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Edible Hibiscus Flower Health Benefits

Posted by Lisa LaGrou July 27, 2010 Family Health

altYou may have some hibiscus growing in your backyard, but have you ever tried eating hibiscus blooms? I have about four hibiscus plants in my yard and my neighbor mentioned to me that the blooms were not only edible, but that they have some valuable health benefits. I removed some blooms to dry out and I tried it myself. I made a traditional Hibiscus tea and it was pretty tasty.

It’s really easy to do. You can steep the dried pieces in hot water to create the deep rose-colored infusion known as hibiscus tea. Plain, this tea has a subtle, tart and floral flavor that isn’t overpowering. The flowers also work as a great flavor-infuser in other drinks and dishes.

Hibiscus flowers contain high amounts of antioxidants, including vitamin C, but it varies depending on how much hibiscus you use. A cup of unsweetened hibiscus tea contains zero calories and is completely caffeine-free, so I felt comfortable giving it to my kids and did not have to worry about them bouncing off the walls:)! Some research has shown that drinking hibiscus tea many help lower high-blood pressure but there’s no conclusive evidence yet.

A Word of Warning – The amount of hibiscus you’d find in tea is generally recognized as safe, but if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or on any medications, check with your doctor first.

Here are some more ideas of what to do with the hibiscus blooms: Brew hibiscus tea extra strong to use in cocktails and mix in fresh fruit or 100% fruit juice for some added sweetness to go with the health benefits.  Freeze sweetened tea into a granita for a cool and refreshing dessert. You can also add sugar and less water to create a thick, pink syrup or try steeping hibiscus in vinegar for a flavored vinegar.

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