Roselle Juice And Hibiscus Tea: Benefits + Recipe

If you are considering adding Roselle juice or Hibiscus tea to your diet, you are in for a world of good for your body. In this article I will talk about the health benefits and share a few simple recipes to help you make these drinks at home.

With its lovely characteristic deep red color and amazing things it does for your health, there is a reason it is consumed and loved all over the world.

But first, let’s start with a really common question!

Are Hibiscus And Roselle The Same Thing?

Hibiscus and Roselle in some parts of the world are considered the same thing and the name is used interchangeably. While all true roselle plants are truly hibiscus plants, not all hibiscus plants are roselle.

It is the hibiscus sabdariffa genus that is in fact roselle. Other genus of hibiscus can also be used in tea or juice, but only the sadariffa is considered roselle.

Hibiscus Sabdariffa (Roselle)

The hibiscus sabdariffa which is used to make hibiscus tea, also called Guinea sorrel or roselle, is a tropical perennial plant, native to Asia and the Pacific Islands, which grows up to 3 meters high and at least 2 meters wide.

roselle flower

It produces many paper-like flowers that, when they fade and the petals fall, reveal the bright red chalice. Even though all the flower can be used to make the drink, only the calyx is usually used.

It can be consumed hot or cold, depending on the individual preferences.

Many traditional drinks are made from this plant, such as agua de Jamaica in Mexico. You can see how to make agua de Jamaica here if you want to try this, but you should know this version of Hibiscus tea are often very sweet and less beneficial to your health.

Below we look at some of the main reasons to make hibiscus tea your favorite everyday herbal tea!

refreshing iced hibiscus tea recipe

8 Hibiscus Tea Benefits

Not only is it refreshing and easy to make, there are so many health benefits to drinking hibiscus tea. So, let’s take a look at all the good these teas can do.

Decrease blood pressure

Several studies suggest that hibiscus tea reduces blood pressure very effectively, even in people with health problems that increase their risk of high blood pressure.

A study conducted in 2013 found that hibiscus tea is used in a dozen countries as a natural treatment for high blood pressure, with no evidence of harmful side effects-apart from excessive consumption. Other studies have come to the same conclusion, and have confirmed the idea that hibiscus may decrease blood pressure in subjects at risk of hypertension, or with mild hypertension.

An important fact is that these results are confirmed in people with diabetes. Indeed, one study found that after only 4 weeks, diabetic participants had lower blood pressure by consuming hibiscus tea daily. The recommended daily dose was 3 glasses.

Another study found that hibiscus tea could even be more effective than hydrochlorothiazide, a molecule widely used against high blood pressure, and did not have the disadvantage of causing electrolyte imbalances.

Maintain Healthy Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Hibiscus can help individuals with dyslipidemia to better balance their cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition, these are two risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that can have particularly adverse effects on the health of individuals.

One study showed that hibiscus extract is an excellent natural remedy for reducing cholesterol and triglycerides in people with metabolic syndrome.

As with blood pressure, the effects of hibiscus on blood lipids also affect diabetic individuals. Indeed, a 2009 study found an increase in good HDL cholesterol, and a decrease in both bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides when patients with diabetes drank hibiscus tea 2 times a day.

Preven Oxidative Stress

Hibiscus tea is full of antioxidants that fight against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This is due to the anthocyanins that are found in the plant, the natural pigments that give the flower its red color.

One study found that consumption of hibiscus tea increased the load of antioxidants in the blood, and reduced the number of compounds that contributed to oxidizing stress. Since the participants had high amounts of hippuric acid, the researchers concluded that hibiscus polyphenols had been transformed by the intestinal microbiota.

Prevent Certain Cancers

Hibiscus is increasingly being studied in relation to its effects on cancer. A laboratory study found that hibiscus extract could kill leukemia cells. The mechanisms behind this effect are not yet known, but the results are promising. Similar results were found in relation to stomach cancer.

Reduce Obesity

Hibiscus antioxidants protect cells, but other plant compounds can also promote weight loss and minimize health problems associated with overweight and obesity. There are several studies that have found a link between hibiscus tea and faster metabolism. Hibiscus extract may even decrease the absorption of starch and sucrose following a meal.

Drinking hibiscus tea at least once a day can help fight insulin resistance, a common sign of pre-diabetes. Indeed, this infusion can help maintain a good blood glucose level in diabetic individuals.

Another obesity-related disease is non-alcoholic liver steatosis, an overload in liver fat unrelated to alcohol consumption. Studies have suggested that hibiscus tea is good for liver health by preventing the accumulation of fats in it that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and hepatocellular insufficiency.

Natural Antidepressant

Hibiscus tea is one of the natural remedies for depression, fighting against certain signs of depression such as fatigue, despair, lack of motivation, etc.

This is a new field of research, but studies have shown that some bio-flavonoids found in the hibiscus flower could enable it to fight depression.

Remedy For Staphylococcal Infection

The extracts of hibiscus rosa sinensis, one of the plants sometimes used to make the hibiscus tea, has antibacterial abilities, especially against Golden Staphylococcus.

Prevent Kidney Stones

Since hibiscus tea is a diuretic, it is studied in connection with the renal system and the urinary system. One study found that this infusion would reduce the occurrence of compounds involved in the formation of kidney stones .

Hibiscus Side Effects

Hibiscus tea could be harmful to the liver if it is taken in very large quantities. However, the toxicity of hibiscus appears at such high doses that it would be difficult to consume as much in a tea.

Warning: Hibiscus tea is not recommended for woman who are pregnant. Although research has only been done on pregnant animals, enough was found to discourage the consumption of hibiscus during pregnancy.

Best Time To Drink Hibiscus Tea

You can drink hibiscus tea pretty much at any time of the day, though keeping in mind it may sometimes have stimulating and detoxifying, laxative effects. It is generally recommended to consume between about 24 ounces daily.

dry hibiscus flower spoon

Roselle Juice Recipe

In just 20 minutes you can have a fresh roselle juice to quench your thirst. This recipe will make about 2 cups of juice for you to enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • Fresh mint leaf (optional)

Preparation

  1. Boil water
  2. Add dried hibiscus and steep for about 20 minutes
  3. Let sit to allow flavors to infuse for about 30 minutes
  4. Filter water to remove leaves
  5. Add sugar and mint and enjoy

You can enjoy it hot by heating it up again or add ice cubes and enjoy it cold.

Hibiscus (Roselle) Tea Recipe

This hibiscus tea recipe is easy to make with a few simple ingredients. You just need a few minutes to get the ingredients together and then enough time for it to infuse those amazing flavors.

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces water
  • 4 tablespoons semolina sugar
  • 3 grains black pepper
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • Zest of 1/4 lemon
  • Zest of 1/4 orange
  • 1/2 vanilla pod with seeds
  • 5 tablespoons dried hibiscus flower

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a pot and heat on low heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and let sit to infuse flavors for about 2 hours.

You can then warm it up again to enjoy a hot tea or add some ice to enjoy it cooled.

There are so many options for making roselle juice or hibiscus tea (whichever you prefer to call it!). You can add honey, different spices like cinnamon or cardamom, herbs, or explore more unique options that your tastebuds enjoy.

roselle juice with ice

Other Uses For Hibiscus

While the hibiscus flower is used mainly as a drink, it has other interesting uses too:

  • Great for making a puree, sauce or hibiscus rosella jam as they do in Cameroon, Congo Kinshasa, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, etc.
  • In cosmetics, especially mixed with henna to color and make hair shine.
  • As a food coloring to substitute out chemical dyes.
  • Make those shoes shine! In Asia, the hibiscus flower is known as the shoe flower, because it is used to make shoes shine.
  • As a ceremonial offering: in India, they are offered to the Goddess Kali so that she fulfills the vows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions around roselle or hibiscus tea. If you have other questions, feel free to drop a comment and I will do my best to help you!

Are Hibiscus and Roselle the same thing?

In most parts of the world, yes, hibiscus and roselle are considered the same thing and the terms are used interchangeably.

What does Hibiscus tea or Roselle juice taste like?

The Hibiscus tea has a tart taste with a subtle feel and fragrance of red berry fruits. It has a flavor that is close to cranberry, but with a touch of raspberry flavor.

What are the side effects of drinking hibiscus?

For most people drinking hibiscus tea or roselle juice will not have an side effects. It is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or children though. There can be harm to the liver if drank in excess, but that would require a lot of it which would be hard to get to.