It seems like herbal teas are becoming increasingly popular these days. Green tea has always been widely used obviously, but recently I’ve started to enjoy more of two other types of herbal tea — fennel tea and hibiscus tea. As I’ve already taken an extensive look at fennel tea, I thought it was time to cover hibiscus tea as well.
Hibiscus tea is also known as Agua de Jamaica throughout the Americas, and it’s made by infusing hot water with the crimson or deep magenta-colored calyces of the roselle flower. It can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
But are there any health benefits of hibiscus tea? And how does it compare to other herbal teas?
As it turns out, there’s quite a few great health benefits that you can gain from drinking hibiscus tea. It’s known to be quite a potent therapeutic beverage thanks to its rich content of vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants.
Quick Post Guide
- 1 The Top 10 Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
- 1.1 Hibiscus Tea Is a Potent Source of Antioxidants
- 1.2 Hibiscus Tea May Help Prevent Certain Kinds of Cancers
- 1.3 Hibiscus Tea May Help Lower Blood Pressure
- 1.4 Hibiscus Tea May Help Lower Cholesterol
- 1.5 Hibiscus Tea May Help Fight Bacterial Infections
- 1.6 Hibiscus Tea May Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- 1.7 Hibiscus Tea May Help Protect Your Liver
- 1.8 Hibiscus Tea May Help With Weight Loss
- 1.9 Hibiscus Tea May Be a Natural Antidepressant
- 1.10 Hibiscus Tea Acts As a Natural Diuretic
- 2 Potential Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea
The Top 10 Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Here’s 10 of the best hibiscus tea benefits that you can gain by adding it into your diet.
Hibiscus Tea Is a Potent Source of Antioxidants
Green tea is often praised as being an excellent source of antioxidants and a great alternative to your morning cup of coffee. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679539/
However, it turns out that hibiscus tea may actually be an even better source of antioxidants! https://nutritionfacts.org/video/better-than-green-tea/
Studies have shown that a diet rich in foods that contain an abundance of antioxidants is one of the best health measures that you can take to lower your risk of disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3093095/
Free radicals inside of your body can cause oxidative stress on a cellular level, which in turn can contribute to the development of many types of chronic diseases. Antioxidants are the first line of defense that your body both produces naturally and gets from dietary sources to counteract this oxidative stress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614697/ As a result, drinking hibiscus tea can help to lower your odds of developing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
Hibiscus Tea May Help Prevent Certain Kinds of Cancers
Drinking hibiscus tea may be an effective natural remedy when it comes to helping prevent certain types of cancers.
Obviously, the antioxidant and vitamin C content helps to play a major role here. Vitamin C in particular has been shown to slow the growth and spread of certain types of cancers, such as prostate, pancreatic, liver, and colon cancers. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq
A lab study also found evidence that hibiscus extracts can cause apoptosis (cellular death) in leukemia cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10856425 This is incredibly promising as leukemia and other types of cancer that affect the bone marrow and blood cells are extremely aggressive forms of the disease. In fact, it’s estimated that someone in the US will die every nine minutes from some form of blood cancer. http://www.lls.org/http%3A/llsorg.prod.acquia-sites.com/facts-and-statistics/facts-and-statistics-overview/facts-and-statistics
A separate study also found similar results, with hibiscus tea extract causing cellular death in eight different kinds of gastric carcinoma cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15791651
Hibiscus Tea May Help Lower Blood Pressure
Hibiscus tea can also provide some amazing benefits when it comes to helping protect you from heart disease. By drinking more hibiscus tea, you can help to lower your blood pressure.
Considering that high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can contribute to hypertensive heart disease https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertensive-heart-disease#1, it’s important to do everything that you can in order to keep your blood pressure under control.
A number of different countries actually use hibiscus tea as a natural remedy for high blood pressure that doesn’t display any adverse reactions or side effects (when used in moderate doses — exceptionally high doses can pose certain health risks). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3593772/
Perhaps even more impressively, a Nigerian study found that hibiscus tea was even more effective than hydrochlorothiazide, another common medication prescribed to treat hypertension. Better yet, the hibiscus tea doesn’t cause any sort of electrolyte imbalance, which hydrochlorothiazide is known to do. http://www.njcponline.com/article.asp?issn=1119-3077;year=2015;volume=18;issue=6;spage=762;epage=770;aulast=Nwachukwu;type=0
Hibiscus Tea May Help Lower Cholesterol
Along with helping to prevent hypertension, hibiscus tea can also help to ward off heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and triglycerides as well.
Aside from hypertension, having elevated levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream is one of the leading causes of heart disease.
There are two types of cholesterol found in your blood — the “bad” kind known as LDL cholesterol and the “good” kind known as HDL cholesterol. A high triglyceride level in combination with low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol is known to increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/HDLLDLTriglycerides/HDL-Good-LDL-Bad-Cholesterol-and-Triglycerides_UCM_305561_Article.jsp#.WjP2LiMZOu4
Hibiscus tea has been shown to help improve your overall cholesterol levels. It’s even a valid method of doing so for anyone with type 2 diabetes. In fact, research has shown that hibiscus tea consumed twice daily over a period of one month was able to increase HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetic patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678781
Hibiscus Tea May Help Fight Bacterial Infections
By drinking a cup of hibiscus tea daily, you just might be giving your immune system the added boost it needs to keep your body strong and healthy.
For one, considering that the tea is a rich source of vitamin C, it has proven benefits for your immune system. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912
But did you know that vitamin C also contains potent antibacterial properties? It’s true — in fact, research has even shown that vitamin C is able to inhibit the growth of staph infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23059632
Further research into the antibacterial properties of hibiscus tea extract has revealed that it has promising potential when it comes to killing MRSA, the type of bacteria primarily responsible for the majority of staph infections in the United States. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819052/
Hibiscus Tea May Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
One of my personal favorite benefits of drinking hibiscus tea is the fact that it has demonstrated some potent anti-inflammatory properties. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25728636
It shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that hibiscus has been used for centuries as an all-around healing herb. It’s still always nice to know that the scientific facts can back up certain long held beliefs though!
The reason this benefit is so important to me personally is that I am fully aware of the health risks posed by chronic inflammation within your body. The amount of health conditions linked with inflammation is staggering — they include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, lung issues, and depression. https://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html With that in mind, I’m always making a conscious effort to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in my diet as possible, and drinking a warm cup of hibiscus tea is a great way to help with that.
Hibiscus Tea May Help Protect Your Liver
I was hesitant to include this health benefit of hibiscus tea, but after careful consideration, I decided to go ahead and add it. With that being said, there’s a couple of important things to keep in mind with this.
First up, let’s look at how hibiscus tea can benefit your liver. The antioxidant compounds found in hibiscus extract have proven beneficial effects when it comes to helping your liver handle it’s natural detoxification processes. While more research definitely needs to be done, antioxidants have potential as a possible treatment for liver cirrhosis as well. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4526841/
Now it’s time for the “but”. As with many things, too much of a good thing can be bad. In this case, extremely high doses of hibiscus tea can actually have the reverse effect and be toxic for your liver. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19003943 However, the good news is that it would require FAR more hibiscus than you would consume in a cup of tea to cause this adverse effect.
Hibiscus Tea May Help With Weight Loss
Drink a warm cup of delicious tea and simultaneously help with my weight loss goal? Sign me up!
Hibiscus tea may be able to do just that as research performed on lab rats demonstrated that hibiscus tea not only encouraged weight loss, but also minimized the risk of complications associated with obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742648/ Not only that, but researchers have also found a link between hibiscus tea extract and an overall increase in metabolism as well. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17765418
I also mentioned the benefits that hibiscus has for your liver above, but an added benefit that coincides with that is the effect that hibiscus tea can have on fatty deposits in your liver. Obesity is a common cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and hibiscus tea has shown an ability to reduce this buildup of fatty deposits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24549255
Hibiscus Tea May Be a Natural Antidepressant
Depression is easily the most common mental illnesses across the globe.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people of all ages around the world suffer from it in some form. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
As a result, there’s a huge market for pharmaceutical antidepressants. Some of these medications can be quite effective, but unfortunately, many of them are also associated with a number of unpleasant side effects. These negative effects can include nausea, fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, insomnia, and more. https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/coping-with-side-effects-of-depression-treatment#1
That’s exactly why many people are now interested in more natural treatment methods for their depression symptoms. The good news is that hibiscus tea extract contains flavonoids that have demonstrated antidepressant-like activity, with none of the common side effects associated with pharmaceutical meds. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469946/
Hibiscus Tea Acts As a Natural Diuretic
The final health benefit that I want to talk about in regards to hibiscus tea is actually the reason that many people start to drink it in the first place.
As with most other herbal teas, hibiscus tea has a beneficial effect on your entire digestive system.
An added benefit of diuretic substances is their beneficial effects when it comes to preventing heart disease. Hibiscus tea can actually help your kidneys to eliminate excess sodium and water from the body, which further helps to lower blood pressure. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/tips-for-taking-diuretic-medications
Potential Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is perfectly safe for the vast majority of people to drink in moderation.
Many of the associated negative side effects are due to excessive consumption.
There is one major exception to this rule however. Pregnant women should not drink hibiscus tea under any circumstances whatsoever. It’s possible that hibiscus can induce menstruation in women, leading to premature labor in pregnant women. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2002.t01-1-01009.x/full
Otherwise, there may also be some rare interactions with certain medications that you may already be taking. If you are ever in doubt, please consult with your family doctor before drinking hibiscus tea while taking medication.
How to Make Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is incredibly easy to prepare.
You can either use the leaves yourself or purchase pre-packaged hibiscus tea products. Simply boil your water and then place the leaves inside until the beverage turns a deep red color. The resulting tea is highly concentrated, so it’s recommended to add more water and then optionally add in your desired sweetener as well.
Then sit back and enjoy!
So what do you think?
Has this article encouraged you to try out a warm cup of hibiscus tea? I hope it has — it’s not only incredibly good for you (as you can see from the list above), but it’s one of the tastiest herbal teas I’ve ever tried!
Please leave us a comment down below to tell us what you think and if you found this article useful, then please consider sharing it with your friends and family as well.
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