HIBISCUS

                                                                                                                                     Hibiscus
Hibiscus has a pleasant acidic flavour & is rich in vitamin C.
Because it is rich in vitamin C, hibiscus tea is an excellent guard against colds & flu.

It also reduces the blood pressure & may be helpful in cases of arteriosclerosis.
It is a febrifuge & can be used as a refreshing & cooling drink for fevers.
Hibiscus can be regarded as a mild tonic for the digestive system that gently stimulates the action of stomach, kidneys & liver.

It also has been shown to reduce the absorption of alcohol, thus reducing the less than pleasant effects of alcohol poisoning.

It is commonly used in combination with lemon balm & St John’s Wort for restlessness & occasional difficulty with falling asleep.

Hibiscus is used for treating loss of appetite, heart & nerve diseases, upper respiratory tract pain & swelling, fluid retention, stomach irritation & disorders of circulation & for dissolving phlegm.
    Like all antioxidant rich foods, hibiscus tea can help slow the growth of precancerous cells by destroying free radicals.
    Hibiscus tea is often found in natural weight loss products. It contains an enzyme inhibitor that blocks the production of amylase, the enzyme that transforms starches into sugar. Drinking hibiscus tea after meals will therefore help to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates, which will gradually lead to weight loss.

    Hibiscus tea improves the functioning of the bladder & the bowels.
    Its diuretic qualities mean that it has traditionally been used to treat constipation.
    It also has an anti-spasmodic effect & can be used to settle digestive flare ups associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    The minerals & vitamins in hibiscus tea can contribute to a more positive frame of mind & a calming of the nervous system.

    Hibiscus is a traditional remedy in India for diabetes.
    Hibiscus is usually taken as tea, such as 1-2 tsp of dried flower infused in to 1 cup 3x per day.

    PRECAUTIONS:

    Hibiscus is UNSAFE to take during pregnancy. There is some evidence that hibiscus might start menstruation & this could cause a miscarriage.


    RECIPES:

    In foods & beverages, hibiscus is used as a flavoring.
    It is also used to improve the odor, flavor, or appearance of tea mixtures.
    Hibiscus flowers are cooked in custards & flan, or stewed with fruit & sugar to produce syrup.
    The blossoms are also used in baking breads, scones & cakes.

    Tea:

    1 tsp of dried flowers per 1 cup of boiling water.
    Steep 5-10 minutes.
    For cholesterol maintenance: 1 cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily
    For blood pressure maintenance: 1 cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily

    Hibiscus Ice Pops:

    1 1/2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
    6 cups water
    3/4 cup sugar
    Bring all of the ingredients to a boil over medium heat.Reduce the heat to a simmer & continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half, to about 3 cups. This should take 20-40 minutes,depending on the size of the pot.
    Remove from the heat & allow to steep for 30 minutes.
    Strain.
    Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Place the bowl of hibiscus syrup in the ice water & stir until cooled to room temperature.
    Cover the hibiscus syrup & refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 4 hours & up to overnight.
    Divide the hibiscus syrup among ice pop molds & freeze until it’s just beginning to set, about 3 hours.
    Insert the sticks into the molds or cups.
    Let the ice pops freeze for at least 3 more hours.

    Hibiscus chutney:

    1 l fresh blackberries or 500 ml frozen blackberries
    8 hibiscus flowers
    1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
    2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
    2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    salt & pepper to taste
    1/2 cup white wine vinegar

    Toss everything except the vinegar into a big pot.
    Cook & occasionally stir the mixture over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
    Add salt & pepper if you wish.
    Stir in the vinegar & let mixture simmer & thicken for about 10 minutes.
    Refrigerated in an airtight container, this chutney will last for up to 6 weeks.
    Hibiscus Citrus Tea
    12 cups water
    ½ inch freshly grated or chopped ginger
    1 ½ cups dried hibiscus flowers (or 8 hibiscus tea bags)
    1 to 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed
    Combine water and ginger in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in dried flowers or tea bags and sugar. Let steep 10 minutes and give stir to make sure sugar dissolves.
    Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large, heat-resistant bowl or pot. Set aside to cool. Stir in lemon or lime juice and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve over ice.
    - See more at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/lush-life-hibiscus-citrus-tea#sthash.MthKMqXF.dpuf

    BEAUTY:

    Hibiscus Hair Oil:

    Crush 5-6 petals of hibiscus with about 3 leaves, place that in a hot carrier oil (coconut, olive, Castor) for ~10 minutes.
    Strain.
    If you are not using fresh plants,take 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus.
    For shiny, beautiful, lustrous black hair.

    Hibiscus Mask For Dull Hair:

    Take 8-10 flowers & dry them for 4-5 days.
    Powder the petals & mix them with coconut oil –
    1 tsp of powdered petals to 1 tsp of oil.
    Massage it into the scalp once a day for at least a week.
    You can do it at night, then wash it off in the morning.
    The results take 3-4 days to start showing.
    You can use it as your final wash after a conditioning or after a shampoo as a precursor to condition hair.
    It gives hair a glorious shine.
    Store 2-3 days.

    MAGIC:

    The suggestive hibiscus flowers are often used in charms for love & lust.

    In Hawaii, a woman who wears the hibiscus flower behind her left ear is indicating that she would like to take a lover, while one who wears it behind her right has already been claimed. 
    One who wears it behind both, however, already has one lover, but wouldn’t mind another.










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