Among the hundred species of hibiscus, Hibiscus sabdariffa is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea. Consumption of this calorie and caffeine-free herbal tea has been linked by research to a range of health benefits such as fighting bacteria, aiding in weight loss, and lowering blood pressure (1).
Can It Possibly Lower Blood Pressure?
Over time, high blood pressure (hypertension) quietly damages our bodies. If left uncontrolled, it can cause damage to our arteries, brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes. These can lead to disability, poor quality of life, or even a fatal heart attack or stroke (2).
Hibiscus has antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties, which can be beneficial if we are suffering from hypertension or at high risks of cardiovascular diseases (3). Aside from this, it also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as diuretic properties that increase urination and simultaneously lower blood pressure (4).
In a study, researchers found that drinking three 8-ounce servings of herbal tea containing hibiscus each day lowered blood pressure. In this six-week study, 65 people with high blood pressure were given hibiscus tea or a placebo. At the end of the study, those who drank hibiscus tea had a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, compared to the placebo (5).
According to a 2015 review of studies published in the Journal of Hypertension, drinking hibiscus tea may benefit people with hypertension (high blood pressure). Experts concluded that the daily use of hibiscus tea reduced the systolic blood pressure by an average of 7.5 mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure by an average of 3.53 mmHg (6).
Furthermore, results of a 2010 study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that consuming hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in people at risk of high blood pressure and those with mildly high blood pressure (7).
How To Make Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus tea is prepared by boiling parts of the hibiscus plant. It has sweet and tart flavors with ruby red or deep magenta color (because of its flowers). Let’s take a look at how to prepare it.
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 8 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Honey (Optional)
- 3 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice (optional)
- Sift through dried flowers for stems and discard. Bring the hibiscus flowers and water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water starts boiling, switch off the flame and cover the vessel. Let the tea steep for 15-20 minutes. Mix in the honey and lime juice for added taste and benefits. Strain the tea (8).
- Serve hot or serve chilled as iced tea.
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