The Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea – Has Matcha Tea found a worthy challenger?
Hibiscus Tea is the taste of summer in the middle of winter. It’s fresh, delicious, and incredibly healthy at the same time. Read on and learn how hibiscus can help you lose weight, boost your health, nourish your skin and improve your endurance.
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As you might know, I’ve spent a lot of time in the very hot Sinai/Egypt in the last two years because hubby works there. And when you’re in Egypt, you’ll come across loads of dried hibiscus petals in every market and supermarket.
In Egypt, wedding celebrations are traditionally toasted with a glass of hibiscus, but the Egyptians also use Hibiscus tea to reduce body temperature.
In other African countries they make pulp from the leaves to treat cuts, and in Iran, they use it for high blood pressure.
But the tea can do much more than that.
the 11 Health & beauty benefits of Hibiscus Tea
So, (when in Rome) as I discovered more and more about the amazing health and beauty properties of this beautiful flower, I too started drinking hibiscus tea, plus added it to my face masks.
Here you have my 11 healthy reasons to keep some of this beautiful red tea in your kitchen.
1. Help Promote Weight Loss & exercise performance
Hibiscus is a rich source of the chemical hydroxycitric acid.
Hydroxycitric acid is used to improve exercise performance, endurance, and weight loss.
Hydroxycitric acid might improve weight loss by preventing fat storage and controlling appetite. It might improve exercise performance by limiting the use of stored energy in the muscles, which seems to prevent fatigue.
Furthermore, if you consume food that is rich in carbohydrates, that means that it contains sugar and starch, so you are likely to gain weight. However, research studies have suggested that hibiscus extract lowers the absorption of starch and glucose and may help with weight loss. Hibiscus inhibits the production of amylase, which is an enzyme that aids in the absorption of carbohydrates and starch. Hence the reason you’ll can find hibiscus tea in many weight loss products. (1.2.)
One study gave 36 overweight participants either hibiscus extract or a placebo. After 12 weeks, hibiscus extract reduced body weight, body fat, body mass index, and hip-to-waist ratio. (3)
Drinking hibiscus tea at least once a day may also help you fight insulin resistance, a common marker of prediabetes and various other conditions. It can even help in maintaining healthy blood sugar in diabetes patients, which means it may help reduce every symptom in the metabolic syndrome cluster. (4)
2. Lowers Blood pressure
Several studies have that found hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure significantly - both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and even in patients with certain health conditions that increase the risk of high blood pressure.
In one study, 65 people with high blood pressure were given hibiscus tea or a placebo. After six weeks, those who drank hibiscus tea had a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, compared to the placebo. (4) Similarly, a 2015 review of five studies found that hibiscus tea decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7.58 mmHg and 3.53 mmHg, respectively. (5)
While hibiscus tea may be a safe and natural way to help lower blood pressure, it's not recommended for those taking hydrochlorothiazide, a type of diuretic used to treat high blood pressure, as it may interact with the drug. (6)
3. Supports Healthy Cholesterol
In addition to lowering blood pressure, some studies have found that hibiscus tea may help lower blood fat levels, which are another risk factor for heart disease.
In one study, 60 people with diabetes were given either hibiscus tea or black tea. After one month, those who drank hibiscus tea experienced increased “good” HDL cholesterol and decreased total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. (7) Another study in those with metabolic syndrome showed that taking 100 mg of hibiscus extract daily was associated with decreased total cholesterol and increased “good” HDL cholesterol. (8)
In a study published in Phytomedicine, scientists recommend the use of hibiscus extracts to naturally lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients with metabolic syndrome. (9)
4. Antibacterial & Anti-Inflammatory properties
Hibiscus tea is rich in flavonoids, polysaccharides, and good organic acids.
Besides the hydroxycitric acid, I mentioned above hibiscus contains citric acid, hibiscus acid, malic acid, tartaric acids and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and protocatechuic acid.
These amazing compounds are known for their great immune stimulating properties and potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents.
Studies have shown that protocatechuic acid even can inhibit the growth of methicillin-resistant bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Acinetobacter baumannii. (10)
A study conducted with ten healthy volunteers also supports the claim for its anti-inflammatory activity. (11)
5. Strong Antioxidant
Every time we breathe 98-99% of that oxygen goes to burn the food that we’re eating and liberate small molecules that we need for cellular regeneration, and it releases lots of energy.
But about 1-2% of that oxygen goes down a different and dangerous side branch.
This small amount of oxygen, commonly known as free radicals, attacks our DNA.
Eventually, the accumulation of damaged or dysfunctional molecules is always that little bit greater than the rate that should clear the mess up, so slowly, and inevitably we age, and the classic signs of aging show up in our skin.
Fortunately, some foods and plants like the hibiscus are very rich in anti-oxidants that help fight these free radicals.
6. Can help Prevent liver damage
Hibiscus’ strong antioxidant activity, also help reduce mitochondrial dysfunction in the liver, and hibiscus can help improve liver steatosis (fatty liver). (14)
7. Natural Antidepressant
Hibiscus tea contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids, which have antidepressant properties. Consumption of hibiscus tea can help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by creating a relaxed sensation in the mind and body.
8. Relieves Menstrual Pain
The health benefits of hibiscus tea include relief from cramps and menstrual pain. Studies have shown that an extract of hibiscus has an antispasmic and relaxing effect on the uterus and intestines. (17)
9. Hibiscus Benefits for the Summer Heat
Hibiscus tea can also be used to satiate thirst and can cool down the body very fast. Its sour taste quenches summer thirst, and it has a high content of mucilage, that help retain moisture making it ideal for heat with dryness.
Mucilage is a thick, gluey substance, produced by almost all plants but found in higher concentrations in specific species. As an example, the wet and slimy inside an Aloe Vera plant is mucilage.
Mucilage also has a beneficial effect on ulcers and internal inflammations.
10. Benefits of Hibiscus for your skin
Hibiscus is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs help exfoliate skin, speed up cell turnover, and control acne breakouts, all of which can encourage fresher, younger, and smoother looking skin. Hibiscus also increase moisture and improve flexibility and elasticity.
On top of the AHA activity are the antioxidants “anthocyanocides.” These antioxidants not only protect the skin from free radical damage, they also have astringent properties that help pores appear smaller. They have an anti-inflammatory effect as well, soothes inflamed skin and helps calm conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Hibiscus is also a great moisturizer because its rich in that mucilage. This high mucilage content in the Hibiscus enhances the skin’s ability to retain moisture, and stay hydrated, soft and supple for longer, which is a crucial factor in maintaining a youthful complexion, and keeping dry, dull skin at bay. Mucilage also has a beneficial effect on burns and wounds.
11. Hibiscus for Hair and Scalp
Hibiscus is revered for its scalp replenishing and blood circulation stimulating abilities too.
Applying ground hibiscus leaves and flowers can benefit your scalp as it soothes and cools it.
You can also use the herb as a good conditioner and moisturizer for your hair. (18)
Hibiscus Tea Risks and Possible Side Effects
There are some minor side effects and risks to consider when drinking hibiscus tea.
Hibiscus tea is toxic to the liver in extremely high doses. Toxicity was seen at such high doses, however, that it would probably be difficult to consume that much in tea form. (19) Most sources recommend three to four eight-ounce glasses of hibiscus tea daily, which seems like a reasonable amount to avoid adverse effects.
Of great concern is the potential effect hibiscus tea has on pregnant women. Pregnant women should never drink hibiscus tea or take hibiscus products, as it can cause “emmenagogue effects.” This means it can induce menstruation.
While this could potentially be helpful to women with irregular periods — although this has never been studied — it also means that pregnant women drinking hibiscus tea could experience premature labor. (20)
Generally, it’s not known whether or not hibiscus tea is safe for nursing mothers, who should also avoid drinking it until they discontinue nursing.
If you are pregnant, be aware that hibiscus may be on a label under “rose of Sharon” or “althea.”
How to Find the Best Hibiscus Tea
Like most supplements, it’s important to purchase hibiscus leaves, powder or extract from trustworthy sources with a good reputation.
If you purchase dried hibiscus, you’re more often actually getting the calyces of the plant, which surround the petals, rather than the petals themselves.
All hibiscus teas are caffeine-free, so feel free to drink your tea before bedtime too.
hibiscus tea -Recipe
Make this with dried flowers and have it as a hot or iced tea - it’s delicious either way.
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
8 cups water
1/4 cup honey (or less/more depending on your taste. You can always add more afterwords).
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Bring the hibiscus flowers and water to a boil in a large pot.
Once the water starts boiling, switch off the flame and cover the vessel. At this point, you can also add other herbs or add ins such as basil, lemon grass, lemon zest etc.
Let the tea steep for 15-20 minutes.
Mix in the honey and lime juice till completely combined.
Strain the tea.
You can either serve hibiscus tea warm or you can chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Either way it tastes delicious!
Long Island Hibiscus Iced Tea Recipe
My kind of Long Island Iced Tea. The taste of summer in the middle of winter. It’s fresh, delicious, and incredibly healthy at the same time. These herbs boost your immune system, nourish your skin and improve your endurance.
Pour boiling water over the herbs.
Steep for 5-10 minutes.
Strain the tea.
Add mango and strawberries to the blender with the strained tea.
Blend on high speed for about 30 sec.
Strain through a funnel with strainer.
Pour into a bottle and refrigerate.
It will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Shake before using.
All information in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The statements made in this blog have not been evaluated by The Danish Health Authority. The products linked to in this blog and any information published in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this blog is not a substitute for a face to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as medical advice. The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinions of Hanne Robinson. By reading and using this blog, you agree to only use this publication for personal informational use and not as a substitute for medical or other professional advice.