My honey, Mista Brooks, got me a gift certificate to Mountain Rose Herbs for Christmas. I spent it immediately. I bought a bunch of empty gel capsules, and a capsule filling device thingy. I filled a bunch with cardamom and coriander powder for the sake of my urinary tract, which I’ve written about in a previous My Inner Alchemist post. But the star of the show today is Hibiscus flower powder! I bought 8 ounces of the beautiful, red, fine powder to add to my smoothies.
I first encountered Hibiscus as a tea, and started drinking it regularly. One of the many benefits this flower touts is its high levels of vitamin C. But I eventually remembered the one thing I learned from the one class I failed in college: heat/cooking destroys vitamin C. I looked up the temperature at which the vitamin is degraded and realized that steeping the tea in boiling water was definitely doing the job. I just Googled this again and now there are conflicting reports, however, the websites that debate this are just click-bait driven and so I only looked at actual studies. Here is one of many studies that concludes heat destroys vitamin C.
So in order to preserve this immune boosting vitamin, I decided to buy the powder and add a teaspoon to my morning smoothie (which also contains whole leaf aloe vera gel, just juice, unsweetened coconut milk, a banana, frozen strawberries, and frozen peaches). The addition not only turns my breakfast into a beautiful color, but it tastes absolutely delicious. Where has this powder been all my life?
There are a TON of properties in this flower that are very beneficial to one’s health, especially mine. This paper from the International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences provides a great overview of what those properties and benefits are. My favorite ones, that I am already experiencing since I started adding the powder a week ago, have to do with my urinary and digestive tract. Hibiscus is a diuretic among others things. However, this paper also points out that too much of this powder can have a negative effect on my lady organs, so I will be sure to take a break from it, and not consume it every day.