Originating from North Africa and southeast Asia, the tea is made by an infusion of crimson and can be consumed either hot or iced. With its distinct tart flavor comparable to that of cranberries, the tea is a delicious cup that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
- Drinking hibiscus tea may give surprising health benefits
- Hibiscus tea is a herbal tea alternative
- Benefits include reducing the risk of stroke and lowering blood pressure.
Hibiscus tea, an unassuming herbal tea that has a range of surprising health benefits. Research has uncovered several possible different health benefits.
So why should you be drinking this tea?
Hibiscus is packed full of Antioxidants
Hibiscus tea is one of the largest concentrated drinks that provide powerful antioxidants. In a comparison of around 300 household beverages, hibiscus tea registered the highest level of antioxidants, exceeding even Green Tea.
Antioxidant-rich foods and drinks are thought to help prevent strokes in some cases. A study measured the effects antioxidants had on strokes in Swedish men and women. Findings indicated that the more antioxidant-rich foods people ate, the lower the risk of stroke.
May Lower blood pressure
Research has indicated that drinking hibiscus tea can be a useful tool in lowering high blood pressure readings. One of these studies included 65 controlled participants that were either given hibiscus tea or a placebo drink. After 6 weeks exactly, those that drank the tea found that blood pressure had decreased significantly.
Similarly, further research in 2015 conducted a review of randomized controlled trials. In these well-designed trials, they found that this herbal tea significantly lowered blood pressure (SBP and DBP).
Experts recommend that those already taking medication for high blood pressure, hydrochlorothiazide, should not drink it as it may have some negative interactions with the drug.
The NHS recommends other dietary ways to reduce hypertension (high blood pressure) and maintain a healthy blood pressure: “keep your salt intake to less than 6g a day, eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and drinking less caffeine.”
Help with weight loss
Research on hibiscus tea has found evidence that it could promote weight loss and reduce the risk of obesity. One of many causes of obesity is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A clinical trial on the effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa extracts (HSE) found that the consumption of HSE reduced body weight BMI body fat and waist to hip ratio and suggested that HSE may prevent obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Other possible health benefits
Studies and articles have also suggested that drinking hibiscus tea may have many other health benefits such as “lowering blood fat levels, boosting liver health, fighting bacteria and potentially even preventing cancer.”
Chang, HC. and co. “Hibiscus sabdariffa extract inhibits obesity and fat accumulation, and improves liver steatosis in humans.” Food Funct. 5.4 (2005): 734-9. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60495k. Epub 2014 Feb 19. PMID: 24549255.
Colarusso, L. and co. “Dietary antioxidant capacity and risk for stroke in a prospective cohort study of Swedish men and women.” Nutrition. 33 (2017): 234:239. DOI: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.07.009.
Faraji, Haji M. and Tarkhani, Haji A. “The effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on essential hypertension.” J Ethnopharmacol. 65.3 (1999): 6-231. DOI: 10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00157-3.
Link, Rachael. “8 Benefits of Hibiscus Tea.” Nutrition. (2017). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hibiscus-tea-benefits.
Mckay, Diane L. and co. “Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Tea (Tisane) Lowers Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive and Mildly Hypertensive Adults.” The Journal of Nutrition. 140.2 (2010): 298-303. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.109.115097.
NHS. “What is the glycaemic index (GI)?” food and diet. (2018). https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-is-the-glycaemic-index-gi/.
Nutrition Facts. “Antioxidants.” https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/antioxidants/.
Serban, C. “Effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) on arterial hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” J Hypertens. 33.6 (2015): 27-1119. DOI: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000585. PMID: 25875025.