Hibiscus Tea For Blood Pressure: The Proven Link!
Hibiscus tea, also often known as sour tea has recently been linked with lowering the levels of blood pressure and cholesterol. In other words, drinking this tea on a regular basis is seen to affect these levels in the body – due to their antioxidant content as well as other substances. And today we shall look a little deeper into these claims – as well as all the other information you may need to get these benefits!
So let’s get started on this state flower of Hawaii… while it may be the state flower there, it is easily grown in various parts of the world – the Middle East, Africa, India and even Europe, to name just a few. But besides the benefits of the fresh flower, there is more ‘magic’ in the dried variety, especially for those having high levels of cholesterol or blood pressure. And why do we say that?
Let’s bring you the studies that confirm…
There have actually been a number of studies to link hibiscus to blood pressure. And we are delineating them by year:
It was a double blind randomized study – carried out with the help of a control placebo.
The people who were on the trial were given powdered dried hibiscus flowers – enough to contain about 250 mg of anthocyanins.
At the end of the study it was observed that the blood pressure levels had reduced significantly and were within safe ranges within a period of time. At the same time, it wasn’t seen to affect the water-salt balance or increase the levels of potassium in the blood.
The original trial was carried out to study the effects of hibiscus tea vis-à-vis black tea for diabetics.
Randomly selected participants were given black tea, the rest were given hibiscus tea. The result on diabetes isn’t being cited here. But…
Those having hibiscus tea showed a marked improvement or proper maintenance in systolic blood pressure levels.
In this year a number of studies were conducted – their results published in 5 articles.
The tests were done for durations ranging from between 3 to 12 weeks. A few were double blind placebo control tests, others were no intervention studies.
Across all the studies, it was seen that hibiscus tea had the capacity to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
While these trials were being conducted, throughout the same years, numerous tests were carried out that proved that hibiscus could bring about marked improvement in the blood cholesterol levels chart as well – and that just goes to show that you win in more ways than one!
So now that we have established that hibiscus tea can be a good way to deal with blood pressure – why not look into the details of the tea itself? Let’s start with…
How Hibiscus Tea tastes like
The fact that it’s also known as ‘sour tea’ should give you a hint about what it tastes like. Yes, it is a tangy sour brew and it can be had hot or cold. And this is not surprising considering that the main components of the ‘tea’ will be hibiscus acid (allo-hydroxycitric acid lactone), tartaric acid, malic acid and citric acid. With as much acid content, it is sure to taste sour – but these along with the anti-oxidants or phytochemicals, makes for the amazing health benefits.
Now the next question to ask is what part of the plant is actually edible – and here there is a lot to say:
- The leaves are used as a vegetable in places like India and Burma.
- The flower when dried is considered a delicacy in Mexico.
- And as for you – the dried sepals of the flowers are also crushed and used to make this beneficial tea.
While many people have the sour tea as it is, some prefer it as a blend of herbs including hibiscus – which isn’t quite as sour. But if you are going to be having it for your blood pressure – it is always advised that you go for pure hibiscus tea, since the antihypertensive (as well as anti-cholesterol and anti-oxidant) properties have been extensively studies and conclusively proved.
And as for masking the taste and sourness –
|Stir in a bit of any of the following to greatly improve the taste:|
And talking of proof – that brings us to…
How Hibiscus Can Help your Blood Pressure and Heart
As you can tell by now, its activity is manifold. And here is just taking a look at how it is beneficial in the case of high blood pressure:
- Blood pressure levels seemed to be lowered in individuals with prehypertension, or mild hypertension with the regular consumption of hibiscus tea.
- Its anti-cholesterol properties ensure that cholesterol plaque buildup doesn’t contribute to arterial wall hardening, therefore indirectly affecting blood pressure.
- Also its anti-oxidant benefits from ensure that the damage free-radical damage to the arteries and heart are minimized, keeping blood pressure further regularized.
|The phytochemicals responsible for all these effects are:|
And now once we have established how it works, it is time to take a look at…
The different ways Hibiscus is used around the world
Traditionally, it has been used as an ancient medicine down the ages – and across the world. To give you a few examples:
- In Iranian herbal medicine, as well as in other parts of the world, hibiscus is seen as a natural way to treat hypertension and high blood pressure.
- People in the northern regions of Africa have also been using it to help with skin condition as well as for throat health.
- Hibiscus is also beneficial in regulating fluid balance and circulation in the body – as evidenced from its used for these in Sudan and Egypt as well as Europe.
- In fact, the Europeans also see hibiscus tea as a way to relieve constipation!
- And according to certain studies, it helps to maintain liver health as well.
So you see, even as you will be trying it out for the hypertension benefits – the same gift from nature will be working in a multitude of other ways to keep your body healthy and fit!
And with that we come to the next point –
How you should make Hibiscus Tea
Now the strength of the tea you make depends on your tastes – but here is a general reference. Ideally, do not exceed this amount. And we also give you some tips on making the tea taste quite yummy…
- Take 3 cups of water and put it on to boil.
- Now add half a cup of the dried crushed flowers or ‘tea’ into a tea pot or a decanter.
- Top with the boiling water.
- Cover and let it steep for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Now strain it out and store.
What you can add to Hibiscus Tea to enhance its flavor
Now, as we said, the tea is bound to be sour – and most people add some form of sweetener to make it taste better. But you can actually enhance the whole flavor by adding one or more of the following while steeping the tea:
- A stick of cinnamon
- Some lemon or orange zest
- A pinch of licorice
- A slightly bruised lemongrass stalk
- Or just about any other flavor. Some people even chill it in the fridge and have it is iced tea! Alternately, you can go for hibiscus tea bags, and often you find flavored tea bags too.
- Now we try and bring you overall information – and so we also thought to bring you a number of recommendations. When looking for hibiscus tea – if you can get it fresh, nothing like it. But that isn’t exactly easy to come by. And so we recommend the Davidson’s tea brand:
- They have ‘loose leaf’ hibiscus tea in 16 ounce bags – Davidson’s Tea Bulk, Organic Hibiscus Flowers Cut and Sifted
- You could go for their pack of 100 tea bags – each adequate for a cup of tea – Davidson’s Tea Hibiscus Flower
So, now you know almost all there is to know about hibiscus tea and blood pressure – including how you can have it yourself!
But your safety is also of the utmost importance – since you possibly already have hypertension or a tendency towards it. And so, here is the one of the most important facts for you to check out:
How much Hibiscus Tea is too much?
As you know – too much of even something that is good can be bad for you. Same holds true for hibiscus tea too. The right doses are very important. And here are the recommended amounts:
To both control cholesterol as well as to maintain a normal blood pressure levels:
- 2 -3 cups of hibiscus tea every day
- If having standard hibiscus extracts – 100mg twice daily
- Enough hibiscus powder to contain 250mg of anthocyanins in a day
The powdered tea you can have with other things as well – not necessarily as a tea. You could even sprinkle it over your salads or other foods as a tangy spice!
Hibiscus tea is a great way to control blood pressure – maintain it at a healthy limit. And as you know, it will also keep you healthy in various other ways. So, the sooner you get started on this ‘beverage’…the better it is for your health!