Not only is hibiscus beautiful but it aids our bodies in so many ways. Hibiscus can be used for treating loss of appetite, colds, heart and nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain and swelling (inflammation), fluid retention, stomach irritation, and disorders of circulation; for dissolving phlegm; as a gentle laxative; and as a diuretic to increase urine output. Hibiscus tea is cultivated from the tropical Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, it is native to tropical climates but was first cultivated in Africa. It produces a tea that is bright red in color and packed with fruity flavor that is rich, bold, and citrusy. Hibiscus has a long history of use in both cuisine/healing and has been used in Egypt and Sudan for hundreds of years, where it is called “Karkade.” In ancient Egypt, the tea was served cold and used primarily by Pharaohs to cool off in the desert heat. In Africa, hibiscus has been used for centuries to regulate the body temperature, lower blood pressure, support heart health, and alleviate upper respiratory troubles. I enjoy adding hibiscus to any tea I make but primarily I add it when I need to help out my immune system or I am feeling very anxious. One of my favorite blends is a mix of hibiscus, elder berries and flowers, echinacea, slippery elm, lavender, and rose. I will add green or black tea if I need some energy.

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