Hibiscus Tea and Health Benefits
Hibiscus Tea is a herbal tea that is deep red in colour and is made from the dried parts of the hibiscus plant. It has a tart flavour similar to cranberries and can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
Hibiscus tea originated in North Africa and Southeast Asia. People around the world use various parts of the plant as food and medicine. Historically, hibiscus tea has been used in African countries to decrease body temperature, treat heart disease, and soothe a sore throat. Additionally, in Iran, hibiscus tea is used to treat high blood pressure.
The hibiscus plant is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and anthocyanin. There is also research that hibiscus tea fights inflammation, and bacteria, and supports liver health.
Here are a few of the benefits of drinking Hibiscus tea:
May Help Lower Blood Pressure
One of the most impressive and well-known benefits of hibiscus tea is that it may lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can be strenuous on the heart and cause it to weaken over time. High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The Journal of Nutrition published a study that found that consuming hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in people at risk of high blood pressure and those with mildly high blood pressure.
The participants consumed three 8-ounce servings of hibiscus tea or a placebo beverage daily for 6 weeks. The participants who drank the hibiscus tea saw a large reduction in their systolic blood pressure. Some studies have found that hibiscus tea may lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that help fight compounds called free radicals which cause damage to your cells. Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants and may help prevent damage and disease caused by the buildup of free radicals.
Could Promote Weight Loss
Several studies suggest that hibiscus tea may be associated with weight loss and protect against obesity. An older study showed that hibiscus extract led to reductions in cholesterol and triglycerides in the Mexican population. This can lead to a reduced risk of obesity.
One study gave 36 overweight participants either hibiscus extract or a placebo. After only 12 weeks, hibiscus extract reduced body weight, body fat, body mass index and hip-to-waist ratio.
However, it should be noted that these studies used concentrated doses, and further research is needed to fully confirm the benefits of hibiscus tea.
In addition to raising good cholesterol in your body, drinking hibiscus tea every day could help lower bad cholesterol by lowering the levels of blood fat (lipids) in your body.
If you decide to try hibiscus tea or other herbal teas, let your doctor know, as some herbs have the potential to interact with medications. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not drink hibiscus tea. Drinking hibiscus tea in moderation is safe, but very high doses of hibiscus extract could potentially cause liver damage.