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Hibiscus: Its Benefits and Uses

Hibiscus, scientific name Hibiscus Sabdariffa, is a bushy plant originating from North Africa and Southeast Asia. It is known from many different names including Ambashthaki, Bissap, Gongura, Groseille de Guinée, Guinea Sorrel, Hibisco, Hibiscus Calyx, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Jamaica Sorrel, Karkade, Karkadé, Oseille de Guinée, Oseille Rouge, Pulicha Keerai, Red Sorrel, Red Tea, Rosa de Jamaica, Roselle, Sour Tea, Sudanese Tea, Thé Rose d’Abyssinie, Thé Rouge, Zobo, Zobo Tea. It comes from the mallow family called Malvaceae and from the genus Hibiscus. In the Philippines, we have Gumamela which looks similar to Hibiscus. They are from the same family but not the same genus.

Hibiscus is used in food and beverages as well as alternative medicine. The flowers are used in drinks, jams, soup, sauce, spice mix and even as natural food coloring. But the most popular use, is to make tea out of it.

Drinks made using Hibiscus flowers

In alternative medicine, the flowers and other parts of hibiscus are used to treat colds, stomach irritation, swelling, loss of appetite, cough, stomach irritation and many more.

Health Benefits of Hibiscus

Hibiscus and Blood Pressure

In the study published in Journal of Nutrition in 2010, people who were served three 8-oz serving of hibiscus tea daily for 6 weeks showed lower blood pressure compared to those who were served with placebo drink. Another study published in 2015 showed that participants who drank hibiscus tea showed lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. More studies are needed to prove these claims though.

Hibiscus, Cholesterol and Diabetes

Hibiscus have shown to help in managing cholesterol levels. According to a study published in 2009, Sour Tea or Hibiscus tea has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and may be helpful for people who are suffering from diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

How to Make Hibiscus Kombucha Tea


Hibiscus tea can be used to make kombucha tea. It contains tannins, which the SCOBY uses to thrive on. Since hibiscus tea is already flavorful, second fermentation and flavoring is just optional. Click here to get my hibiscus kombucha tea recipe.

Hibiscus Jelly Recipe

This hibiscus jelly recipe is adapted from Genius Kitchen’s recipe. Pectin could be hard to find in the Philippines, so I used Guar gum instead. If you have cornstarch, that could work as well.

Ingredients:

¼ cup Dried hibiscus flowers/Tea

1 ½ cup water (you may also use apple juice or cranberry juice)

1 cup boiling water

1 cup vinegar

4 tbsp kalamansi juice

5 cups sugar

2 tsp cornstarch or Guar gum

Instructions:

  1. Bring to boil 1 cup of water. When water starts boiling, add 5 cups of sugar. Stir until completely dissolved.
  2. Add hibiscus flowers and steep for 8-10 minutes. Do not stir.
  3. Remove the flowers.
  4. Mix all the remaining water or juice, kalamansi juice and vinegar in a bowl and add in the cornstarch or guar gum to make a roax. Then pour in the mixture to the pot. Turn off the heat once the mixture has thicken.
  5. Let the mixture cool down, then store in jars.

Want to make hibiscus tea or jelly at home? Get your stash of Organic Hibiscus Tea here.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3593772/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531707000280

https://www.naturalnews.com/blood_pressure.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/herbal-tea

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678781

http://www.gaiaherbs.com/articles/detail/42/The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Hibiscus

 

 

 

 

 

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Butterfly Pea – Its Benefits and Uses

Have you seen that “unicorn” drink that changes colors? If you have, were you also mesmerized like me? I’m talking about the drink that you see around Instagram and facebook that as an ombre color of dark blue to purple to magenta. When I first saw it, my first thought was, “Wow, how did they do that?” And then I discovered the Butterfly Pea Tea.

clitoria ternatea philippines
Photo credit: Love and Olive Oil

Now, I still don’t know if those tea shops I saw used Butterfly Pea Tea to make the unicorn drink. But this tea is awesome, delicious, it changes colors and can be used for brewing Kombucha tea.

What is the Butterfly Pea?

Butterfly Pea, also known as Clitoria Ternatea, Blue Ternate, Blue Pea, Asian Pigeonwings, or Cordofan, is a herbal tea or tisane that is native to Southeast Asia. It is used in Asian cooking as food coloring, garnish to salads and as tea. When used as tea, it changes colors as the pH level changes. That is why when you add lemon, the color changes from blue to dark purple or magenta.

What are the benefits of butterfly pea?

Clitoria Ternatea is not just used in Asian cooking because of its color, but also because of its health benefits. Like green tea, butterfly pea flowers are rich in antioxidants. According to this study, it helps in protecting the body from age-mediated diabetic complication by fighting against glycation, a process in which a sugar molecule bonds with a lipid or protein molecule that usually causes premature skin aging. This study also shows that Butterfly Pea is effective in treating inflammation. Blue pea also contains cyclotides, the peptides that have antitumor effects. Although more studies are needed to prove the effects of Butterfly Pea to cancer, it has a potential.

How to Make Butterfly Pea Tea

Serving: 1 cup

What You Need:

  • Butterfly Pea Tea (You can get it here)
  • Sugar or any sweetener of your choice (optional)
  • Water
  • Kettle

Instructions:

  1. Bring water to boil until 90 degrees Celsius. Pour water in to your cup.
  2. Add 1 gram of butterfly pea tea. Steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea and add sweetener if you like.
  4. Serve and Enjoy

To make Kombucha tea using Clitoria Ternatea, please go to this link.

butterfly blue pea kombucha tea 

How to Make Blue Rice

blue rice recipe
Photo credit: http://kauaiseascapesnursery.com

Blue Rice is famous in other parts of Asia. Here’s a recipe on how to make it using Butterfly Blue Pea.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup dried Butterfly Pea Flowers or Butterfly Pea Tea (get it here)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water

Instructions:

  1. Start by boiling ½ cup of water. Once it starts showing bubble, turn off the heat and add ¼ cup of butterfly pea flowers. Let it steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove the flowers.
  2. Mix the water that has now turned blue to the remaining water. Pour it in to your rice cooker.
  3. Rinse your rice once or twice then pour it in to your rice cooker. Cook like how you cook a regular steamed rice.
  4. Serve
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The Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages all over the world. It originated in China, but has spread throughout  Asia. Unlike Black and Oolong tea, it didn’t go through withering and oxidation process.

Christopher Ochner, a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, claims that Green tea is the healthiest drink you can think of.

“Green tea is the healthiest drink you can think of.”

What’s in Green Tea?

Green tea is a nutritious drink. It contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium and Sodium. It is notably known to contain antioxidants, particularly polyphenols that help in preventing cell damage. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea

What are the benefits of Green Tea?

 

Helps Preventing Heart Diseases and Stroke

Catechin, the natural chemicals found in green tea, helps in lowering down cholesterol levels. A study in 2012 shows that 821 people who consumed green and black tea daily have lowered their cholesterol levels, which is the cause of many cardiovascular problems.

It Improves Energy

Green tea contains caffeine. 100 grams of green tea contains 12 mg of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that improves our energy.

Green Tea Protects the Skin

A study published in 2007 concluded that green tea could help in treating inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis and dandruff. Those who were treated with green tea showed significant changes in symptoms. The Green Tea polyphenols, the antioxidants found in green tea, also help in protecting the skin from Ultraviolet radiation. A study in 2012 shows that it is helpful in prevent skin’s premature aging.

Green Tea Improves Brain Function, Lowers Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Memory Loss

Catechins, the antioxidants found in green tea, protects the brain from neurological disorders such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases, according to this study published in 2008. This chemical particularly helps in improving the memory, which is the main symptom of these diseases.

Green Tea Improves Dental Health and Kills Bacteria

Green Tea such as the Sencha Green Tea can help in inhibiting the growth of streptococcus mutans, a bacteria that causes buildup of plaque that leads to cavities and tooth decay. Drinking green tea will also help in lowering risks of infection and bad breath.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

Although drinking green tea doesn’t directly burn fats, it can still help in weight loss. A cup of green tea contains only 2 calories per 8 fl. Ounces while the same amount of coca cola contains 92 calories. If you swap all the sugary drinks with green tea, you will most likely lose weight.

buy organic green tea philippines

If you have questions about green tea, please post them down in the comment sections. If you like this article, please share them with your friends!

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day Sale!

mothers day sale kombucha philippines

mothers day sale kombucha philippines

According to the new study from the National University of Singapore, Chinese seniors aged 55 and above may benefit from drinking tea as it reduces the risk of cognitive decline by 50%. People who are genetically at risk to Alzheimer’s may lower their risk by up to 86% by doing so.

So, give your mothers or anyone in your life who look after you like a mother, a gift of health by giving her tea. Click here to shop for organic tea and herbal teas.

 

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316093412.htm