Healthy Hibiscus Tea with Orange and Nettles
This Hibiscus Tea with Orange and Nettles is amazingly delicious as well as super healthy.
Hibiscus tea is made from the dried petals, bark, and calyces (centers) of the hibiscus flower, which It’s beautifully ruby red and sweet/tart delicious. But there’s more …
Hibiscus Tea is FULL of Antioxidants
We hear about how awesome antioxidants are and how we should be getting as many as we can. So, why are antioxidants such a good thing? Well, because antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress. And what’s oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress is what happens naturally in the course of living and breathing. We make what are called “free radicals” when we are being aerobic and breathing and stuff. Which, as oxygen-breathing organisms, we do all the time. They’re not all bad, either. Nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, among other nifty and helpful things, is a free radical. We also use free radicals to obtain energy from the food we eat.
A free radical is just an oxygen-containing molecule that’s missing an electron and is a little unstable. Like a tired tipsy uncle at a holiday gathering, a free radical bangs around crashing into the other cells and causing a general nuisance if not an outright ruckus. In a codependent attempt to right themselves, they will take electrons from surrounding cells. Well, this doesn’t fix anything … it just makes more unstable cells. Pretty soon, the holiday is ruined and everyone is going home angry.
This is where antioxidants can play peacemaker. Antioxidants have electrons they can share without becoming unstable themselves.
If Oprah were an antioxidant she would say, “Everyone’s going home with electrons today! Electrons for you! And you! And you!”
Mental stress, refined oils, sugar, overeating, and myriad things can increase free radicals. Antioxidants can reduce them by lending their spare electrons.
Hibiscus Can Lower Cholesterol
Those antioxidants have real benefits. They can reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol aka the “bad” one, and improve the HDL and LDL ratios.
… and Protect the Liver
Aw, the poor, underappreciated liver. It does so many things. It’s our filter and just about everything that goes into the body passes through the liver. This huge, handy dandy organ metabolizes drugs, filters toxins, and has something to do with just about every metabolic process. It’s really important, m’kay? Antioxidants, like the anthocyanins found in hibiscus and other brightly colored plant foods, reduce inflammation in the liver which makes it much better able to do all the amazing things it does.
Hibiscus Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Kicking back with a relaxing cuppa beautiful flower petal juice can probably improve mood all by itself. But, the flavonoids and antioxidants in hibiscus also seem to positively affect neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. That can add up to decreased tension, stress, anxiety, and an increase in a positive outlook.
Orange is the New Black
Orange peel tea that is. Vitamin C, like that found in citrus like orange and lemon, is another powerful antioxidant. It does much the same as the antioxidants in hibiscus and lowers inflammation, reduces oxidative stress, can increase insulin sensitivity, and all sorts of groovy things.
I’ve included orange peel in this tea mostly because it tastes good, but it’s also good for you. Just inhaling orange peel tea can reduce sinus inflammation.
Stinging Nettle has been used since ancient times as a food, a medicine, and as tea. Not to be redundant, but it has lots of those aforementioned antioxidants. Dried nettle also contains minerals like small amounts of calcium and magnesium.
Hibiscus tea and Nettle tea can be found in many local groceries as loose tea or boxed tea bags. If you do want or need to find it online, this Loose Hibiscus Tea from Frontier is delicious and inexpensive. Or, find it as tea bags here. Nettle tea is also available online in a loose form here. Nettle Tea bags are also available.
Orange peel used here is just that, orange peel. Peel an orange. Eat the orange, make tea with the peel.
Hibiscus Tea with Orange and Nettles
A delicious and healthy tea full of flowery flavor and beneficial antioxidants.
- 5 cups water
- 2 tbsp or bags hibiscus tea
- 2 tbsp chopped orange peel
- 2 tbsp or bags dried nettle tea/leaves
- stevia, or other sweetener, to taste optional
- 1 lemon, cut into slices
Bring 5 cups water to boil and remove from heat. Add the hibiscus, orange peel, and nettle. Let steep for 5 minutes then strain into cups. Reheat if desired and add sweetener (optional) and lemon slices.
Use leftover tea as the liquid for smoothies.
More tea? Try this …