HYDERABAD: The latest pique that is trending on Instagram is blue tea, which is made of butterfly pea flowers. This magical tea with medicinal properties instantly changes its colour from blue to purple when a few drops of lemon juice are added to it. Before this, there were hibiscus and rose teas which were pretty popular.
But there are many other floral teas, which are packed with medicinal properties and health benefits. Just take a walk in your garden, pluck some fresh flowers and brew them for the most invigorating flavours and blends. Most herbal teas are rich in antioxidants which can keep us healthy, lighten our mood, clear our skin and hydrate us. But each one of the floral teas has different benefits and flavours.
Most of all, they are easy and interesting to prepare. They cost you almost nothing. Dr Yashoda and Dr P Vishvanathan from the Government Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Centre in Hyderabad, tell us all about the different floral teas that are a must-try
Butterfly pea (Aprajita) is the most common garden vine in home gardens across Hyderabad these days. The flowers are a flashy blue in colour and are know for their striking beauty. But, in Thailand and Vietnam, butterfly pea flower tea is traditionally served as a refreshment at hotels and spas.
How to prepare: The dried or fresh flowers are boiled and mixed with honey and lemon to increase acidity, which turns the beverage into a pink-purple colour from bright blue. It is preferred hot, but can be served cold as well.
Medicinal properties: The tea is a stress and anxiety reliever, it is best taken at night to improve brain function and memory. It has anti-inflammatory and detox properties as well.
Hibiscus is an ornamental, medicinal plant grown across the world. In Hyderabad, the trend, until recently, was to use hibiscus on the scalp to prevent hair fall. But now, many have developed a taste for its tea.
How to prepare: Boil dried or fresh flowers in water. It can be served hot or cold but with stevia.
Medicinal properties: Regular consumption can help lower blood pressure. Like green tea, it can help reduce body fat and aid weight loss. It can also help fight bacterial infections.
A garden is not a garden without a rose. Rose has been popular for its pleasant looks and fragrance. But its tea is both great to look at in the cup and is intensely aromatic.
How to prepare: Rose tea can be made from the fragrant petals and buds of the rose flower. Some teas are made of buds alone and some of petals. These are boiled in water and served hot. Some people prefer to add milk and brew it with the regular tea leaves too. It is best served with sugar, but the health-conscious can use honey or stevia.
Medicinal properties: The tea is known to improve mood ingeniously. It can hydrate the body and reduce menstrual pain.
Jasmine is known for its fragrance and so is its tea. This more or less colourless tea is scented with the aroma of jasmine blossoms and is widely used in aromatherapy.
How to prepare: Dried jasmine buds or flowers can be boiled in water and is better served sugarless.
Medicinal properties: Jasmine tea is a mood booster. Besides, it is also known to improve brain function and may help in reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Not everyone grows marigold, but it is the festive flower. Next time you bring home marigold, particularly the yellow one, save it for some cuppa tea.
How to prepare: Boil the dried petals in water. Fresh petals are not used as they taste bitter. You need to dry them thoroughly to make sure that they are not infested with caterpillars. Sweeten the brew with some honey.
Medicinal properties: This tea helps improve gum health, heart health and can be used as a face toner as well.