A TASTE OF THAILAND
When wandering the streets in Thailand, you’ll encounter street vendors with
pushcarts of colourful herbal drinks. The bright red roselle juice is sure to be one
of the choices. This drink, with a sweet and sour flavour, is the best option when it
comes to replenishing one’s body from thirst and fatigue. Resourceful vendors mix
roselle juice together with the jujube fruit for an even better taste and additional
The traditional Thai herbal drink boasts a great number of healthful advantages,
namely its high content of vitamin C, a natural anti-oxidant known to help with
improving blood quality, an ability to reduce cholesterol levels, as well as lowering the
risk of diabetes. Importantly, a roselle drink contains anthocyanins and polyphenols,
with the former possessing high levels in its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory
properties. Studies claim that the anthocyanin levels can stop irregular cancer
cells from expanding. For women, the drink is interesting knowledge as it can fight
against free radicals and slow down the aging process, thanks to the presence of
polyphenols. However, be careful not to drink too many glasses as roselle works a bit
like a laxative!
The whole plant itself can be used for further medicinal purposes,
contributing to greater benefits. The calyx – which forms around the seedpod –
when consumed can reduce fatty deposits in arteries while the young leaves
are favoured by local Thai people as vegetable side dish. The stem also serves as a
utilitarian purpose; it can be turned into fibre to make rope.
• 150g. of roselle
(fresh or dried ones)
• 4 cups of water
• ½tbs, refined salt
• 1 cup of sugar
• Small ice cubes
• Roselle calyxes
WORDS SARITA URUPONGSA
Wash the roselle with water, avoid
removing the calyxes. Put the roselle into
an empty pot.
Pour water in the pot over the plant,
leaving it at a medium flame until it boils.
Lower the heat and continue simmering
for 15 to 20 minutes. The roselle drink,
with its beautiful red colour forming,
is almost ready.
With its lowered temperature on
the stove, add sugar and salt. Continue
simmering the liquid a bit so that the salt
and sugar melts and produces a wellbalanced
Once done, filter only the liquid. Keep
the pot partly covered with the lid as you
drain. Set aside the rest of the roselle in a
bowl as it is edible.
Let the drink cool down a bit, add ice
cubes, and top the glass with the calyxes.