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Antioxidant Hibiscus Tea


A hand holding a glass containing hibiscus tea and orange wedges

Looking for a refreshing drink as the weather heats up? Look no further. This hibiscus tea is just what you need to quench your thirst while providing anti-inflammatory benefits.



This tea is an anti-inflammatory drink that draws inspiration from the traditional Zobo beverage, also called ‘Sobolo’ in various African countries. It is a caffeine-free and refreshing drink made from dried hibiscus flowers. As the hibiscus flower is naturally sour, you may want to add honey or cane sugar to suit your taste.


The hibiscus flower contains anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that gives various fruits, vegetables, and flowers their red, purple, and blue colours. These anthocyanins are strong antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties that can help regulate the gut microbiota by boosting the growth of helpful bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids. These acids are the primary energy source that maintains gut health.


The Mediterranean diet promotes the use of herbs and spices to reduce the intake of sodium and refined sugars. Therefore, this simple tea is infused with ginger, cinnamon and cloves, which possess anti-inflammatory and gut-soothing effects.


Antioxidant Hibiscus Tea


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 - 45 minutes

Total Time: 45- 50 minutes

*8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hibiscus leaves, dried and washed  

  • 1 540 mL can pineapple, diced in pineapple juice 

  • 2 thumb-sized raw ginger pieces, peeled and cut 

  • 1 seedless orange, sliced 

  • 2 tsp whole cloves 

  • 2 cinnamon sticks 

  • 2.5 litres (10.5 cups) water 

  • ¼ cup honey or white sugar (optional)

  • Mint leaves (optional) 


Equipment

  • Large pot

  • Cheesecloth for straining or coffee filter

  • Your hands or help from a friend if your hands are a little sore


Instructions

  • Add hibiscus leaves to a large pot and pour in water.

  • Add pineapple, ginger, orange slices, cloves and cinnamon.  

  • Cover the pot and leave to boil for 30-40 minutes.  

  • Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or basket coffee filter. Add honey or sugar (optional). 

  • Serve hot or chill in the fridge. Garnish with orange slices, cucumber and mint leaves (optional) 


Extra tips:


  • Using fresh ginger and oranges can be challenging for people with arthritis. Instead, try using stored pre-minced ginger and canned mandarin oranges. 

  • Straining the tea material with a basket coffee filter may be easier than using cheesecloth. 

  • Storing the tea in ice cube trays allows for easy storage and convenient use with hot or cold water. 


Since 2020, I've had the privilege of developing more anti-inflammatory recipes for the Arthritis Society's Flourish program. For more anti-inflammatory recipe ideas, check out The Arthritis Society's website.



Hibiscus Tea Gut Health Fun Fact:


Are you having trouble moving your food down? Ginger contains Gingerol, a natural component that helps with gastrointestinal motility, the rate at which food passes through the gut from the stomach to the colon, to facilitate the digestive process.




Are your RA and Sjogren causing tummy troubles?


Join the next Sjogren's Gut Series on Tips & Tricks to Manage Constipation in Sjogren's.





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