I am keeping this post nice and short. Just like the ingredient list of this wonderful tea. People often ask me for good alternatives for coffee when they want to start drinking less of it or stop all together. Well, the obvious Ayurvedic alternative is of course chai tea. Which I happen to adore. But even that can get boring after a while and sometimes you just want something that has a dash more glamour to it.
So inspired by the Mexican themed high tea of my latest pop up event I came up with this little number. It’s a drink you are gonna love, for so many reasons. First off it is tasty. Just the perfect mix of tart, sweet and spicy. Secondly it is so easy to make with just 5 ingredients which most of you will have at home anyway. Apart from the dried hibiscus leaves. But go out and buy a packet of those heavenly petals once and you will be using them for months on end. I promise. It is also a very goodlooking drink. Adding just a dash of theatre to your cup of tea as the hibiscus leeks it’s beautiful scarlet red colour into the hot water. Making it a great drink for kids as well. And finally, as the name says, it will take care of those nasty flu bacterias trying to get us sick in no time.
Hibiscus or flor de Jamaica (Jamaican flower) as the Mexicans call it is a tropical bloom that can be found in hot climats all over the world. From India and Indonesia to Mexico and the Caribean, all the way to South Africa where there is even an entire region named after the exotic flower. If you google the health benefits of Hibiscus you will be overwhelmed. From claims to lower blood pressure, to stimulating weight loss, and lowering the risk of cardio diseases to aleviating menopausal symptoms. Hibiscus seems to be some sort of wonder flower. I cannot guarantee all these claims to be true but I can attest that also in Ayurveda the flower (well whole plant actually!) and it’s medicinal uses are highly regarded. It is said to be especially good to promote lustrious and healthy hair. (For that I can vow!). And it is often used to aid the menstrual cycle. One thing is for sure. Hibiscus contains very high levels of vitamin C which in combination with ginger and honey make it a perfect flu busting sexy and fun drink.
I like to have mine hot this time of year but in many of the more tropical climates where the flower originates it is served cold as a sort of hibiscus lemonade. You can so easily pimp your drink by adding spices like I did. I went very traditional with cinnamon, cloves and ginger in this version as these spices are known to prevent flu or alleviate it’s symptoms. But I highly recommend you trying a more asian twist sometime by adding star anise and lemon grass. I bet cardamom and some rose water would work for a middle eastern vibe as well.
Hibiscus is said to be cooling so a good drink for Pitta especially. But with the heating spices in it is also fine for the other two types. The spices used in this recipe are especially good for balancing Kapha. Vata would do well with cardamom, ginger and fennel seeds. So without further adue here goes the recipe and let’s give those nasty flu bacterias a good kick in the but!
Flu busting ginger and hibiscus tea
Picture from www.allaboutherbs.com
For 1 cup or glass
- 2 slices of fresh ginger
- 3 cloves
- 1 thin cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon dried hibiscus flowers (buy at a well stocked Middle Eastern, African or Mexican store)
- 200 ml boiled water
- honey to taste
Mix in the first 4 ingredients. Let cool down a bit before sweeting with honey to taste.