Why is hibiscus incredible for our gut?
Although the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant is native to Africa, it is now commonly grown in the tropics worldwide. Its flowers are often found on woody shrubs and small trees, and can come in red, yellow, white and other beautiful colors. Not only are these flowers pretty to the eye, but they are also beneficial for the gut!
The flowers are often made into tea (a sour tea known as Sorrell tea), and are served both hot and cold. The tea is known for its vibrant red color, tart flavor and beneficial nutrients. It’s tart, but also fruity, refreshing flavor resembles that of cranberries, and the tea is made by steeping fresh or dried flowers in boiling water and adding sweetener for taste. Hibiscus tea is beneficial for the gut microbiome because it acts as a natural diuretic and is extremely hydrating. Both of these components help move food through your digestive tract and prevent constipation.
Hibiscus is an excellent source of vitamin C and iron and also contains antioxidant properties that have been shown to be beneficial for optimizing one's health . In one study, it was found that hibiscus extract can inhibit the growth of E. coli strains that can be inflammatory and cause cramping, gas, and even diarrhea! Other studies have also implicated the promotion of the production of nitric oxide, which expands blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. In addition it has even been shown to promote gut health and dysbiosis in liver diseases and disorders.
Additionally, dysbiosis in the gut can lead to an excessive amount of bacteria to enter into the liver, causing inflammation and liver problems. The antioxidants that hibiscus contains have been shown in a variety of studies to be hepatoprotective, or liver-protective, because they can reduce cell damage to the liver. If an individual is suffering from dysbiosis, hibiscus is a great #GoodGut food to help with not only the intestinal lining, but also liver protection and health promotion!
Ways to eat it
You can eat the flower straight from the plant, which is used as a culinary edible plant. The flowers can be sautéed in savory dishes. They can be steeped in tea.The fresh flowers can be added to relishes, jam, salads, or smoothies!
Recipe: Hibiscus Smoothie
1 cup hibiscus tea, cooled
1 medium apple, cored
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1/2 pomegranate, fresh or frozen
1 cup water
1/2 cup ice
Mix All Ingredients In Blender Until Smooth & Enjoy!
Heal With Each Meal!
Want These #GoodGut Recipes and 100+ More? Click Here
Sign Up for Our Newsletter Click Here
Become a Patient Click Here
Hopkins, A., Lamm, M., Funk, J., Ritenbaugh, C. (2014). Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in the treatment of
hypertension and hyperlipidemia: a comprehensive review of animal and human studies.
Jung, E., Kim, Y., Joo, N. (2013). Physicochemical properties and antimicrobial activity of Roselle
(Hibiscus sabdariffa L.). Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture.
My Food Story. (June 24 2021). How to make hibiscus tea and its benefits. My food story.
Da-Costa-Rocha, I., Bonnlaender, B., Sievers, H., Pischel, I., & Heinrich, M. (2014). Hibiscus sabdariffa
L. - a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Food chemistry, 165, 424–443.
Meng, X., Li, S., Li, Y., Gan, R. Y., & Li, H. B. (2018). Gut Microbiota's Relationship with Liver Disease
and Role in Hepatoprotection by Dietary Natural Products and Probiotics. Nutrients, 10(10),
Higginbotham, K. L., Burris, K. P., Zivanovic, S., Davidson, P. M., & Stewart, C. N., Jr (2014).
Antimicrobial activity of Hibiscus sabdariffa aqueous extracts against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus in a microbiological medium and milk of various fat concentrations. Journal of food protection, 77(2), 262–268. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-313.