The health benefits of hibiscus tea, also known as Agua de Jamaica, include its ability to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disturbed digestive and immune system, and inflammatory problems as well. It helps cure liver diseases and reduces the risk of cancer. It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants and helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.
Hibiscus tea is prepared by boiling parts of the hibiscus plant, known by its scientific name Hibiscus sabdariffa, particularly the flower. It is a very popular beverage throughout the world and is often used as a medicinal tea. Hibiscus flowers have various names and are known as “Roselle” in some places.
Hibiscus tea is ruby red in color and has a sour taste. Therefore, it is also known as sour tea and has a flavor similar to cranberry. It is widely available in the market throughout the tea-drinking world and can be consumed hot or cold depending on your preference. This tea is low in calories and is caffeine-free.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
The various benefits of hibiscus tea which would help in keeping the human body healthy and fit are given below. Find them out and get healthier!
Manages Blood Pressure
A report from the AHA (American Heart Association), published in November 2008, states that consuming this tea lowers the blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. It also states that 1/3 of adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension. A study conducted by Odigie IP suggests that it has antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties, which can be beneficial for people suffering from hypertension and those at high risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, hibiscus tea can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 points, according to a research done at Tufts University in Boston. For this drastic improvement to occur, you need to regularly consume three cups of this tea every day for a few weeks. Also, it has diuretic properties that increase urination and simultaneously lower blood pressure.
It helps to lower the levels of (bad) LDL cholesterol from the body, thereby helping to protect against heart diseases and protecting blood vessels from damage. The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of hibiscus tea can be beneficial for those who suffer from blood sugar disorders like diabetes. A research study conducted on patients with type II diabetes suggests that consumption of hibiscus sour tea lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which helps to manage this unpredictable disease.
Research studies have also suggested that the antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea also help in treating liver diseases. Antioxidants help protect your body from diseases because they neutralize the free radicals present in body tissues and cells. Therefore, we can confidently say that drinking hibiscus tea could increase your lifespan by maintaining good overall health.
Hibiscus tea contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College, in Taichung, Taiwan suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
Anti-inflammatory & Antibacterial Agent
It is rich in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. It is an essential nutrient required by your body to boost and stimulate the activity of the immune system. Hibiscus tea is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it protects you from catching a cold and flu. It is also used to treat discomfort caused by fever, due to its cooling effect.
Relieves Menstrual Pain
The health benefits of hibiscus tea include relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It helps in restoring hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, and overeating.
Acts as Antidepressant Agent
Hibiscus tea contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids which have antidepressant properties. Consumption of hibiscus tea can help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.
Many people drink hibiscus tea to improve digestion as it regularizes both urination and bowel movements. Since it has diuretic properties, it is also used to treat constipation, which helps you lose weight, improve the health of your gastrointestinal system, and avoid colorectal cancer.
Hibiscus tea is also used as a sports drink in order to satiate thirst. For this purpose, an iced form of hibiscus tea is typically consumed. Many people include it in their diet since this variety of tea has the ability to cool down the body very fast.
Hibiscus tea is beneficial in weight loss. You are likely to gain weight if you consume food that is rich in carbohydrates. However, studies have suggested that hibiscus extract lowers the absorption of starch and glucose and may help in weight loss. Hibiscus inhibits the production of amylase, which helps in the absorption of carbohydrates and starch, so drinking hibiscus tea prevents the absorption from occurring. Therefore, hibiscus tea is found in many weight loss products.
Summer & Winter Drink
You can drink hibiscus tea either as a hot tea or an iced tea. If you want to keep yourself warm in the winter, brew it and drink it straight away. It takes only a few minutes to make. In case you do not want to drink it hot, perhaps in the summer, you have the option to drink hibiscus iced tea. It takes about 20 minutes for preparation, and then you can cool yourself off in a healthy, refreshing way.
Hibiscus tea has a taste that is very similar to cranberry juice. It can definitely be described as tart, so you can add sugar or honey to increase the sweetness. Also, you can try adding spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger depending on your taste.
Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea
Although hibiscus tea is a health enhancer and a natural weight loss booster, there are possible side effects you should be aware of.
Blood Pressure: The health benefits of hibiscus tea include lowering blood pressure (anti-hypertensive property). Therefore, it is not recommended for people who already have low blood pressure, a condition called hypotension. It may cause faintness, dizziness, and can even damage the heart or brain if consumed by anyone with low blood pressure.
Pregnancy and Fertility: Hibiscus tea is not recommended for pregnant women, particularly due to its emmenagogic effects which may stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus or pelvic region. For those undergoing hormonal treatments or taking birth control pills, it is recommended to consult your health specialist regarding consumption of hibiscus tea.
Hallucinatory Effect: Some people may feel intoxicated or experience hallucinations after drinking hibiscus tea. Therefore, be cautious until you know how your body reacts to the tea. Don’t drive a car or try anything particularly dangerous until you know what its effects are on your system.
Allergy: Some people develop allergic reactions such as itchy red eyes, sinus or hay fever when consuming hibiscus tea.
Not many people are aware that almost 15-30% of hibiscus tea is composed of organic acids. These acids are malic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid. They are commonly found in fruits such as grapes and wine. They help in boosting immunity, promoting better skin, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, managing inflammation, and improving digestive issues. Hibiscus tea has diuretic and choleretic effects, thus controlling blood viscosity by reducing blood pressure and enhancing digestion.
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