. It can be grown here in Georgia if started early enough because it flowers in late summer.

Edible uses: The leaves, flowers, calyx are all edible. The red calyx swells up after flowering and then peeled to dry for teas.

To make tea: Use 1 T fresh calyces or 1-2 teaspoons dried per cup of water. Steep 10 minutes. Sweeten.

SYRUP/CORDIAL
This syrup will keep for at least a year. Once opened, it will keep for months if refrigerated. The syrup is delicious over crepes, fresh fruit, custard, ice cream. To make cordial, a very small quantity of syrup can be added to a glass and filled with water. The syrup can also be added to milk to make a delicious drink.
5 cups sugar
4 cups water
4 cups calyces, chopped
Heat the sugar and water in a large saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the calyces and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until the volume of liquid is reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and strain. Bottle the syrup while still hot into clean bottles and seal. The strained calyces can be eaten as a dessert with ice cream or custard.

Medicinal Uses:  Good for the cardiovascular system – can help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Full of antioxidants, high in vitamin C

Cooling to the body and astringent due to the tartness so helpful for fevers, excess fluid, hot flashes, sore throats.

Hibiscus and Ginger Tea : 4 T fresh hibiscus and a few slices fresh ginger to a quart jar, add boiling water, let steep 10-15 minutes. Sweeten with sugar, honey – I used coconut sugar.

www.bellavistanaturals.com – Anne-Marie Bilella  – Bella Vista Farm

Have a beautiful day friends!

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4 Responses to Medicinal & Edible Benefits of Hibiscus

  1. Maria Brosnahan says:

    What tea do you recommend for weight loss and also a tea that can help with memory loss?

    Thanks , Maria

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone

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    • Hi Maria – For weight loss, I recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day or half your weight in ounces, example 150lb person drinks 75 oz water/day. Sometimes dandelion tea or green tea can assist in weight loss. As for memory, I find holy basil is helpful for stress related memory loss. Strengthen the brain with herbs like ginko and gotu kola and rosemary BUT before trying any herbs please check with your doctor or do your own research to make sure you have no interactions to worry about. Hope that helps!

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  2. Ann says:

    Hibiscus tea is my favorite!
    Thank you for sharing the
    information. May have to try a
    plant in the spring!

    Like

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