Recently a close friend came to me with the following question: "I've being drinking hibiscus tea. What do you think? This is good, right?" I smiled, took a deeper breath than started with my favorite answer: Well, it depends!
Ayurveda teaches us that it all depends! It depends on our individual prakruti (constitution), our vrikruti (actual state), the season, the time of the day, combined with what, your coordinates in the globe... Very simple you see?
And actually, it is very simple!
When it comes to Ayurveda intelligence, all you need is to reconnect to Nature and understand how the human body is perfectly aligned with the surrounding environment. Learn the laws of Nature and everything else starts making sense.
Therefore, guided by the natural cycles, hibiscus flowers will be good for those around areas where the plant naturally occurs, specially during the time of the year when hibiscus are blooming (Summer) and for individuals in need to balance its opposite qualities. Basically, due to the hibiscus cooling nature it is specially beneficial for pitta predominant prakruti and vrikruti, during pitta time of the day and during pitta stage of life.
Unfortunately, hibiscus flowers tea became one more of these marketing trends and people are confused about its uses and effects. Hibiscus tea is good when taken within a proper context: Good during hot Summer days, as a refreshing beverage between 10am to 2pm (pitta time of the day) and beneficial for those needing to balance Pitta dosha (eg.: when experiencing symptoms of excess heat, inflammation, etc.)
½ cup Hibiscus flowers
4 cups boiling water
3 cups cold water
Jaggery, sucanat or cane sugar (cooling energy) or raw honey (warming energy)
Bring 4 cups of water to boil, remove from heat. Add the natural sweetener of your choice and ½ cup chopped hibiscus “flowers” (calyxes). Steep covered for 10-15 minutes. Strain well, pour into a pitcher and add 3 cups of cold water. If using raw honey, be sure to add the honey at the end and do not overheat the honey. Optionally you could also add orange slices.
Another good way to prepare the tea is just by soaking the hibiscus overnight and gently bringing to a gentle and short boil in the morning. Mixing organic rose petals to the hibiscus calyxes is also a beautiful combination when intending to counteract excess of heat. Both roses and hibiscus have a cooling nature. Combined with ginger, hibiscus may support improved blood circulation.
"Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a beautiful, sacred flower commonly used in devotional ceremonies and to make cooling summer beverages. It helps purify the body both physically and spiritually and is useful in disorders associated with the first and second chakra (Yoga of Herbs). Hibiscus promotes the healthy growth of hair and a clear complexion. It also supports the proper function of the kidneys and the female reproductive system."