Bissap is the Wolof name for the Hibiscus sabdariffa shrub (Guinea Sorrel). It produces “hibiscus flowers” that are actually shaped as lovely chalices. They are used to make a tangy red drink: Bissap juice. Widespread in West Africa, this delicious drink has different names: Bissap in Senegal, Da Bilenni in Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. The Bissap is also popular as an infusion. In Egypt, it is known as a Carcadet and nicknamed “Drink of the Pharaohs ». In Sudan, it is known as “karkadé tea”. We also find Bissap drinks in Jamaica (served with ice and rum), Malaysia or Thailand.
Bissap juice has its advantages: inexpensive, easy to make and accessible. Convenient to be prepared in large quantities, it is the preferred drink at parties. Children enjoy little bags of frozen Bissap that taste like a sorbet.
Bissap juice: a drink recommended for Ramadan
Bissap juice is not only the preferred drink at parties in Africa but it is also very good for the health. In several African countries, Bissap is an essential remedy in the traditional pharmacopoeia. Rich in proteins, lipids and minerals, it has virtues and properties beneficial to the health, in addition to its great flavor:
- rich in vitamins C and contains many antioxidants
- has diuretic and depurative properties and facilitates digestion
- lowers blood pressure
- antispasmodic and sedative properties
Consumed hot or cold, Bissap syrup makes it easy to digest the food eaten during the breaking of the fast. Thanks to its medical virtues and its refreshing effects, it is one of the most used drinks during Ramadan. Drink an average of 3 cups of hibiscus tea a day to lower your blood pressure. Bissap helps reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases. This makes it an excellent remedy for hypertension problems.