8 Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

Healthline – By Rachael Link, MS, RD – November 25, 2017 – Re-Posted June 23, 2020

Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea that’s made by steeping parts of the hibiscus plant in boiling water.

It has a tart flavor similar to that of cranberries and can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

There are several hundred species of hibiscus varying by the location and climate they grow in, but Hibiscus sabdariffa is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea.

Research has uncovered a range of health benefits linked to drinking hibiscus tea, showing that it may lower blood pressure, fight bacteria and even aid weight loss.

This article reviews 8 benefits of drinking hibiscus tea.

1. Packed With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that help fight compounds called free radicals, which cause damage to your cells.

Hibiscus tea is rich in powerful antioxidants and may therefore help prevent damage and disease caused by the buildup of free radicals.

In one study in rats, hibiscus extract increased the number of antioxidant enzymes and reduced the harmful effects of free radicals by up to 92% (1Trusted Source).

Another rat study had similar findings, showing that parts of the hibiscus plant, such as the leaves, possess potent antioxidant properties (2Trusted Source).

2. May Help Lower Blood Pressure

One of the most impressive and well-known benefits of hibiscus tea is that it may lower blood pressure.

Over time, high blood pressure can place extra strain on the heart and cause it to weaken. High blood pressure is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease (3Trusted Source).

Several studies have found that hibiscus tea may lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In one study, 65 people with high blood pressure were given hibiscus tea or a placebo. After six weeks, those who drank hibiscus tea had a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, compared to the placebo (4Trusted Source).

Similarly, a 2015 review of five studies found that hibiscus tea decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7.58 mmHg and 3.53 mmHg, respectively (5Trusted Source).

While hibiscus tea may be a safe and natural way to help lower blood pressure, it is not recommended for those taking hydrochlorothiazide, a type of diuretic used to treat high blood pressure, as it may interact with the drug.

3. May Help Lower Blood Fat Levels

In addition to lowering blood pressure, some studies have found that hibiscus tea may help lower blood fat levels, which are another risk factor for heart disease.

4. May Boost Liver Health

From producing proteins to secreting bile to breaking down fat, your liver is essential to your overall health.

Interestingly, studies have shown that hibiscus may promote liver health and help keep it working efficiently.

5. Could Promote Weight Loss

Several studies suggest that hibiscus tea may be associated with weight loss and protect against obesity.

One study gave 36 overweight participants either hibiscus extract or a placebo. After 12 weeks, hibiscus extract reduced body weight, body fat, body mass index and hip-to-waist ratio.

6. Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer

Hibiscus is high in polyphenols, which are compounds that have been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer properties (14Trusted Source).

Test-tube studies have found impressive results regarding the potential effect of hibiscus extract on cancer cells.

In one test-tube study, hibiscus extract impaired cell growth and reduced the invasiveness of mouth and plasma cell cancers (15Trusted Source).

Another test-tube study reported that hibiscus leaf extract prevented human prostate cancer cells from spreading (16Trusted Source).

Hibiscus extract has also been shown to inhibit stomach cancer cells by up to 52% in other test-tube studies.

7. Could Help Fight Bacteria

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that can cause a variety of infections, ranging from bronchitis to pneumonia to urinary tract infections.

In addition to having antioxidant and anticancer properties, some test-tube studies have found that hibiscus could help fight bacterial infections.

In fact, one test-tube study found that hibiscus extract inhibited the activity of E. coli, a strain of bacteria that can cause symptoms like cramping, gas and diarrhea (19Trusted Source).

Another test-tube study showed that the extract fought eight strains of bacteria and was as effective as some medications used to treat bacterial infections.

8. Flavorful and Easy to Make

Aside from its multitude of possible health benefits, hibiscus tea is delicious and easy to prepare at home.

Simply add dried hibiscus flowers to a teapot and pour boiling water over them. Let it steep for five minutes, then strain, sweeten it if desired and enjoy.

Read entire article here

Video source: www.youtube.com

Posted by Teri Perticone

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