Sorrel drink is a popular Jamaican beverage that is present at most festive occasions such as weddings, parties, and dinners. In addition to being tasty, you can get a wide range of benefits from drinking the beverage.
But what is Sorrel drink? The calyces of Roselle Hibiscus are used to make Jamaican Sorrel drink. They are steeped in hot water that is flavored with spices including cloves and ginger for an average of 4 hours.
The beverage is cooled and sweetened to taste and served cold or over ice.
What makes Traditional Jamaican Sorrel drink different from the usual cold hibiscus tea?
“Jamaican” rum some other alchohol beverage is usually added to “enhance” the flavor of the drink. But of course, this is a personal preference. It also depends on the occassion.
Without the added alcohol, Sorrel drink has several health benefits. We have listed seven Sorrel drink benefits in this article. So, let’s explore some Jamaican Sorrel drink benefits.
7 Jamaican Sorrel Drink Benefits
The benefits of Sorrel drink include some essental vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health and well being.
Researchers found extracts from the Roselle plant may potentially be used as treatment of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. It may also help with preserving good eyesight, and aid in weight loss.
1. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is one of the essential vitamins in Jamaican Sorrel. Riboflavin helps boost energy levels. In addition, the body needs it to help produce new red blood cells.
Vitamin B2 also needed to help with reproduction. It ensures that organs grow and develop properly.
2. Vitamin C
Sorrel is also a Vitamin C rich food. And the body needs Vitamin C to build a strong immune system so that you can stay healthy.
The skin needs Vitamin C as well. This Vitamin helps your skin maintain its elacticity. Yhis way it stays fresh and younger looking.
That is the reason you see the Vitamin C listed in so many skin care products.
Having strong bones and healthy teeth are the result of a Calcium rich diet. Many dairy foods have Calcium. But Jamaican Sorrel drink has a substantial amount of Calcium too.
That is good news for those of us who are not able to tolerate lactose. Consuming Sorrel regularly, will give your body some the Calcium it needs, without the discomforts of lactose intorerance.
Iron is essential for transporting oxygen around the body. The needs oxygen to stay alert and focused. Lack of iron can cause fatigue and tiredness.
Sorrel drink contains a significant amount of Iron. Therefore one of the benefits of consuming Jamaican sorrel drink is that it may help you stay active and mentally sharp.
Magnesium is critical for the contraction and relaxation of muscles in the body. This includes the heart muscle.
However, research estimates that about half of all adults in the United States get less than fifty percent of the recommended daily intake of Magnesium.
Regularly consuming foods that have substantial amounts of Magnesium, including Sorrel drink may help bridge the gap.
Phosphorus plays a major role in helping your body process sugars. It also helps filter and remove waste from your kidneys and help your muscles recover after exercise.
Most people get the Phosphorus from the food that they eat. But some people may need to supplement their Phospherus intake if they fall into certain groups.
For example, some people who take medication for medical conditions such as diabetes, may find that these medications may decrease the amount of Phosphorus in their bodies. So they may needed extra Phospherus.
Potassium is often referred to as an electrolyte that carries electricity around the human body.
One of the most important functions of Potassium is balancing the body’s sodium level so it can maintain good blood pressure.
Another Sorrel drink benefit is the significant amount of Potassium the drink has. So drinking Jamaican Sorrel may help keep your blood pressure in check.
Sorrel Drink Nutrients
- Protein – 2grams
- Carbs -10.2grams
- Vitamin C -17mg
- Calcium -150mg
- Iron -3mg
Sorrel Drink Side Effects
Some people who frquently consume sorrel drink have reported experiencing side effects. Some of these range from mild to severe. Here are some things to look out for:
- Roselle from wihch Sorrel drink is made is known to lower Blood Pressure. Therefore consuming too much Sorrel drinking can cause a significant drop in blood Pressure.
- Experts say the Sorrel plant is proven to have an effect on blood glucose levels. So if you drink excessive amounts of Sorrel you blood glucose levels could become dangerously low.
- Roselle has been reported to cause miscarriage. So pregnant women should avoid cosuming to much Roselle products, including Sorrel drink.
- Some users have reported indigestion, upset stomach, gas, and constipation.
- Home made Jamaican Sorrel Drink unually contain significant amounts of added alchohol. So exercise caution.
Sorrel was introduced to Jamaica in the18th century. There is still some confusion as to whether the plant came from Africa or Asia. In any case it found an adoptive home.
The Sorrel plant is known by other names such as, Roselle hibiscus, Bissap rouge, Karkaden and Flor de Jamaica. But the plants botanical name is Hibiscus sabdariffa.
Roselle hibiscus grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The plant is grown from seeds unlike other species of hibiscus.
The seeds are planted in the summer time in Jamaica. In the fall Sorrel blooms beautiful pale pink or peach flowers.
The blooms have that bright red center that is characteristic of plants in the hibiscus family.
Soon after, pods appear. And harvesting of the Sorrel calyces start in late November.
The pods are surrounded by dark red calyces which are stripped off and used to make Sorrel drink.
The drink resembles Cranberry juice and has a similar tart, acidic taste.
In Jamaica sorrel was traditionally served at Christmas time. Thats the time of year fresh calyces can be harvested right from the garden.
However, leftover Sorrel is dried and stored to make a great tasting drink as well. So nowadays the drink is available all year round.
Dried Sorrel is now largely exported to North America where it is commonly used to make hibiscus tea.
This is how easy it is to make Traditional Jamaican style Sorrel drink.
Sorrel Drink Recipe
- 8 Cups Water
- 3 Cups Fresh Sorrel (2 .5 cups) dried
- 4 oz Ginger
- 8 oz Orange juice
- 3 oz Cnammon
- 3 oz Allspice
- 8 oz Jamaican Rum (Optional)
1. Place Sorrel into a large pot
2. Add spices and blend
3. Pour Water to conver Sorrel
4. Bring to a boil.
5. Remove from flames and let steep for a least 4 hours
6. Strain, Sweeten, Add rum (optional)
6. Serve over Ice.
Tip: Boling Sorrel for a longer period of time may destroy the important Vitamin C.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The longer the drink is allowed to sit the stronger it becomes. Remaining drink should be kept in the refrigerator to avoid fermentation.
Jamaican sorrel drink offers a range of health benefits and valuable nutrients. Its benefits include antioxidant properties, talong with he potential to lower blood pressure and improve digestion.
These benefits make Jamaican Sorrel drink a tasty and beneficial addition to your diet.
However, it’s important to consume sorrel drink in moderation because exxcessive use has potential side effects. Side effects can be interaction with certain medications and its high oxalate content.
With that being said, Sorrel drink can be a refreshing and health-conscious choice.
So, whether it’s Springtime or Winter time where you are, go right ahead and enjoy an ice-cold glass of Jamaican Sorrel and get those benefits.
Disclaimer: This website is for infromational purposes only. Nothing stated on this site is to be viewed as medical advice. Please consult with a professional healthcare provider regarding your medical treatment.