Hibiscus is a large genus of flowering plants, growing primarily in tropical and subtropical regions, whose flowers are used for a wide range of medicinal purposes and edible products ranging from making jams and jellies to lowering blood pressure, aiding in weight loss, reducing cholesterol and in some cases, treating cancer. Flowers from the Hibiscus sabdariffa are generally consumed by brewing a medicinal tea or eaten in salads , addon in iddlies, and like many herbal preparations,
Hibiscus tea is the infusion made from the calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, an herbal tea drink consumed both hot and cold. Hibiscus tea has a tart, cranberry-like flavor, and sugar is often added to sweeten the beverage. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.
Hibiscus Teas health benefits include the following: cholesterol reduction, managing weight effectively, preventing constipation, averting infections of the bladder, cough and phlegm control and of course immune system enhancement.
Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid, maleic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinidin, that give it its characteristic deep red colour.
Study shown that drinking hibiscus tea can reduce high blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. The study results showed the average systolic blood pressure for those drinking hibiscus tea decreased from 134.8 mmHg (17.97 kPa) at the beginning of the study to 112.7 mmHg (15.03 kPa) at the end of the study, one month later.3 cups of hibiscus tea daily for 6 weeks reduced systolic blood pressure by 7 mm Hg in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive participants. In those with mean systolic blood pressure over 129 mm Hg, the reduction was nearly 14 mm Hg.
Hibiscus tea also “decreased blood pressure (BP) from 146.48/97.77 to 129.89/85.96 mm Hg, reaching an absolute reduction of 17.14/11.97 mmHg (11.58/12.21%, p < 0.05)."
According to Purdue University, 100 g of dried hibiscus fruit contains: 49 calories; 1.9 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 12.3 g total carbohydrate (2.3 g fiber); 1.72 mg calcium; 57 mg iron; 300 mg beta-carotene; 14 mg ascorbic acid (vitamin C); and two anthocyanins, gossipetin and hibiscin.
Hibiscus tea is low-calorie. At 49 calories, 100 g of dried hibiscus is nearly 4 oz., which makes a large pitcher of tea. The anthocyanins are antioxidant nutrients found in red, purple and blue fruits. They help to prevent and reduce the tissue damage from radical oxygen molecules, helping to prevent aging and degenerative diseases.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus
Hibiscus is found to have good amount of anti-oxidants in them. The anti-oxidants in hibiscus will help to reduce the levels of cholesterol. It may also aid in lowering the blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of getting heart diseases. Anti-oxidants may also help you to reduce the chances for getting cancer.
Hibiscus flowers are ideal for increasing the blood count in anemic people. Boil some flowers in small quantity of water and mix it with roasted cumin seeds. Add some salt to this mixture and mix well. You can also add water to dilute the mixture. Drink this mixture daily and this will help you to increase your hemoglobin.
Tea made out of hibiscus can help you to reduce the frequently occurring temperature fluctuations. Hibiscus will give you a cooling effect.
Your body contains two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. While high levels of HDL cholesterol benefit your health, high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to serious health problems over time. The New York Times Health Guide warns that high levels of LDL lead to hardening of your arteries, or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis damages your heart by limiting blood flow. Small build-ups of LDL on your artery walls can also cause blood clots which block blood flow.
A study shows that people with type II diabetes and mild hypertension lowered their systolic blood pressure–the top number in a blood pressure reading–by drinking a hibiscus tea blend.
Research howed that drinking 3 cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered blood pressure over a six-week period, especially among those whose blood pressure was the highest to begin with. This may be because hibiscus tea is diuretic, but whatever the explanation, developing the habit of drinking hibiscus tea could reduce your risk of stroke. Hibiscus tea also stimulates intestinal peristalsis, improving digestion.
The vitamin C and antioxidant power give plenty of reason to incorporate the zesty taste of hibiscus in your diet. There are also other added health benefits. Hibiscus extract or leaves provide a source of iron and and calcium. Hibiscus is also associated with lowering blood pressure. The extract can be used as an antiseptic to cleanse cuts and scraps. It has also been associated with healing ailments from indigestion, anxiety and scurvy when taken as an elixir.
Here are some ways hibiscus tea is reputed to benefit our health:
1. Lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of a heart attack.
2. Reduces fat deposits in our arteries and controls our cholesterol level.
3. Acts as an anti-oxidant. This helps it in the prevention of many forms of cancer.
4. Excellent diuretic.
5. Good body coolant.
6. Helps with weight loss. Hibiscus Tea benefits people with many enzyme inhibitors that impact the fat absorption process in the body. It also blocks the enzyme that breaks down the starch and thus helps reduce the rate of carbohydrate absorption and improve metabolism within our body. This helps people lose weight the healthy way.
7. Helps reduce bloating. This very cleansing tea has the capability to impact sugar absorption rates and thus can help reduce bloating in people and therefore help them control their weight.
8. Has been used to treat heart and liver diseases.
Hibiscus tea may be unsafe for pregnant woman.hibiscus may have emmenagogue effects. Emmenagogue herbs stimulate menstrual bleeding and can cause problems in the early stages of pregnancy. Ernst notes that researchers have not yet established a direct link between hibiscus tea and complications in pregnancy, although it is best for pregnant women to avoid drinking the tea.
Study indicate the estrogenic qualities of the tea may interfere with healthy reproductive activity and affect childbearing and female fertility. Side effects from consuming hibiscus tea on the unborn fetuses are unclear.
People with low blood pressure or those with hypertension who take blood pressure-lowering medicines should avoid drinking the tea due to possible contradictory interactions between the tea and medications.
Consuming hibiscus tea lowers estrogen levels, and those using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or taking birth control pills should avoid drinking the tea