Hibiscus Tea
Kettle pouring hibiscus tea into a mug. Pixels/Abdul Sameer

Agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea) has been a longtime summer beverage staple among Latin households and is marked by its iconic ruby red hue. Poured over ice, this drink provides hydration on hot days and pairs well with any lunch or dinner meal.

Aside from cooling down the body, research has shown hibiscus tea's additional health benefits.

Antioxidants and Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus petals contain antioxidants, compounds which can protect against the damage from radiation, tobacco smoke exposure, and molecules created when your body breaks down food. These are also known as free radicals. They harm cells and DNA and may increase the chances of developing cancers, heart diseases, and other chronic illnesses.

By drinking agua de jamaica, and limiting the amount of added sugar, you can fight against harmful free radicals.

Lower Blood Glucose Level with Agua de Jamaica

A 2016 study conducted by Sharma et. al shows that patients with diabetes who ate hibiscus flower powder had lower blood glucose levels. Their glucose levels were closer to the healthy, normal ranges after consumption. The antioxidants mentioned in the last paragraph are mostly responsible for these benefits and can help people manage their diabetes.

Hibiscus Tea May Improve Alzheimer's Symptoms

Another reason to love agua de jamaica is that it might improve memory and cognition. Researchers at Pohang University in South Korea recently published a paper about treating animal subjects with gossypetin, a compound found in hibiscus. The scientists administered gossypetin to animals with Alzheimer Disease symptoms and found their impaired memory was brought back to a healthy range.

Communities around the world have even used hibiscus tea for menstrual cycle regulation, hair growth, and the flu. Rest assured that by drinking agua de jamaica you will keep your body healthy and refreshed!

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