Hibiscus sabdariffa, jamaica tea

There is a very popular beverage brewed and served here in Merida; it is called jamaica (HA MY KA).  

regularly brew, serve, and drink jamaica here at the house, and have never given much thought to the plant itself, other than realizing it is some form of hibiscus. Jamaica  is actually from the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant, which is apparently also known as roselle.   .  

Another popular use of the Hibiscus sabdariffa is for the production of bast fibre.

There are apparently a lot of cooking applications and I am curious to research more of them and give them a try!  You can make jelly, roselle jelly, can’t wait to give that a shot!  I have on occasion used the flowers after brewing the beverage in stirfrys.    The green leaves are apparently similar to a spicy spinach, perhaps similar to arugula.

A friend recently gifted to me a plant he picked up at a flea market here in Merida.


Check this out!



This is the actual plant from which jamaica tea is brewed.  


How awesome is this.  A different  friend, who is from Hunucma, just outside of Merida was here a few days ago and we were talking about this plant – He advises me that this plant doesn’t typically grow here, but rather  is typically found growing in Tabasco.  Well we’ll see, I ‘m going to try to keep it alive, wish me luck!


By the way — from WIKI — Many parts of the plant are also claimed to have various medicinal values. They have been used for such purposes ranging from Mexico through Africa and India to Thailand. Roselle is associated with traditional medicine and is reported to be used as treatment for several diseases such as hypertension and urinary tract infections. There is currently insufficient evidence to demonstrate any beneficial effect of roselle on raised blood pressure or on blood lipid lowering. Experimental results are contradictory.

Hibiscus sabdariffa has shown in vitro antimicrobial activity against E. coli. A recent review stated that specific extracts of H. sabdariffa exhibit activities against atherosclerosisliver diseasecancerdiabetes and other metabolic syndromes.

Drink up!


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About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
This entry was posted in Hibiscus sabdariffa, jamaica tea, roselle. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hibiscus sabdariffa, jamaica tea

  1. Anonymous says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this topic to
    be really something that I feel I might never
    understand. It seems too complex and very vast for me.
    I'm looking forward on your subsequent put up, I'll attempt to get the dangle of it!
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  2. Merida Mikey says:

    I grew this plant when I lived in the country (San Jose Kuche). It grows tall and spindly and is a bit difficult to keep trimmed back. It has a tendency to want to “take over” – something you may want to keep in mind when you plant it. I harvested the flowers, dried them in the sun, and enjoyed many a pitcher full of jaimaca.

  3. CorollaRN says:

    Wow….that sounds great!!!!

  4. hmmmmm, vodka, wonder does that help or hinder its medicinal properties?

  5. good to know my favorite cocktail is Jamaica and vodka.

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