The Little Known Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea with an ocean view

For centuries people around the world have known about the health benefits of hibiscus tea in addition to it’s sour yet refreshing taste.

You might be set in your coffee routine but it might be time to think about trying something new.

Hibiscus tea, which is laden with health benefits. This herbal tea is made from soaking the hibiscus flower in hot water.

You can sip it cold or hot, and it might just improve your health.

Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of hibiscus tea to help you determine whether or not you should add it to your breakfast.

Before we do, it will help to know more about the hibiscus flower itself.

What is Hibiscus Tea?

Hibiscus tea is made from the hibiscus flower, also known as Roselle or Hibiscus Sabdariffa. It is rich in Vitamin C and tastes like cranberries. It contains a number of antioxidants and is low in calorie content. Moreover, it has no caffeine.

It can be served cold or hot, and most people prefer adding sugar to it to sweeten their tea. Cold hibiscus tea can be found in cans in grocery stores, and these drinks are steeped with flavor to make them taste delicious.

Most people consume this tea because they love its taste and flavor either sweetened or sour. Along with this, there are also several little known health benefits of hibiscus tea.

Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

the many health benefits of hibiscus tea

In addition to its great, refreshing flavor, drinking hibiscus tea can also aid in your health and overall well-being.

The hibiscus flower is packed with components that, when consumed and digested on a regular basis, help the body in numerous ways that most people are simply unaware of due to a lack of knowledge.

However, those in the know surely appreciate the health benefits that come with drinking hibiscus tea.

Some of the health benefits include:

Hibiscus Tea for Hair Growth

Hibiscus flowers are generally used for achieving shiny, long hair. Some studies conducted on animal subjects have shown that the leaves of this particular plant have hair growth stimulating properties. Furthermore, alcohol and water extracts of hibiscus leaves and flowers have been shown to deepen hair color.

People who experience premature graying can soak hibiscus flowers in warm water and then apply the mixture to their hair. However, it should be noted that there isn’t significant research on the effects of hibiscus tea on the growth of hair. What we do know is that that hibiscus leaves promote better hair growth as compared to hibiscus flower extracts.

Hibiscus Tea for Weight Loss

hibiscus tea weight loss

Hibiscus tea might also help in reducing weight. In a research study, hibiscus was found to be effective at reducing abdominal fat, serum-free fatty acids, and obesity and also helped improve liver steatosis.

The participants chosen for this research had a BMI greater than or equal to 27, which is regarded in the United States as overweight. The participants were divided into two different groups.

The study was conducted for a period of 12 weeks, and during this time, one group received a placebo while the other was instructed to take a hibiscus extract pill.

The results showed that the group that had taken the hibiscus pill experienced a reduction in body fat, decreased BMI, and lost weight. Improvement was also observed in the liver steatosis of these participants. The results of this study suggested that hibiscus extracts could help in weight loss, prevent obesity, and treat nonalcoholic fatty liver.

Hibiscus tea is ladened with antioxidants, which could help reduce oxidative stress in our body. It is higher in ORAC – a lab test that measures a food’s total antioxidant capacity – than matcha, which was thought to have the largest quantity of antioxidants. The ORAC values of hibiscus tea are twice as much as that of matcha.

There are two antioxidants found in hibiscus tea – quercetin glucoside and anthocyanins. When free radicals get into the human body, and the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to counter them, oxidative stress occurs. Free radical damage can contribute to several health issues, including cancer. Hibiscus tea might help prevent free radical damage as it is rich in antioxidants.

Hibiscus Tea for High Blood Pressure

In one research study, a randomized controlled trial was used to determine the effects of drinking hibiscus tea on blood pressure in pre-hypertensive or mildly hypertensive adults. In this study, less than 100 participants were selected, and they were instructed to consume their regular diet for a period of six weeks.

The participants of the study were randomly divided into two groups. One group was told to take the placebo while the other was given the Hibiscus Sabdariffa flower (three servings a day).

After six weeks, it was found that the patients that consumed the hibiscus tea experienced a notable reduction in their systolic blood pressure. The flavonoid or phytochemical content of the hibiscus tea could be the reason behind its blood pressure lowering effects, but there is no conclusive evidence to prove this.

The results of the study also suggested that hibiscus tea could reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke if it is consumed regularly over time.

Hibiscus Tea for Skin

hibiscus tea for skin care

Hibiscus tea is rich in ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), which is why it is considered an excellent option for immune support. Vitamin C keeps the immune system strong and healthy by contributing to the production of white blood cells in the body.

White blood cells fight infections and pathogens that sneak into our bodies.

Vitamin C has also been found effective in promoting healthy tissues and skin and keeping the nervous system more efficient. Thus, drinking hibiscus tea may lead to healthy skin as it increases vitamin C levels in the body.

Hibiscus Tea for Kidney Stone Prevention

In one research study, the effects of hibiscus tea on the kidney stones were investigated. The build-up of calcium oxalates in the urine causes kidney stones. These stones can be painful, and it’s difficult for them to leave the human body. This study evaluated the role of hibiscus in preventing calcium oxalate crystals from transforming into stones.

The study was conducted on rats, and it was found that the hibiscus flower’s calycles are anti-urolithiatic and can be easily consumed without any harmful effects. The results showed that drinking hibiscus tea might help prevent kidney stones.

Hibiscus Tea Questions and Answers

Q. What Makes Hibiscus Tea So Special?

When the dried flowers of Hibiscus Sabdariffa are brewed in hot water, the result is a ruby red liquid called hibiscus tea. Hibiscus flowers are generally found in tropical climates – such as the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Africa, and Mexico. Hibiscus is also called Roselle.

Hibiscus tea has a refreshing, tangy taste, characteristic tartness, and cranberry-like flavor. It is a remarkable thirst-quencher when served cold. When served hot, this tea is intense.

Hibiscus tea holds a high therapeutic value. This tea was served ice-cold to the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt to cool off from the heat of the desert. Currently, hibiscus tea is being used in about ten countries worldwide for managing hypertension, phlegm accumulation, inflammation, hyperlipidemia, and several other acute conditions. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in this herbal tea are responsible for its medical benefits.

Q. Can Hibiscus Tea Lower Cholesterol?

Evidence suggests that drinking hibiscus tea leads to hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic effects. Anthocyanins, flavonoids, and polyphenolic acids are found in hibiscus flowers, and all of these have significant antioxidant activity.

These properties could be employed for managing obesity and dyslipidemia. Hibiscus tea doesn’t cause any kind of electrolyte disturbance. Hence, people can consume it with their regular diet for a positive effect on their cholesterol levels.

Q. What are the Side Effects of Drinking Hibiscus Tea?

A very high dosage of hibiscus extracts could cause liver damage. Hibiscus extract has also been found to interact with hydrochlorothiazide in animals and acetaminophen in human beings. People who drink hibiscus tea should consult with their doctors as certain herbs can interact with medications and may potentially cause adverse side effects.

Some sources suggest that the consumption of hibiscus isn’t safe for people who take a medicine called chloroquine – used for treating malaria. Hibiscus could decrease the potency of chloroquine and reduces the effects it has on the human body.

People who take high blood pressure medications or have diabetes should monitor their blood pressure and sugar levels when drinking hibiscus tea. The reason is that hibiscus tea could decrease blood pressure or blood sugar levels.

Breastfeeding or pregnant women shouldn’t drink hibiscus tea as it can have harmful side effects for them. Some side effects of drinking hibiscus tea during pregnancy include painful urination, nausea, and stomach pain.

Drinking hibiscus tea is considered safe. However, other products that contain hibiscus extracts aren’t regulated and may not contain everything they claim. This is why people should avoid consuming them.

Q. Is it Safe to Drink Hibiscus Tea Every Day?

It is generally considered safe to drink hibiscus tea in moderation. This means that you can consume one to two cups of hibiscus tea every day.

Q. How to Prepare Hibiscus Tea?

how to make hibiscus tea

Brewing hibiscus tea isn’t too hard. You can brew this ruby red liquid using fresh hibiscus flower or dried tea leaves. For your own convenience, you can also use tea bags. Follow these guidelines to brew a delicious cup of hot or cold hibiscus tea.

Preparing Hot Hibiscus Tea

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers
  • 3 to 4 cups of water
  • Boiling pot
  • Sugar or honey
  • Teapot
  • Mint leaves (optional)
  • Lemon

Instructions

  • Start boiling water in a pot
  • Add dried hibiscus flower to a clean teapot
  • Pour the boiled water into this teapot
  • Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes. The tea should start becoming red and intense. You can steep it longer if you prefer a stronger taste
  • Strain the contents of the teapot to remove the flowers
  • Add sugar or honey. You can also drink it unsweetened if you want
  • Serve it with a garnish of mint leaves

Preparing Iced Hibiscus Tea

You’ll need the same ingredients to make iced hibiscus tea. The one extra item you’ll need here is a pitcher.

Instructions

  • Add water and hibiscus flowers to a pitcher and stir well.
  • Cover the pitcher with a foil or its lid.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for 8 to 12 hours to steep the flavor
  • Take it out once the color and flavor have developed
  • Strain the contents of the pitcher into serving glasses
  • Add a sweetener of your choice if you prefer drinking it sweetened
  • Serve the hibiscus tea chilled

Q. Where to Buy Hibiscus Tea?

You can brew hibiscus tea with dried hibiscus flowers or hibiscus tea bags. These ingredients are available in specialty shops as well as online but the largest selection is on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

There is no disputing the health benefits of hibiscus tea.

It tastes great and feels refreshing and exotic. This herbal tea can eliminate free radicals, help reduce weight, boost hair growth, help control blood pressure levels, and may even prevent kidney stones.

However, it has some side effects, and pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t consume this drink.

You can easily brew hibiscus tea at home and serve it hot or cold. It is safe to drink two cups of hibiscus tea every day, but we advise against consuming any more than that. Before you start consuming hibiscus tea, make sure to consult with your healthcare provider as the contents of the tea can interact with medications and may cause harmful effects.

Another product that is gaining a lot of attention these days is kombucha. I wrote an in-depth post about the benefits of kombucha that you may find helpful.

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