According to the article posted in Mother's Earth News, one cup a day of Hibiscus Tea will lower your systolic blood pressure by 10%! and unlike the high blood pressure drugs the doctor prescribes, it rarely causes side effects. "Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) has been used to treat high blood pressure in both African and Asian traditional medicine. In 1996, researchers in Nigeria confirmed this age-old wisdom by showing that hibiscus flowers reduced blood pressure in laboratory animals. Soon after, researchers in Iran showed the same benefit in people. After measuring the blood pressure of 54 hypertensive adults, the researchers gave them 10 ounces of either black tea or hibiscus tea for 12 days. Average blood pressure d ecreased slightly in the black tea group, but decreased a significant 10 percent in the hibiscus group." Additional studies have confirmed this. How does Hibiscus lower blood pressure? Research has concluded a number of reasons, "It has diuretic properties, it opens the arteries, and it appears to act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which means it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels. In addition, hibiscus boosts immune function and provides valuable antioxidants." Now isn't it better to take a natural herb with no side effects than a pharmaceutical drug? And the best part it is legal to grow in the United States. To use steep 1 to 5 teaspoons of dried flowers per cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Pardon me while I go steep some tea.
hibiscus, lemongrass & basil honey sweet iced tea
Makes: 1 -1/2 Quarts Ingredients: 5 cups water 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced, plus more stalks for serving* 1/4 cup honey, or more to taste (may sub coconut sugar or maple syrup for vegan version) 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers** 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, plus lime slices for serving
Instructions: Bring the water to a boil in a medium size pot. Remove from the heat and add the lemongrass, honey, hibiscus flowers and basil leaves. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a pitcher and discard the used lemongrass, hibiscus flowers and basil.Stir in the lime juice and taste, if needed add more honey. Chill until cold. Serve over ice with a fresh lemongrass stalk, basil and lime. Enjoy!
*If your grocery store does not have fresh lemongrass, 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste (which can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores) can be used in its place.
**I buy my dried hibiscus from Amazon.
***To make the edible flower ice cubes, simply add a variety of edible flowers to an ice cube tray and pour water over them. Freeze and use a s a fresh addition to a glass of water or use in this tea!