10 May 2008

Hibiscus for Mother's Day

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
Rudyard Kipling

One great present to give on Mother's Day is a flowering shrub which can give pleasure for years and years. A plant with edible flowers is even better. The Hibiscus (hibiscus sabdariffa) is a great choice as it comes in various size bushes with many colors of flowers to choose from. The flowers are edible, can be used in beauty and health preparations and are great decorations.

The juice of the hibiscus flower is used in hair preparations to prevent dandruff, reduce oil gland secretions, as a general tonic and to prevent hair loss. A popular preparation for thinning hair is made by mixing equal parts of hibiscus flower juice and coconut oil, heated but not boiled, cooled and bottled.

Health wise the flower juice has antibacterial properties and is used for gastro and respiratory problems. It also contains ascorbic and glycolic acids which make it an excellent diuretic. Hibiscus is also natural emollient and softens the skin.

Culinary wise, hibiscus flowers make wonderful teas, drinks and syrups. The leaves and calyx of the hibiscus plant also have their uses but I shall discuss that another time.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums out there.


Detoxifying Hibiscus Tea
From ChannelNewsAsia

fresh hibiscus petals
dried hibiscus petals
lemon Juice

Immerse fresh hibiscus leaves in hot water. Add in some dried ones to release fragrance of tea. Squeeze in lemon juice and add some ice cubes.

Hibiscus Aide
From CaribSeek Recipe by Carol M. Bareuther
Virgin islanders say this drink is good for soothing sore throats.

30 individual red hibiscus blossoms
½ oz / 14g knob fresh ginger
3 quarts/ 2.8 litres water
juice from 6 limes
sweetener to taste
fresh limes, cut in slices for garnish

Wash blossoms and ginger. Grate ginger, place it in a large saucepan, and cover with one quart of water and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add hibiscus blossoms, remove saucepan from heat and cover. When cool, strain liquid into a large pitcher or pot. Add 2 quarts water and juice from limes. Add sweetener to taste. Chill and serve cold over cracked ice. Garnish with fresh lime wedge, if desired. Yield: 12 one-cup servings

Ruby Red Romantic Herb Tea
From Care2 Posted by Annie B. Bond

4 cups filtered water
¼ cup dried red hibiscus flowers
2 tbsps lemongrass or lemon balm
2 tbsps rose hips
Peel of one organic orange, cut into slices
honey/sweetener, to taste

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to boil, then remove from heat. Add all ingredients except the honey. Cover and allow the mixture to steep for about 45 minutes or until deep red. Strain, add the honey to taste, and stir to blend. Pour into your best medium-sized clear or cut-glass pitcher, chill for a couple of hours, and serve. Store, refrigerated, covered, for two days.

Australian Native Hibiscus Syrup
(Microwave Method: Times based on 600 watts on high)

petals only from 10 large hibiscus flowers
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 cup of boiling water
1 cup of sugar

Cover petals with lemon juice in a deep bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until boiling and sugar is all dissolved. Add the petals that have been cooked with the lemon juice to the sugar mixture. Stir well. Cook until reduced by 1/3 - approximately 1 hour. Strain to remove petals. Pour a small quantity over fruit, ice-cream, custard etc. The syrup keeps for a year and you can make up larger quantities at the one time.

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Shinade said...

Happy Mother's Day to you:-)

Thank you Jackie for leaving such valuable information in your last comment.

I know I read other comments many times at sites even if I myself do not comment.

I applaud you for your efforts. You are true friend to the world.

As for my Mother's day our celebration will be next week.

I hope you have a glorious!!
Jackie XX

Princess Haiku said...

Hi Jackie,
Stopped to wish you a Happy Mother's day. Thank you for the advice you have for your readers all year round. I am fond of hibiscus tea, myself. Take care

Naomi said...

Happy Mother's Day Jackie. We celebrated back in March. Didn't know you could use Hibiscus flowers like that. Very interesting post.

Marion said...

Another super post! I didn't know the Hibiscus was such a useful plant.

Thanks for the link you gave me in your comment on my post, Jackie.