Hibiscus Tea, Cayenne and Hawthorn Berry
a Heart Healthy Happy Hour
Intrigued by an article I recently read at Natural News, I've been having a mid-afternoon cocktail. A shot of cayenne followed by a cold refreshing glass of Hibiscus tea with lime. Believe me, after the cayenne shot, one needs something cold and refreshing!
Paul Fassa has offered some natural suggestions to support heart health inexpensively.
I had a package of dried hibiscus flowers, also known as Jamaica (pronounced ha-my-ka), waiting to be made into a refreshing iced tea after reading about that at Heidi Swanson's
website, some time ago.
The hibiscus tea alone has some interesting health results. Not only is it an ideal thirst quencher, Dr. Andrew Weil is quoted as saying, "Studies have found that people who drank two cups of Hibiscus daily for four weeks lowered their diastolic blood pressure by 12% - results similar to those for common blood pressure medication."
Better tea than drugs any day!
According to Fassa's article, Hawthorn Berry has been used as a tonic for the heart and cardiovascular system for quite some time. It's a natural source rich in flavonoids that has been used successfully for various cardiovascular disorders, including angina (constricted blood vessels), tachycardia (rapid heart beat), and arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). I've ordered the Hawthorn Berry as a tincture, intending to add it to my daily glasses of Hibiscus tea. It also comes in capsule form or a powder that can be made into a tea. Read the full article at Natural News. Or visit the author's blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com.
Cayenne had long been known to have a great reputation for its medicinal properties, particularly as a digestive aid. But I was surprised to read that using cayenne in large doses, Dr. John R. Christopher, nicknamed, Dr. Cayenne, said he had stopped heart attacks in progress.
He recommends one teaspoon of cayenne powder in warm water taken 3 times a day. I'm managing 1/2 tsp mixed with about 2 TBS of warm water, once a day! I believe that doing things gradually is a good way to accustom the mind and body to change. I'll gradually up the quantity. Meanwhile, I'm also a firm believer that "something's better than nothing."
That's my afternoon cocktail. Gone are the days when I celebrated the end of the work day with a Cosmopolitan! 'Twas a lovely lift at the end of a stressful day, so I thought. But alcohol doesn't really provide a lift, on the contrary, it's a depressant! And all those empty calories, not to mention the abuse to my hardworking liver.
Try the Jamaica tea, it's light fruity taste is so refreshing with a splash of lime over ice! Even if you skip the cayenne and hawthorn - it still provides health benefits - something no alcoholic cocktail can offer. You can order organic hibiscus flowers and hawthorn berry from Mountain Rose Herbs, if you can't find them locally.