Well-Being Benefits of Drinking Hibiscus Tea

A cup of hibiscus tea in a white cup with roses.

Hibiscus tea is a deep red or magenta-coloured herbal tea; drinking hibiscus tea, either hot or cold, is a pleasurable experience enjoyed by millions of people all around the world every day. Made by infusing water from the crimson/deep magenta sepal (part of the flower) of the roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) plant.

The hibiscus plant is native to Sudan in West Africa. It’s also known as Sorell in Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, or red Sorelle in the wider Caribbean. In the US, Mexico and Central America, it’s agua, rosa de Jamaica or just Jamaica, or zobo or bissap in other West African countries (except Cameroon, where it’s folere). It can be made from fresh flowers, dried flowers, tea bags, or concentrates.

Drinking Hibiscus Tea and Blood pressure

In 2015, a published meta-analysis found that drinking hibiscus tea regularly significantly affected both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, it also recommended further studies to confirm.

Another study, in 2010, compared people who were consuming three servings of hibiscus tea (or a placebo) daily over six weeks. Those who drank the hibiscus tea showed a significant reduction in their systolic blood pressure compared to those who consumed the placebo. Accordingly, this was only a small study that contained 65 participants.

Hibiscus & Antioxidants

This vivid red tea is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce your system’s free radicals. This helps keep your skin more elastic and reduces early wrinkles, inflammation, and the risk of general illness. Unfortunately, studies have also associated the damage to your body from free radicals with various other conditions, including dementia and cardiovascular disease.

Nutrition

Hibiscus tea is high in vitamin C and low in sugar (though people often add sweeteners, as it has a sharp or tart flavour, not unlike cranberry – consider agave syrup). Vitamin C supports your immune system.

In addition, hibiscus tea is high in iron, essential in producing red blood cells, and vitamin C help the body absorb iron.

Sugar cravings and Weight Management

It’s not uncommon to crave something sweet after dinner. Great if dessert is in the fridge and looks good, but not so good if you’re trying to lose weight! By drinking hibiscus tea, with its tart taste, you can reduce or dispel that craving by removing the taste of the savoury food, which is a trigger. It also aids digestion, as it’s a natural diuretic, helping to avoid the moisture and gas building up in your digestive system.

It’s also a caffeine-free, sugar-free way to increase your hydration, which aids weight loss by helping fat burn, and helps to keep you regular.

Please note, however, that if you’re pregnant (or trying to get pregnant), you shouldn’t consume hibiscus tea, as it can affect your estrogen levels.

In addition, let your doctor know you drink it if you’re prescribed a new medication, as it may interact with some drugs or other compounds. For example, it can interact badly with hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic taken by people with high blood pressure, stopping it from working correctly.

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