The stunning red Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa, adds a dash of colour to the lush green landscape of Northeast India. Believed to be native to some regions in Africa and South-east Asia including Northeast India, Hibiscus has traditionally been used for culinary purposes, in folk medicines, and even as a dye due to its deep red colour. Fresh or dried calyces (the part of the Hibiscus plant that protects and supports the flower) are used in the preparation of herbal drinks, fermented drinks, wine, jam, ice cream, chocolates, flavouring agents and puddings. It also finds a mention in some signature dishes from the Northeast region – Masor tenga in Assam and Mapan metpa in Manipur, to name a few.
The Impressive properties of Hibiscus
Other than its obvious culinary use, various parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine for treatment of diseases as well. In folk medicine it is valued for its mild laxative effect, ability to increase urination, treatment of cracks in feet, bilious sores and wounds. In some African countries, it has historically been used for decreasing body temperature, treating heart disease, and soothing a sore throat. Recent studies have looked at the possible role of Hibiscus in treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Studies have also shown that poly-phenolic acid, flavonoids and anthocyanins which are found in Hibiscus are potent antioxidants. The calyces are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, B2, B3, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and contain a high percentage of organic acids some of which are important dietary components. It is perhaps for these reasons that Hibiscus tea has been a popular beverage and is known to be beneficial in healing anxiety, liver disorders, and numerous physical & mental health conditions.
Blended with Wild Green Tea
When this potent ingredient is combined with wild green tea we get a brew that’s packed with antioxidants – compounds that are beneficial in helping prevent damage & disease due to the build up of free radicles in the body. The combined properties of the two make for a concoction that aids in detox, improves concentration & elevates mood, is good for heart health, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Aren’t these wonderful reasons to give this potent brew a try?
And, we haven’t yet gotten to the really interesting part. The wild green tea is not cultivated on tea plantations but foraged from the forests of Northeast! They belong to the same species, Camellia sinensis, as the garden variety, but these are found growing in the wild without any human intervention. In the wild, the tea trees grow to be really tall, about thirty feet or so, and have thick trunks and a deep root system. They are able to absorb more nutrients and minerals from the forest soil and grow without the harmful effects of pollutants or chemicals in the form of fertilisers or insecticides. The fascinating thing is that when the tea trees grow in a bio-diverse forest eco-system, they are influenced by the flora and fauna around them. Thus, their flavours are much more complex than the garden variety. Also, recent studies suggest that plants that grow in the wild are richer in antioxidants than the farmed crops. Essentially, the tea leaves foraged from the wild are beyond organic and 100% unadulterated. The hibiscus plant also grows in the wild on the mountain slopes of Northeast.
The wild tea leaves are foraged from the forests by the native tea pickers and processed using indigenous techniques. The handcrafting of teas is a skilled art and the various techniques used such as rolling by hand, sun drying etc., ensure that the nutrients are retained as is the whole leaf.
While the wild teas can be enjoyed pure, our tea artisans at Beyondarie also experiment with different potent native ingredients and flavour profiles to create blends that are not only flavourful but also packed with wellness benefits. Some of these ingredients may be difficult to consume by themselves but beautifully complement the flavour of wild teas.
One such deliciously potent brew is the blend of Wild Green Tea with Hibiscus. The light and subtle flavours of the wild green tea is enhanced with the tinge of sourness that comes from the hibiscus. This is a brew that is worthy of being included in your daily wellness ritual! Enjoy its delicious flavour and let the ingredients do their magic!