|Freshly harvested lemongrass in the dehydrator, heart healthy herbs|
So today I decided to make some tea from the garden. We have lots of lemongrass and Jamaican hibiscus (Roselle) in the front yard (and in the side yards and in the back yard).
|Lemongrass row planting in our front yard, heart healthy herbs|
Other favorite tea plants of mine include the Jamaican hibiscus, or Roselle and another garden perennial cranberry hibiscus, both offering healthy properties, including lots and lots of important Vitamin C. Roselle calyces are used to make 'Red Zinger' tea and other island drinks, and since the tea has mildly diuretic properties it is good for blood pressure, kidneys and the heart in many instances.
|Cranberry hibiscus, Hibiscus acetosella (L) and Roselle-Jamacian Hibiscus, H. sabdariffa (R) in our front yard|
I usually clip a handful of lemongrass stalks, while picking about a cup of the hibiscus leaves and calyces and a handful of leaves. After rinsing I place in a stainless pan with filtered water, bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour
|Jamaican hibiscus & lemongrass tea for heart health - non-processed food challenge|
For delicious variations try adding fresh ginger, key lime or lemon juice or cinnamon to your lemongrass-Jamacian hibiscus tea, and as always, check with your doctor before using any new herb or medicine.
Footnote: Most fresh teas are much better for you than sweetened soda or colas, however always check with your doctor first, especially if you are taking medications or are pregnant. In this case lemongrass (the phytochemical citral) contains compounds that encourage estrogen production while some studies have shown that roselle actually lowers estrogen levels.