If you have traveled to Mexico then chances are that you’ve seen the vibrant, scarlet-hued herbal tea known as hibiscus. Commonly referred to as “sour drink” in Iran, hibiscus not only is a refreshingly tart brew but also has been used worldwide as an effective medicinal beverage. Rich in vitamin C, alkaloids and bioflavonoids, this bright-red elixir is traditionally used for supporting respiratory and cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, maintaining fluid balance and alleviating insomnia.
And now, contemporary research has validated the herb as a health-promoting tonic in a variety of areas.
Historical Uses, Modern Applications
Originally grown in Angola, the cultivation of Hibiscus sabdariffa has spread around the world to such subtropical regions as Sudan, China, Egypt, Mexico and Thailand.
“In Egypt and Sudan, hibiscus is used to help maintain a normal body temperature, support heart health, and encourage fluid balance. North Africans have used hibiscus internally for supporting upper respiratory health including the throat throat and also use it topically to support skin health. In Europe, hibiscus has been employed to support upper respiratory health, alleviate occasional constipation, and promote proper circulation. It is commonly used in combination with lemon balm and St John’s Wort for restlessness and occasional difficulty falling asleep”, states Naturopathic Doctor Tori Hudson.
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