Hibiscus is a flowering plant of the mallow family that has a number of varieties and grows in many colors with the red hibiscus being the hardiest and most common. The genus includes from small shrubs to small trees. The flower is the national flower of South Korea and Haiti.
The tea made of hibiscus flowers is known by many names in many countries around the world and is served both hot and cold. The beverage is well known for its color, tanginess and flavor. Dried hibiscus is edible, and it is often a delicacy in Mexico. It can also be candied and used as a garnish for desserts. The tea is a tonic and it seems lowers blood pressure. Hibiscus tea also contains bioflavonoids, which are believed to help prevent an increase in LDL cholesterol, which can increase the buildup of plaque in the arteries. However it seems the flower can have adverse effect in attempts at conception, pregnancy and also at the breast feeding stage. Thus it seems for women this flower may be best past the child-bearing age.