This simple recipe will not only please your heart but your tastebuds too. Its main ingredient is the hibiscus flower, which is revered for its beauty. A lesser-known quality of the hibiscus flower is its healing ability. In traditional medicine, this beautiful flower has often been used in tea, and as far as taste goes, it's predominantly tart, much like cranberries are. However, with a little bit of sugar and a slice of citrus, the balance is just right.
With respect to the flower's medicinal properties, new and exciting research has shown that hibiscus is especially beneficial for heart health. In fact, scientists have confirmed that the deep red flowers gently lower blood pressure thanks to their diuretic properties (which help the body eliminate excess water).
Furthermore, the flowers have been shown to contain anthocyanin (a powerful compound), which blocks the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), a compound that causes blood vessels to constrict. This effect is exactly what the prescription drug combination of lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide does, but to a milder degree and without the side effects. So, to reap the benefits of this wonderful tea here's a simple recipe:
Hibiscus Tea Recipe
• 4 cups water
• 3 tablespoons dried or 4-5 tablespoons fresh hibiscus flowers
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 tablespoon raw sugar
• Juice of 1 orange
Bring the water to a boil, then pour it over the hibiscus and the cinnamon stick. Steep the ingredients for 20 minutes, then strain the hibiscus and cinnamon stick out. If desired, add sugar and orange juice. This tea may be served hot or cold.
Recipe by: Tieraona Low Dog, MD, author of Life Is Your Best Medicine.