Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants from the Malvaceae or mallow family. While the genus is notably diverse, as evidenced by numerous species that are native to various subtropical, tropical, and warm to temperate areas around the world, some species are also distinct with their huge flowers of the same name. Also called rose mallow, the following are the health benefits of hibiscus.
Hibiscus and Cardiovascular Health
Hibiscus promotes the health of the heart. According to Organic Facts, hibiscus is capable of lowering the body’s cholesterol levels and regulating the blood pressure. As per the publication, the plant is capable of reducing the amount of low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the body. This way, the body will be protected from heart disease secondary to blood vessel damage. As per the American Heart Association, as cited by the publication, hibiscus tea consumption helps reduce the blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults, along with the detail that it possesses anti-hypertensive and heart protective properties.
Hibiscus as Antioxidant
Hibiscus also serves as the body’s antioxidant. This means it is capable of helping the body get rid of unwanted and toxic substances, such as free radicals, which as associated with cancer. According to The Tea Talk, the calyces of the hibiscus flower possess high amounts of antioxidants. Therefore, it plays a pivotal role when it comes to safeguarding the body against chronic and inflammatory diseases, which include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.
Hibiscus as Anti-Infective
Hibiscus also helps prevent infection. According to Live Strong, the plant has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which make it useful when it comes to treating cough and boosting one’s appetite. This way, it also helps treat digestive disorders, which may be caused by bacteria. To add, hibiscus promotes relaxation of the intestinal smooth muscles.
Hibiscus and Fluid Balance
Hibiscus also helps maintain fluid balance in the body. According to Gaia Herbs, the plant is used for the said purpose in Egypt and Sudan. In anatomy and physiology, fluid balance is linked to adequate body hydration. This way, hibiscus also helps promote skin and respiratory health, improve blood flow, and prevent occasional constipation. An interesting note is that it can be used with St. John’s Wort as remedy for conditions like insomnia and restlessness.
Hibiscus can be turned into a beverage, such as Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea). According to Simply Recipes, the ingredients include a cup of dried hibiscus flowers, two quarts water, three-fourth to one cup of sugar, half cinnamon stick, few slices of ginger, allspice berries, lime juice, and orange or lime slices.
To prepare, as per the publication, four cups of water and the sugar are combined in a medium saucepan. Next, the cinnamon, ginger slices, and the allspice berries are added and heated until the water boils and the sugar has dissolved. After that, the ingredients are removed from heat and the dried hibiscus flowers are stirred in.
The saucepan is covered and is allowed to sit for 20 minutes. Once done, the ingredients are strained into a pitcher and the used hibiscus flowers, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice berries are discarded. As per the publication, the concentrate can be stored and chilled until the drink is made. To prepare, the remaining four cups of water are added to the concentrated and then chilled. As an option, ice and chilled soda water can be added, along with some drops of lime juice for a punch-like tinge.
Hibiscus is beneficial to health due to its nutritional contents. Thus, its addition to various recipes helps promote the body’s total health and wellness.