Who would have known. We started drinking Agua de Jamaica years ago because we like it. The Michocan juice and ice cream stores all over Mexico carry Jamaica as a cold drink not a hot tea. It is yummy, great on a hot day and inexpensive. A one litre agua de Jamaica for 12 pesos (1 USD). To cut down on the sugar and with the help of some local friends, it is now made at home! The health benefits are astonishing. Better than vegetable juices, more antioxidants than cranberry or pomegranate! We were converts before we researched the health benefits but now we are loyal consumers of Jamaica Water!
What is Jamaica?
It is a flower known to many as the Hibiscus to us it is the Jamaica, that grows in many Caribbean countries including Mexico. Gardeners like to plant them to attract bees, butterflies and humming birds. Hibiscus tea can be found in many north of the border grocery stores and when you brew it you will discover the redness this flowers bears.
The Jamaica juice is the same color. It is a powerful red, easily made and is basically a hibiscus herbal tea that is chilled. But it tastes so much better here! the flavor is rich and fruity, a little savory and a little sweet. Flowers are beautiful and in abundance in Mexico. Love the health benefit of this local treat!
In the pueblo of Tulum Jamaica it is pronounced Hymyca in Spanish. And it is locally made and locally sold.
Health Benefits of Jamaica
Jamaican is high in Vitamins and Minerals with powerful antioxidant properties. It helps lower elevated blood pressure, bad cholesterol and detoxify the entire body.
Antioxidant levels in Agua de Jamaica are higher than vegetable juice, tomato juice and orange juice; and compares to Cranberry Juice and Pomegranate Juice with more antioxidant levels than these juices.
The antioxidant properties in Jamaica juice helps provide our bodies with protection against free radicals, molecules which cause heart disease, stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, premature aging and cancer. Jamaica juice also helps flush the prostate, the liver, kidney and bladder.
Since Jamaica is high in electrolytes such as chloride, magnesium, potassium and sodium, the tea or juice can be used to replenish electrolytes in the body after exercise, a day in the sun or a long day on the beach.
Aqua de Jamaica Recipe
1 ¼ cup of dried Jamaica Flowers
3 cups of water
4 cups of water to make 2 quarts of the final drink
½ cup of sugar
1. Place the dried flowers in a small pot with the 3 cups of water. Bring them to a boil. Boil them for about 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat.
2. Set aside for at least 4 hours or overnight with the flowers and water together.
3. Bring to a boil the 4 cups and water and sugar until the sugar dissolves and let cool.
4. Strain the liquid into a pitcher and add the 4 cups of water and sugar. You can adjust the added water if you feel it is to tart to your palate.
Have other health benefits that we missed in our description of Agua de Jamaica? Let us know what your additional health benefits are and your recipe for Jamaica juice!