Saturday, November 10, 2012

Roselle Hibiscus Harvest Preserving And HEALTH

Thai Red Roselle Hibiscus Harvesting

The Roselle Hibiscus (Sabdariffa) has fast become one of my favorites to grow and harvest. I've spent hours this summer picking the ruby red calyces, removing the seed pods and laying them out on screens to dry.

I decided early on in the season that I was determined to dry them all naturally this year. Previously I had made jam and jelly and put the bulk of them up in the freezer. That really was a whole lot more work than I had bargained for. 

Drying the calyx was easy with the drying racks Mr. Garden had built several years ago. I'm sure you've seen them in previous posts. With good air cirrculation it took about three days to get them pretty close to dry. I've always understood that plants retain more beneficial and healthful properties when dried naturally.

Calyx Prepared for Drying

Using 5 screened trays that had actually come out of an old egg incubator that no longer worked, I've been able to keep the Roselle Calyx rotated outdoors. After the third day I would find them nearly completely dry. Our humidity in Southeast Texas was running a tad high during parts of the summer. That could be a slight understatement!

So I would simply bring the tray indoors and spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them in the oven on the lowest setting for a couple of hours. The parchment paper actually helped absorb any extra moisture. You must watch carefully, so not to over baked them.

The flesh of the calyx is pretty thick and quite juicy. If I hadn't let them dry naturally for 3 days, it would have taken a whole lot longer in the oven or even the dehydrator. This I find to be a more sustainable option, in that less electricity was used. 

Stored in Air Tight Mason Jars

Storage is also important for keeping your Roselle fresh and dry. I've chosen air tight mason jars and inserted a piece of paper towel as well. I will keep my jars stored in a cool, dry and dark place for best results.

Roselle Tea Blend with a Sprig of Lemon Grass

Now it's time to enjoy the sunset outdoors with a hot cup of my favorite tea blend. I've used equal parts of Roselle Hibiscus, Green Tea, Dried Chamomile and Dried Stevia, crushed together and steeped in a cup of hot water using my tea balls. I also enjoy cutting a fresh sprig of Lemon Grass for my swizzle stick.

Below I've listed some of the many health benefits from Roselle. 
*It is very high in vitimin C.* Immune Boosting* Lower blood pressure
* Normalize the sugar blood* Regulate uric acid* Lower cholesterol
* Healing coughs* Good for skin, reduces wrinkles.* Reduce overweight
* Protect from infections* Contains Omega 3* Regulates metabolism.

Happy Gardening!


  1. I had no idea they were SO good for you! I'm a type 2 diabetic and all the things it will help are wonderful for me! I can't wait to grow this! I have a problem taking the diabetic meds....they make my stomach very sick. Maybe this will help me get my sugar levels lower! THank you so much for this article, Pammy!!! HUGS! <3 Debi

  2. You are so welcome Debi!! I have another friend with the same problem. I also run border line and try to deal with it naturally. Hugs right back!! <3

  3. I confess I had never heard of them. The health benefits are amazing; I need to get some!

    1. Hi Tracey, I would probably recommend for you to find some dried, as I think it is to tropical to grow well for you there. Perhaps in a greenhouse environment. ;)

  4. That sounds so good. I love red zinger. It's sounds like it might me similar minus the humungo corporate structure.

    1. LOL what a great way to put it!! I think most of the tea I've found in our markets are from China. Nothing like the home garden xxoo

  5. Did you dry the entire calyx including the seed pods? How did that work making tea with seeds?

  6. Did you dry the entire calyx including the seed pods? How did that work making tea with seeds?

    1. Hi Sally!! I remove the seed pod before drying. May be hard to tell in my top photo, but the tray are the calyx with the pod removed. So you have lots of Roselle this year?

  7. This is very helpful. Thank you.