11 Amazing Hibiscus Tea Health Benefits

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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The health benefits of hibiscus tea include its ability to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammatory problems, aid in relieving disturbed digestive and immune system, and potentially help treat diseases of the liver and cancer.

Hibiscus tea may also speed up the metabolism aiding in healthy, gradual weight loss. It can also be linked with better mental health. This tea rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants.

What is Hibiscus Tea?

Hibiscus tea, also known as Agua de Jamaica and by its scientific name Hibiscus sabdariffa is prepared by boiling parts of the hibiscus plant. Hibiscus tea is ruby red or deep magenta in color and has a sour taste.

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. 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.

How to Make Hibiscus Tea?

It is very easy to make hibiscus tea; all you need is a pan, water, hibiscus flowers, and sugar or honey. Let us take a look at how to prepare it:

  • Step 1: Heat a pan. Add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a soft boil.
  • Step 2: Turn off the heat and steep the dried hibiscus flowers in a pot of water for five minutes.
  • Step 3: Serve this tea hot or cold.

Note: Organic hibiscus tisane herbal tea has a taste that is very similar to cranberry juice. It can definitely be described as tart, so you may add sugar or honey to increase the sweetness. You can also try adding spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or ginger depending on your taste. Hibiscus ginger tea is one of the popular flavors as it gives the tea both a balance of tartness (of the flower) and spiciness (of the ginger).

Watch Video: 7 Great Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea


Nutrition Facts

Beverages, tea, hibiscus, brewed
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]99.58
Energy [kcal]0
Protein [g]0
Total lipid (fat) [g]0
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]0
Fiber, total dietary [g]0
Sugars, total [g]0
Calcium, Ca [mg]8
Iron, Fe [mg]0.08
Magnesium, Mg [mg]3
Phosphorus, P [mg]1
Potassium, K [mg]20
Sodium, Na [mg]4
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.04
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]0
Thiamin [mg]0
Riboflavin [mg]0
Niacin [mg]0.04
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0
Folate, DFE [µg]1
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]0
Vitamin A, IU [IU]0
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Hibiscus Tea Nutrition

Hibiscus tea is naturally low in calories and is caffeine-free. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, it has a good supply of minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. It also contains B-vitamins like niacin and folic acid. This tea is a good source of anthocyanins, which make it beneficial for managing elevated blood pressure levels, the common cold, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

The various benefits of hibiscus flower tea which can help in keeping the human body fit are given below. Read on and get healthier!

Manages Blood Pressure

A report from the AHA (American Heart Association), published in November 2008, suggests 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, also referred to as hypertension.

study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that hibiscus 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.

Dried hibiscus leaves and hibiscus tea on a wooden table

Weight Loss

Hibiscus herbal tea can be beneficial for weight loss. Studies have suggested that hibiscus extract lowers the absorption of starch and glucose the two dietary components that can lead to weight gain and may help aid in weight loss.

Hibiscus inhibits the production of amylase, which helps in the absorption of carbohydrates and starch, so drinking it lessens the absorption from occurring. Therefore, hibiscus can be found in many weight loss products.

Lowers Cholesterol

Hibiscus tea 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 and sour tea lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increases (good) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol , which helps to manage this unpredictable disease.

Protects Liver

Research studies have also suggested that the antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea may help in treating liver diseases. Antioxidants help protect your body from diseases because they help neutralize the free radicals present in body tissues and cells. Therefore, drinking the beneficial oxidants from caffeine-free hibiscus tea could lengthen your lifespan by maintaining good overall health.

Anticancer Properties

Hibiscus tea contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid, which has antitumor and antioxidant properties.

study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College, in Taichung, Taiwan suggests that hibiscus may slow down the growth of cancerous cells speficially human leukemia cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.

Another study by Karina H. Goldberg and her research team reported that hibiscus extracts may inhibit the growth of skin cancer cells. Further, Lin HH, et al. in their research found hibiscus extract induces apoptosis or cell death in gastric cancer cells.

However, more research and scientific evidence is required to confirm the anticancer potential of hibiscus extracts.

Anti-inflammatory & Antibacterial Agent

The hibiscus plant’s loose leaf tea 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 can help protect you from catching a cold and flu. It may also be 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 such as mood swings, depression, and overeating.

Acts as an Antidepressant Agent

Hibiscus tea contains vitamins and minerals, specifically flavonoids, which have been associated with antidepressant properties in some animal studies. Consumption of hibiscus tea may help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body. More research is needed to identify the true efficacy of these antidepressant properties

Improves Digestion

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, improve the health of your gastrointestinal system, and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Satiates Thirst

Hibiscus tea is also used as a sports drink in order to satiate thirst. For this purpose, hibiscus tea is typically consumed cold, as an iced tea. Many people include it in their diet since this variety of tea has the ability to cool down the body very fast.

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, during the warmer weather, you have the option to drink hibiscus iced tea by steeping organic hibiscus flowers in water. It takes about 20 minutes for preparation, and then you can cool yourself off in a healthy, refreshing way.

Health benefits of hibiscus tea - Infographic

Where to Buy Hibiscus Tea?

You can easily make hibiscus tea at home if you have the flowers growing in your backyard. If you don’t have access to a hibiscus plant, the tea is best made with:

  • Organic dried hibiscus flowers
  • Hibiscus teabags

They are both available online as well as in local supermarkets.

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

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 (antihypertensive properties). Therefore, it is not recommended for people who already have low blood pressure or hypotension, according to The Telegraph. It may cause faintness, dizziness, and can even cause damage to the heart or brain if consumed by anyone with low blood pressure.
  • Pregnancy and Fertility: According to an article published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, hibiscus tea is not recommended for pregnant women, particularly due to emmenagogue effects, which may stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus or pelvic region. According to MedlinePlus, hibiscus can cause shakiness, constipation and stomach discomfort. For those undergoing hormonal treatments or taking birth control pills, it is recommended to consult your health specialist regarding consumption of this variety of tea.
  • Diabetes & Surgery: Hibiscus may lower the blood sugar levels so it is best advised to consult your doctor if suffering from diabetes or planning to undergo a surgery.
  • Other: 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 operate heavy machinery 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.

Note: Consult your doctor if taking medications such as Chloroquine, antidiabetic medications, Zocor, or medications that are changed by the liver before using hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus Tea: The Takeaway

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. So go ahead and brew a cup full of goodness!

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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