No-Sugar Holiday Hibiscus Limeade

Dec 7 / Lori Rose, PhD
Regardless of your level of herbal knowledge, the majority of us recognize that cultivating a relationship with plants inadvertently broadens and deepens our relationship with other living beings and the planet, however, a more subtle expansion of perception happens within ourselves, which can sometimes go unnoticed.

At some point on our herbal journey, we find out that through tasting herbs and sensing our physical reaction to that herb, we can glean specific information about that plant’s medicinal qualities. Over time, we realize that no matter how much we read about different plants, it is only through tasting, sensing, and experiencing herbs, that we really come to understand how to use them.

Consequentially, on our quest to learn more about the plants themselves, we inadvertently learn to tune in to our physical experience, to ground ourselves in the present moment, and to feel. This expansion of awareness gradually accumulates, becoming more sensitive, and more readily available for us to tap into.

One of the best ways to encourage the unfolding of our physical self-awareness is to make herbal preparations. While at first, it may be daunting to think about Herbal Medicine Making, a great way to encourage development is through culinary herbal endeavors.

The recipe below is delicious! Take the time to try this simple recipe out, and in the process, make the effort to taste each herb individually, while making sure to tune in to your body’s physiological response.

(written by Alberto Carbo)

No-Sugar Holiday Hibiscus Limeade

(adapted from The Healing Garden by Juliet Blankespoor)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus (H. sabdariffa)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • either 3-4 stevia leaves (more or less to taste) OR 5g licorice root
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


  1. Decoct hibiscus, cinnamon, and licorice root (if using) for 20 minutes covered.
  2. If not using licorice root, after 20 minutes, turn off the burner, add stevia leaves, and steep for 10 minutes more, covered.
  3. Strain, squeezing all water out of spent herbs.
  4. Add lime juice.

Flavor Additions:

  • When adding stevia leaves, also add peppermint, spearmint, or anise hyssop.
  • Add cardamom pods and/or vanilla beans to the decoction.

Serving Ideas:

  • Pour over 4 cups of ice and add cold water up to 1/2 gallon. Serve cold. With lime wedges.
  • Add to a glass of sparkling water, served cold.
  • Dilute up to 1/2 gallon with hot water, and serve hot with a cinnamon stick.

The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.