History and background
Hibiscus is part of the mallow family, Malvaceae, which also contains the likes of cotton, cocoa, baobab and okra. Its ancestors were native to a range of countries, including China, India, Hawaii, Fiji, Mauritius and Madagascar, and all still exist around the world to this day. It’s believed that of all these countries, Hibiscus most likely originated from India – but it was made famous by the Chinese, who cultivated a range of species early on. It first made its way to Europe in the 1600s.
How to use dried hibiscus flowers
Dried hibiscus flowers have a whole host of potential uses, most notably in food and drink. The most popular application is hibiscus tea, an ancient herbal remedy that was believed to help treat heart and nerve-related ailments. Nowadays, it’s popular due to its sweet, comforting taste – and tea isn’t the only drink you’ll find hibiscus in.
Gin distillers use the flower to add a distinctive flavour and colour to their beverages, as do some producers of craft beer. You can also use hibiscus in food, namely desserts, jams and syrups – and some bakers add hibiscus flowers for decoration or a splash of colour.
Calorie-free and appealing to the tastebuds, consuming hibiscus isn’t just enjoyable – it could aid digestion and even help with weight loss.Contact Us
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Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, absolutely. It’s not only edible but has great taste, which is why it’s used to make tea, beer and gin.
Though it’s believed to have originated from India, hibiscus was spread around the world from China - and many of the varieties we’re familiar with today emerged from the country. China Rose is actually a species of hibiscus too, with a distinctive appearance.
When added to tea or used in the distillation of gin, hibiscus introduces a distinctive floral taste, not dissimilar to cranberries. For this reason, it can also be used as a substitute for cranberries in desserts and jams.