Valentine's day - where we talk of love, matters of the heart, celebrate our true loves, and eat chocolate. I could talk about roses today, which are lovely indeed, but I thought I would talk about one of my favorite red flowers - hibiscus. It has such beautiful blooms and makes a gorgeous addition to any flower garden but it is also very beneficial...especially for the heart.
When made into a tea (either on its own or in a blend), hibiscus can help lower blood pressure & cholesterol. According to studies, it has antioxidant & anti-cancer properties, and helps boost the immune system. It has also been used in traditional folk medicine to help relieve anxiety and depression. You can easily see why hibiscus continues to be a favorite of herbalists worldwide.
We especially love it in skin care preparations for evening skin tone, tightening skin and reducing dark circles. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are a welcome bonus. Our favorite way to incorporate hibiscus into our skin care products is to make a strong extract with the flowers in glycerin; a preparation known as a glycerite. Many extracts are made with alcohol, which is a wonderful way to extract plant medicine indeed, but that can be drying to skin when incorporated into topical products. This method of extracting in glycerin gives us a gorgeous deep red glycerite that we then incorporate into some of our facial care offerings. *check out the beautiful color of the glycerite in our photo - you can see the deep magenta tone along the top edge of the extract!
I would encourage you to grab a tart hibiscus iced tea the next time you're in your favorite tea shop. It's such a nice, bright flavor.