Jamaica’s water

Sesame water  : It is a common drink in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean and basically it is an infusion prepared with the hibiscus calyces. It is very refreshing when served cold and relaxing when served hot, but most of the time it is served cold.

Hibiscus has long been used as an herbal remedy, and its drink is known in Mexico and Central America as “fresh water,” meaning it is an affordable, low-cost drink.


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  • 1 In the Middle East, Africa and Italy
  • 2 Ingredients
  • 3 Preparation
    • 1 Preparation method
  • 4 Medicinal
    • 1 Benefits
    • 2 Contraindications
  • 5 Curiosities
  • 6 Sources

In the Middle East, Africa and Italy

The karkady or karkade (Arabic: كَركَديه) is served hot or cold with ice. In the latter case it is usually called einab. It is very popular in some parts of the Middle East, and especially in North Africa . This drink is said to have been consumed in ancient Egypt, being preferred by the pharaohs. In Egypt and Sudan , it is traditional to toast at wedding celebrations with a glass of hibiscus tea.

In Africa, especially in the Sahína , hibiscus tea is often sold on the street and dried flowers are found in all markets. Variants of the drink are popular in western and central Africa. In Senegal, bissap is considered the national drink . Similar recipes include wanjo in the Gambia, dabileni in Mali, and zobo or tsobo in northern Nigeria.4 Hibiscus tea is especially popular in Sudan, where it is drunk more than real tea and is often prepared by soaking the chalices. in cold water for several days. It is also common to flavor it with mint or ginger in West Africa.

In Italy, the tea, known as carcadè or “Italian tea”, is usually drunk cold, often sweetened and with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Introduced while Eritrea was an Italian colony 1860 – 1941 , its use was once much more widespread. Mussolini promotes the habit of drinking carcadé instead of English tea, after the sanctions by the war in Ethiopia affected Italy. Among European countries, Italy remains one of the largest consumers of carcadé.


  • 4 cups of water + 3 of cold water
  • 1/2 cup dried Jamaican flowers
  • 1/2 cup of sugar + amount to taste
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


  • Use a pot that does not stain, since the flowers stain everything that comes into contact with them.
  • Boil 4 cups of water, then remove it from the heat and add the dried flowers and sugar.
  • Put a lid on the pot and let it rest for ten minutes, stirring once or twice, to break the sugar granules.
  • Pour the infusion through a strainer into a jug or container.
  • Add the 3 cups of cold water and the sugar to taste.
  • Let cool completely and serve with a lot of ice, in glasses decorated with a lemon wedge.

Preparation method

2 large tablespoons of dried jamaica flowers are boiled in 1 liter of water for about 5 to 10 minutes until the water turns red, strain and add sugar to taste, then let it cool and put it in the fridge (in case you want to drink cold).

It is usually taken cold, even when in winter there are those who take it hot. In southern Egypt, cities like Aswan and Luxor in hotels often greet guests with an infusion of karkadé to welcome them, and in Mexico it is usually sold on the streets to cool people down in hot weather. You can also add pieces of pineapple or your favorite fruit (preferably citrus) to give it your personal touch.


Jamaican water is an infusion made with Jamaican flowers (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which is usually drunk in Mexico and in tropical countries. It is a very refreshing drink, which also provides great benefits to our health.

It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, in part thanks to its moderately diuretic properties. The drink also has a dark and bright carmine color that makes it very pleasing to the eye.


Jamaican water is very drunk for its flavor, for its freshness and for the benefits it gives to health:

  • It is diuretic, since it increases the excretion of water through urination.
  • It is laxative, as it helps relieve constipation.
  • Function as a digestive supplement, since it improves the normal digestive process.
  • Jamaica flower tea is rich in vitamin C (an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals, lowering the risk of heartdisease and cancer ).
  • It improves the immune system, reason why it is frequently drunk before colds.
  • Relieve menstrual cramps.
  • Normalizes high blood pressure.
  • Help purify the arteries and kidneys, and lower cholesterol.


  • Pregnant women, because it can cause miscarriages.
  • Hypotensive people, due to its effect to lower blood pressure.
  • People with decomposition or diarrhea, since it has a slightly laxative effect.

In any case, you should not exceed 2 or 3 cups a day, nor the recommended amount for each infusion; and in case of doubt always consult your doctor, to avoid any problem.


The resulting hibiscus drink has a recognizable deep red color and its flavor is between sour and bitter.

Mixing this plant with others or with some fruits, can make the final drink more pleasant according to your tastes.

A highly appreciated mixture is apple and hibiscus, as the hibiscus aroma and acidity are perfectly complemented by the delicious and sweet flavor of the apple.


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