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Beauty / Tamsin Salfrais

Purple Is The New Black: The Healing Properties Of Hibiscus

Sponsored by The London Tea Company

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘hibiscus’? Do you think exotic jungle flower? Perhaps great holiday bikini print? What about natural healer and multi-purpose beauty product? Hibiscus is slowly stepping into the spotlight as a skin saviour and herbal remedy for multiple ailments, and more and more companies are incorporating the flower in their products.

There are hundreds of hibiscus species, but the traditional flower that initially springs to mind is called Hibiscus Acetosella. This flower is beautiful, but has no ‘medicinal’ use (soz). However, the Hibiscus Sabdariffa, with it’s bud-shaped, darker petals and green leaves, is bursting with vitamins and natural elements that have a range of health benefits.

Dependent on how the flower is prepared, you can rub it into your skin, eat it, or even drink it. June’s Pink Parcel includes The London Tea Company Purple Tea, made with a key ingredient of hibiscus. Light, floral and fruity, it tastes just as good as it looks (and smells).

On The Outside

Hibiscus has a range of healing properties for your ‘outside’ – your skin. In it’s natural form, it can have a waxy feel, but this won’t be maintained in the beauty products themselves. If you’re after youthful, unblemished, smooth skin – and let’s face it; who isn’t – hibiscus could be the simple, natural answer.

  • Referred to by some as the ‘botox plant’, the hibiscus flower is high in AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) which encourage the replacement of dry, and dead, skin cells, thus giving a radiant, youthful glow. In addition, there are firming properties in the plant, thanks to antioxidants, so as the pores tighten, so does the skin. Painless, natural face lift!
  • As the skin cells are replaced and renewed, the removal of old skin means a reduction in the appearance of blemished skin. This gives for a more even skin tone.
  • Hibiscus is a great moisturiser and its dewy consistency is hydrating without being oily. As it is completely natural, it isn’t harsh on sensitive skin, so the only red colouring will be that of the flower itself. Not that we’re suggesting you rub your face straight into a wild hibiscus flower…
  • Heat rash is never a good look, whether it’s paired with a meticulously planned holiday outfit, or when relaxing in joggers. It’s itchy, uncomfortable, but often unavoidable in the heat. Hibiscus is an anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling so, blended with aloe vera, is the perfect calming solution.

On The Inside

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties aren’t limited to creams and ‘external use only’ potions, y’know. Mixed into drinks, like a good ol’ cuppa, it can be pleasantly digested. The London Tea Company Purple Tea’s floral taste means it can be drunk hot or cold.

  • A plant after our own heart: hibiscus aims to make that time of the month a bit better. As an anti-inflammatory, it eases spasms, so menstrual pain isn’t as intense. Pass us a mug, pronto*.
  • It’s also a gentle laxative, so aids digestion and has diuretic properties. This is a great natural remedy if you’re struggling to go to the toilet, but just be wary of dehydration.
  • A common cold may be just that: common. It’s still a pain though, and we’d much rather avoid a streaming nose and tickly cough, if we can. Hibiscus is super-high in vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and helps fight against bacteria.
  • Hibiscus can support other treatments for more long-term health problems, too. A combination of the vit C, antioxidants and diuretic properties help neutralise free radicals in your cells and lower levels of LDL cholesterol. This can help those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and protect your liver* (in layman terms, ‘free radicals’ are a basically oxidised atoms in your body that are lonely and unpaired, so wreak havoc in their search for an atom to pair with).

Hibiscus tea is one of the many goodies in June’s box, thanks to The London Tea Company. You can also shop their tea range here.

*Due to the effect on blood pressure and oestrogen levels, those with hypertension, or who are pregnant, should consult their doctor before consuming hibiscus products.

If you haven’t signed up to Pink Parcel yet, it’s time to start enjoying your period! Subscribe here and you’ll have everything you need (and want) sent directly to your door.

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