Roselle: Hidden Treasure

A great new year ahead! On one of my adventures around the La Paz sand dunes, My friend Marc pointed at these red flowers. I didn’t know what they were until Alexa’s nanny saw me making a collage out of the photos and said they are called “roselle,” and they use them for the specific purpose of giving sinigang a sour flavor. First time to hear about that. However, I now remember the roselle variant of the Adams fruit wines I carried for the first Eco-Living Bazaar in Laoag two Christmases ago.

Roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (family Malvaceae), happens to have originated in India, in the 1600s. It’s strange that it thrives in the Caribbeans, Australia and the Philippines. The plant has been used as a diuretic and laxative. (Read more about roselle here and here.)

It’s interesting that the little known plant has quite many uses. In other places, they’ve used  it for teas, beer, jams and jellies, and as food coloring and seasoning.

I guess I need to hang out more often with Ilocano horticulturists Michael Calaramo and Manang Edita Dacuycuy. We never know that we grow treasures right in our very own backyards.

Again, may this year be kind to all of us. XOXO

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

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