Sunday, October 12, 2014

Heart Healthy Drinks - Lemongrass and Hibiscus Tea for Non-Processed Food Challenge Drinks

October has been the non-processed food diet month.  For twelve days now I have been only eating all organic fresh fruits, organic fresh vegetables organic-grass fed dairy, meats and fish.

Freshly harvested lemongrass in the dehydrator, heart healthy  herbs
Water has been my main liquid and I've been drinking lots of it, about three or four liters a day.

So today I decided to make some tea from the garden.  We have lots of lemongrass and Jamaican hibiscus (Roselle)  in the front yard (and in the side yards and in the back yard).
Lemongrass row planting in our front yard, heart healthy herbs
Lemongrass tea besides tasting wonderful provides a variety of health benefits.

Other favorite tea plants of mine include the Jamaican hibiscus, or Roselle and another garden perennial cranberry hibiscus, both offering healthy properties, including lots and lots of important Vitamin C.   Roselle calyces are used to make 'Red Zinger' tea and other island drinks, and since the tea has mildly diuretic properties it is good for blood pressure, kidneys and the heart in many instances.
Cranberry hibiscus, Hibiscus acetosella (L) and Roselle-Jamacian Hibiscus, H. sabdariffa (R) in our front yard

I usually clip a handful of lemongrass stalks, while picking about a cup of the hibiscus leaves and calyces and a handful of leaves.  After rinsing I place in a stainless pan with filtered water, bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour
Jamaican hibiscus & lemongrass tea for heart health - non-processed food challenge
After straining the tea I pour into a glass container and chill in the refrigerator.

For delicious variations try adding fresh ginger, key lime or lemon juice or cinnamon to your lemongrass-Jamacian hibiscus tea, and as always, check with your doctor before using any new herb or medicine.


Footnote:  Most fresh teas are much better for you than sweetened soda or colas, however always check with your doctor first, especially if you are taking medications or are pregnant.  In this case lemongrass (the phytochemical citral) contains compounds that encourage estrogen production while some studies have shown that roselle actually lowers estrogen levels.

No comments: