by erin stewart june 19 sm (602 of 11)

How to Make Heart-Centered Elixir

Our summer temperatures arrived so early this year that I was pulling buds off my hibiscus transplants in early June (they normally don’t flower until October here) so the plants would grow taller before trying to put out more flowers. I love hibiscus flowers. The calyx left behind after the petals fall can be dried and used to add a delightfully tangy note to tea and they turn the water this beautifully vibrant shade of red. They’re also really fun to grow so I like having them in the garden.

One of the hibiscus recipes I’ve been making lately is a heart-centered elixir that combines this tasty herb with two other heart-supportive herbs – hawthorn and rose – and preserves them in one delicious remedy.


Brew your hibiscus tea (I like to make mine double-strength for extra hibiscus goodness), then combine it with hawthorn tincture and rose petal-infused honey in the proportions listed above.

Shake well once bottled, and store in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator. This blend needs to be 25-30% alcohol to be properly preserved, so if you’re using a homemade tincture, make sure it was made with at least 100-proof alcohol.

About the Herbs

Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is related to marshmallow, linden, and okra. It’s very easy to grow, makes pretty little okra-flower like blooms, and is sometimes called roselle. It’s a common ingredient in teas like ‘Red Zinger’ and Traditional Medicinals’ ‘Hawthorn & Hibiscus.’ Hibiscus is rich in bioflavonoids, vitamin C and is known for its cardio-supportive effects.

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is famous for its effects on the cardiovascular system. I have a full monograph on hawthorn here if you’d like to learn more about it. It’s one of my most favorite herbs.

Roses support the energetic or emotional heart and are also a source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. You can read about my favorite varieties to grow for the apothecary in this article.

Combined, these three ingredients make an herbal remedy that is not only tasty, but nutritious and incredibly supportive for the cardiovascular system and our emotional body. I love working with it. If you decide to make a batch of your own, post a picture on social media with the hashtag #floranellarecipe so I can find it. =) I hope you enjoy it! This elixir can be taken as a daily tonic.

Do you make herbal elixirs for your apothecary? Which are your favorites?

Much love,


Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

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