Hibiscus tea health benefits & side effects

Hibiscus tea
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Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea from Hibiscus sabdariffa belonging to the family Malvaceae. Hibiscus tea health benefits are may control hypertension, and cholesterol and is rich in antioxidants.

The common name is Roselle, Rozelle, Indian sorrel, Rose of Anthea, African mellow, and Flore de Jamaica. The plant is an annual or perennial woody-based sub-shrub. Seeds of this plant are used for reducing the cholesterol level of the body. The plant as a whole is used in the preparation of herbal medicines, and the food industry.

Hibiscus tea health benefits

hibiscus tea health benefits
hibiscus tea health benefits infographics

1. Hibiscus tea may control hypertension

Hypertension is one of the main leading health problems in today’s world. According to a report, about 20% of the population is expected to have hypertension in their life (2). Hypertension leads to heart-related problems, kidney and central nervous system damage, and stroke. Hibiscus extracts act as a potential vasodilator and may control blood pressure. Therefore consumption of this tea for those who have hypertension problems (not severe ones) may help in relaxing the vessels and lower the pressure.

2. May lowers cholesterol level

Studies done on humans with metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes suggested that hibiscus extracts help in lowering the low-density lipids (3) and increasing the high-density lipids (4). Thus drinking hibiscus tea helps in controlling the cholesterol level of the body.

3. Possiblye prevents anemia

A dried calyx drink of hibiscus flower may help in the prevention of anemia. Mechanism of action is still unknown but research suggests that the prevention of anemia may be because of the increased activity of bone marrow to produce more red blood cells (5).

4. Rich in antioxidants

Hibiscus is rich in antioxidant compounds like anthocyanin, flavonoids, organic acids, and polysaccharides (6). These antioxidants thus make hibiscus drink a healthy choice for reducing the free radical scavenging activity.

5. Laxative

This tea also acts as a mild laxative, therefore drinking hibiscus tea may help in resolving constipation problems (7).

6. May act as Sedative

Consumption of the tea made from hibiscus helps in relaxing the body and induces sleep, therefore, acts as a sedative. Studies show that this may be because it’s rich in antioxidants like flavonoids like hibiscitin and phenolic compounds may act like a sedative (8).

7. Potential diuretic

The extracts of the tea made from hibiscus have flavonoids, anthocyanin, and cholergic acids that possess possible diuretic and potassium-sparing properties. Therefore drinking this tea increases diuretic activity without losing the potassium and other minerals from the body (9).

8. Potential digestive property

Hibiscus extracts also act as a digestive. Studies suggest that hibiscus polyphenols enhance digestion by increasing the activity of the digestive and metabolic enzymes (10).

9. Possibly reduces weight

This tea may help in controlling the weight of the body and thus is a solution for obesity. The hibiscus polyphenols act as ligands that enhance the activity of metabolic and other digestive enzymes (10). Increased metabolism of the body further adds up to weight reduction.

Some other health benefits are aphrodisiac, antiseptic, astringent, and anti-inflammatory.

Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus is safe to consume but may cause certain health-related side effects when taken in excess

1. Liver damage

If consumed at a rate of 300 mg/kg of body weight per day for at least 3 months may cause liver damage. Excessive intake of hibiscus hinders the enzymatic activity of the liver (1).

2. Gout

Hibiscus consumption in excess elevates the uric acid level of the body thus results in the development of gout (1).

3. Low blood pressure

Hibiscus tea helps in lowering blood pressure. Therefore, is not suggested for those having low BP problems as it may be harmful.

How many cups of Hibiscus tea should be taken per day? (1).

1. For hypertension:

It was suggested that half a liter of warm water with one-half teaspoon of grounded hibiscus flower or one teaspoon of fresh flower per day helps in the reduction of hypertension.

2. For Obesity:

Two cups per day help in the reduction of obesity.

Again these suggestions are research-based. please consult a nutritionist or doctor before consuming the hibiscus tea.