In history every herb and flower has a symbolic meaning. Hibiscus means grace and beauty. Hibiscus (hibiscus abelmoschus and hibiscus sabdariffa) a native to Africa is related to a bushy ornamental shrub that decorates many tropical gardens has become a popular showy houseplant in Europe and North America and is a flowery accessory to many young women in the tropics. The calyces (often referred to as the hibiscus flower itself), which form the outer covering of the flower buds, are dried and used to make a rosy citrus flavored tea.
There are more than 200 species of hibiscus. The type used for tea is Abelmoschus or Sabdariffa. Hibiscus is rich in Vitamin A and C and beta-carotene making it a good antioxidant. Many purport that its health benefits are:
– Replaces electrolytes and quenches thirst during and after athletic endeavors.
– Eases symptoms of colds, flu and coughs
Tea uses – Hibiscus petals are commonly used as a base for herb and fruit infusions. When blended with rosehips and various other dried fruits the resulting drink is lively, fruity and Vitamin C and A healthy. If you are using hibiscus petals in a tea and you intend to add milk to the tea, keep the ratio of hibiscus to tea low, as hibiscus will curdle milk. If teashops want to create their own signature blends, hibiscus can make your blend distinctive and a blend that only ‘you’ can create. A special blend helps build loyalty amongst your customers and is well worth the effort.
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