Health Benefits of Drinking Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is an herbal beverage with a tart, fruity taste. It’s also known as sorrel, Jamaican sorrel, or rosella. The natural red or purple pigments in hibiscus plants are called anthocyanins; which have anti-inflammatory properties and have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Even though hibiscus tea has gained popularity recently, it’s been consumed for centuries throughout tropical regions like Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Some people add hibiscus flowers to other teas like black or green tea, while others drink it by itself. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of drinking hibiscus tea regularly.
Rich in Antioxidants
A key health benefit of drinking hibiscus tea is its high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are beneficial compounds that can help prevent certain diseases, particularly heart disease, by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Oxidative stress is caused by harmful compounds called free radicals, which are naturally produced in the body but can be increased through certain activities like smoking, excessive sun exposure, and certain medications. Free radicals can damage cells and tissues in the body, increasing the risk for certain diseases like heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Hibiscus tea contains anthocyanins, flavonoids, and catechins, which are antioxidants that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. A study in Brazil even found that certain anthocyanins in hibiscus tea were more antioxidant-rich than those in blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Other research has shown that these antioxidants can help prevent damage to DNA and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Regularly drinking hibiscus tea may promote cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that hibiscus tea may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but not those who take medication for these conditions. One study of more than 1,000 people in Japan found that consuming hibiscus tea daily for 4 weeks resulted in reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and total cholesterol levels. Another study in the United States found that consuming hibiscus tea twice daily for 8 weeks resulted in reduced systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol levels in people with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
May Help With Weight Loss
Some research suggests that regularly drinking hibiscus tea may help promote weight loss by increasing fat burning and reducing appetite. One study found that consuming hibiscus tea daily for 8 weeks resulted in increased levels of hormones related to fat burning, reduced appetite, and reduced food intake in mice. Another study in humans found that consuming hibiscus tea 2 times daily for 4 weeks resulted in reduced levels of certain hormones related to fat storage, increased metabolism, and reduced appetite in women. More research is needed to confirm these findings and determine whether or not hibiscus tea can help people lose weight long-term. Hibiscus tea can be consumed with or without added sweeteners, unlike some other teas which are typically taken unsweetened.
May Lower Blood Pressure
Some research suggests that regularly drinking hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure. One study of 60 people in Taiwan found that consuming hibiscus tea daily for 6 weeks resulted in lower systolic blood pressure. Another study in Brazil found that consuming hibiscus tea 3 times daily for just 1 week reduced systolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. It’s unclear exactly how hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure, but it may have to do with its high anthocyanin content, which has been shown to have anti-hypertensive properties in many studies. Additionally, hibiscus tea is high in caffeine, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure in some people.
Hibiscus tea may also provide other health benefits. It may help improve digestive health by reducing abdominal discomfort, bloating, and improving bowel movements. It may also help manage blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Hibiscus tea may also help manage blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and promote better sleep. Drinking hibiscus tea has also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol.
How to Make Hibiscus Tea
The best way to enjoy the health benefits of hibiscus tea is to brew it at home. To make hibiscus tea, you’ll need dried hibiscus flowers (also sometimes referred to as sorrel), a teapot or other container, and water. Hibiscus flowers can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores, and they’re also often available online. First, fill a teapot or container with dried hibiscus flowers. Then, add boiling water and let the tea steep for about 5-10 minutes. For a stronger tea, use more flowers and steep the tea for a longer period of time. Hibiscus tea can be sweetened with honey or sugar if desired, and it can be served hot or cold.
Hibiscus tea is a refreshing beverage that may also have a number of health benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent diseases like heart disease and certain types of cancer. Regularly drinking hibiscus tea has been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve digestive health, and promote better sleep, among other things. In addition to the benefits listed above, hibiscus tea may also help promote weight loss and manage blood sugar levels. To reap the most benefits from hibiscus tea, make sure to brew it at home. You can add dried hibiscus flowers to other teas, like black or green tea. You can also drink hibiscus tea by itself.