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.

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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!

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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!

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My Hibiscus plant

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

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fresh hibiscus peeled from seed pods. Pic Credit*Denise Hardin
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the leftover pods pic credit* Denise Hardin
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All my trays of drying hibiscus!
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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!

Recipe for Herbal Smoking Blend & Contest!

Last Christmas I gave my brother in law an herbal smoking blend for his pipe and he loved it! So he asked me to make a bigger batch of it this week. If you don’t want to make it yourself, you can always order a blend pre-made from Mountain Rose Herbs.

The herbs in the blend are relaxing, non addictive and legal. 😀 Here is a bit of info for you on each of the herbs that I use and the recipe will follow.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) –  this herb is actually healing to the lungs for respiratory problems , clearing out the lungs, encouraging expectoration and soothing to the throat.

Damiana ( Tunera diffusa) –  A relaxing, blends especially well with mullein. It’s a nerve relaxer, mood enhancer and a digestive stimulant. Also known to be an aphrodisiac.

Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) – A delicious flavor enhancer to any blend. Full of antioxidants.

Marshmallow Leaf (Althaea officinalis) – Is used to help ease sore throats and dry coughs mainly as a tea but soothing in a smoking blend.

Skullcap (Scuttelaria lateriflora) – a comforting herb to relieve nervous tension and relax the body.

Gather all your herbs!
Gather all your herbs!

HERBAL SMOKING BLEND RECIPE

1/4 cup Damiana

1/4 cup Mullein

a bit more than 1/8 cup Raspberry Leaf

1/8 cup Skullcap

1/8 cup Marshmallow Leaf

Mix together and keep in an airtight container. If you like it to be moist add a sprinkle of water before smoking.

Mix well.
Mix well.

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END of Contest!!!!!!

Alright – NOW if you received the newsletter earlier this month, you know about the contest for the copy of Grow It, Heal It book and I added a reminder about it last week. So the first person that tells me on this post, in the comment section the answer to the following question – you will be the winner.

Question – what plant has been mentioned most in all of the posts this month? Sometimes a clue is hidden in pictures. Good Luck!

Anne-Marie

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