One of my favourite teas is Rosella – straight from the garden, fresh and flavoursome.
Rosella tea is popular around the world and it’s no wonder – it’s easy to grow, tastes great, looks amazing and has so many positive health benefits.
This brightly coloured tea is actually made from the calyx of Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flowers. The calyx is the succulent-like base of the flower. Casually it is referred to as the rosella fruit – probably because it is very popular for making jam and cordial.
The richly red tea has a cranberry-like flavour which is great on its own or blended with other things such as peppermint, ginger and lemon myrtle (other lemon flavours are great too – lemon or lime juice, lemongrass leaves, lemon balm or lemon verbena).
This is my latest youtube clip (3:37 mins) showing how I make fresh Rosella tea straight from the garden – full of flavour and vitality.
How to grow and harvest Rosella
Rosella is a fixture in my permaculture food forest and kitchen garden every year. Here in the subtropics it grows as an annual, but a perennial in warmer areas. It is a very hardy plant that has few pest problems. It’s a great plant for urban gardens too and large pots. You can keep it trimmed to fit your space.
To find out more about growing and harvesting, see Morag’s previous film https://youtu.be/prA_DO6uDIc and read about how to grow, harvest and use Rosella on Morag’s blog: http://our-permaculture-life.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/how-to-grow-harvest-and-use-rosella.html
Benefits of Rosella Tea
Both hot and cold, Rosella tea is delicious and refreshing and has many health benefits.
- Rosella is rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants. It helps to protect against coughs and colds, and builds your immune system.
- Rosella has diuretic properties – helps to get rid of unneeded water and salt through urine, which also helps to lower blood pressure.
- If taken regularly Rosella tea can prevent bladder infections.
- Rosella tea helps to reduce cramps and menstrual pain, and also balances hormones related to mood swings and depression.
- Rosella tea contains vitamins and minerals that have antidepressant properties. Drinking rosella tea can help to calm the nerves and relax you.
- Rosella tea is drunken by many people to improve digestion.
- Rosella tea quenches thirst and cools the body quickly.
- Rosella tea can help with weight loss since it restricts the absorption of starch and glucose.
Please note: Rosella tea is not recommended for pregnant women as is stimulates menstruation. Also, since it helps to lower blood pressure, it is not recommended for those with low blood pressure already.
I haven't grown rosella before but will plant some when the right time comes. I'm not a tea-drinker typically but I love rosella jam. I remember my grandmother making pots of rosella jam and I always buy some if I see it at a market. Meg:)
When pulling out your spent plants save the tips and unopened buds and dry them to use for tea throughout the year.
Thanks again for such a great informative post and video, I'm definitely sourcing some Rosella plants for Spring 🙂
Hi Morag, I'm absolutely hooked on your blog posts! Thank you for all of the education that you do. I live in Sarasota, Florida USA and we are as far north of the equator as Brisbane is south, and our annual weather patterns seem similar, so your posts really apply to my new home and land.
You've mentioned lemon myrtle a couple of times in posts, which doesn't appear to be in circulation here in the US. Would you know of any sources here? I've got a couple of spots where it would be a perfect plant. Cheers!