Flower power, baby! This delicious Flower Ade drink is my secret weapon against dehydration and viruses when anyone in my household comes down with the crud. Full of electrolytes, immune-system-assisting polyphenols and nutrients, this easy little brew helps us get through the schmutz of cold and flu season. I love that my daughter enjoys it, too. I just add extra honey to hers because a spoonful of natural sugar does make the medicine go down!
The beautiful red color comes from the dried petals of the hibiscus flower, but color isn’t its only purpose! You’ll get a plethora of vitamins like A, C, B’s, as well as iron, zinc and copper from consuming this beautiful plant. Add omega-3’s and protein and you’ve got a healing powerhouse in your cup.
Buying loose tea in bulk ensures you aren’t getting added chemicals or non-compliant ingredients like artificial flavors or colorings. You also get to skip the whole tea-bag dilemma…bleached tea mesh can leach toxins from an otherwise clean leaf into your brews. The petals can also be used to make pink hibiscus lemonade; added to seltzer for a sparkling hibiscus limeade drink; brewed with lavender for a relaxing flower-combo tea; or even ground very fine and sifted to use in homemade makeup or as a paleo food coloring.
When I was a wee lass in the 80’s, my mom would pull out all the stops when we were sick. (I love you Momma!) One of the tools in her virus-fighting arsenal was Gatorade, and then in the 90’s came Powerade. My brother and I chugged that stuff like the antidote was in there. That’s just what you did when you were an 80’s kid..totally tubular. Now that I live a primal lifestyle that keeps my autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases in check, I know that these conventionally-produced drinks are full of some pretty unattractive ingredients. I get it…these drinks are marketed to contain electrolytes for re-hydration and sugar for energy…but the quality of the contents is bothersome.
Making your own Flower Ade is so super duper easy, you’ll wonder why the stuff is even bottled in the first place. I find the flavor similar to those commercial brands, but much cleaner tasting. Basically, you brew the petals into a tea, dilute, flavor, then viola! A homemade punch to help your ails. Chill, serve over ice, or drink at room temperature for a refreshing glass of nourishment. I think it has a resemblance in flavor to cranberry, and not very floral as one might expect.
I really feel more hydrated after enjoying a glass of this tasty remedy. All of the ingredients in the drink work together to combat the common cold, too! The salt, coconut water and aloe all contain re-hydrating properties that we all need when we are under the weather. Honey (which, due to the natural sugars, is great for a little energy boost) has been claimed to aid in sore throats, and lemon juice always helps me when I’m congested to loosen up that gunk. Aloe vera (note that aloe is not AIP compliant) and coconut water have both been good gut-healers for me as well.
Check out my Homemade Tigernut Milk as well as this post: Quitting Coffee Ain’t So Bad…If You Have These Three Caffeinated-Heroes for more AIP-friendly drink ideas.
What natural remedies or healing recipes do you use in your home when you’ve got the ick? I’d love to read about them in the comments below!
- 2 tsp loose dried hibiscus tea
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 4 cups room temp water
- 1 Tb local raw honey (Keto: sub stevia to taste *note that stevia is not AIP.* Whole30: omit sweeteners.)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 Tb lemon juice, fresh or bottled
- 3/4 cup coconut water, (Coconut-free: sub with 3/4 cup water. Keto: replace desired amount with water to your sugar-macros needs)
- 3 Tb aloe vera juice, optional (omit for AIP)
- Add hibiscus and hot water to a 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup or into a mug.
- Steep for 15 minutes, then strain into a 1.5 qt or larger lidded pitcher. Discard tea leaves.
- Add 1 to 2 cups of the room temp water (enough to get the liquid to 95 degrees or below) and stir in the honey (if using) until dissolved. This cooling step helps to protect the beneficial properties in the honey from being destroyed.
- Stir in the remaining room temp water, then add the salt to taste, lemon juice, coconut water if using, and aloe vera if using (omit aloe for AIP). Stir until all are dissolved and incorporated.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or serve over ice if desired.
- Makes 3 large or 6 small servings
- Add more or less of each ingredient to suit your tastes. If you enjoy a more tart drink, add extra lemon juice. If you like it sweeter, add more honey. Coconut fanatic? Add extra coconut water!