Tea is probably the most favored beverage across the world and is made up of various different plants in different cultures. One of the most popular types of tea is made from a plant which can be grown aplenty in one’s garden – Hibiscus.
Hibiscus tea is prepared by boiling parts of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, particularly its deep magenta colored or crimson sepals, in water. It is served both hot and cold.
It has a tart and cranberry-like flavor so sugar or honey are often added to sweeten it. It contains Vitamin C and various minerals making it suitable to be used as a mild medicine. It also contains 20%-30% organic acids like malic acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains flavonoid glycosides and acidic polysaccharides that are responsible for its characteristic deep red color.
It is also a much-needed package of essential fatty acids, Omega 3, and Omega 6. It also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Zinc, Copper and dietary fiber. It contains 85% of the required amount of Vitamin B1 and half of iron content needed daily.
Reduces High Blood Pressure:
In today’s competitive world, hypertension is a very common occurrence, especially in people with highly stressful jobs. Many people are on the lookout for effective yet healthy ways for controlling their blood pressure which has caused a sudden rise in the popularity of hibiscus tea. It contains cholesterol-reducing compounds, which, in turn, have the effect of reducing blood pressure. It also has diuretic properties which increase urination thereby decreasing blood pressure. This is a methodology utilized by most pharmaceutical medicines to control high blood pressure.
Reduces Cholesterol and Promotes Heart health:
Hibiscus tea contains several antioxidants that help to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol, further protecting the heart and blood vessels, and ensuring that they remain strong and elastic. The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of hibiscus tea have been found to be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
Protects from Liver Disease:
Jaundice is caused when the liver goes into overdrive and produces more bile juice than required. This can cause several complications. Hibiscus tea, being a diuretic can help to eliminate the excess bile in the blood by promoting its excretion through urine.
It also has various antioxidants that help in neutralizing the threat of free radicals in our body. The anthocyanins present in hibiscus tea could reduce inflammatory liver lesions and liver damage caused due to oxidation.
Effective against Cancer:
Hibiscus tea has long been known to help in the fight against cancer.
Hibiscus tea contains protocatechuic acid which has antioxidant, antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies have found that hibiscus tea slows the growth of cancerous cells by apoptosis or programmed cell death, which is the way our body targets and kills unhealthy cells.
Strengthens the Immune System:
Hibiscus tea is a rich source of ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, which is very important for the functioning of the immune system. Hibiscus tea has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which prevent infections like the common cold. It is also used to treat discomfort caused by fever due to its cooling effect. This cooling effect also makes people include this drink in their diet after physical exercise.
Keeps Kidneys Healthy:
Kidney stones are caused when there is a build- up of salts in the kidneys due to the high concentration of solutes. These solutes clump together to form tiny balls or stones which cause extreme pain. Hibiscus tea is found to reduce the risk of forming kidney stones. This is due to its diuretic properties which increase the frequency of urination and prevent the uild up of stones in the kidney.
Provides relief from Menstrual Cramps:
Hibiscus tea is also very beneficial to women as it provides relief from menstrual cramps. It helps in restoring hormone balance which in turn counters the other symptoms of menstruation like depression, mood swings and overeating. Since it is a relaxant, both the intensity and duration of cramps reduce. Reports suggest that it may also help reduce labour pains and increase ease of delivery.
Acts as an Anti-Depressant:
Hibiscus tea is also an excellent antidepressant as it contains flavonoids, anthocyanidins and anthocyanins which have potential antidepressant properties. This creates a more relaxed environment by soothing the nervous system.
Promotes Digestive Health:
Hibiscus tea, being a diuretic, increases urination and bowel movements. This also prevents constipation which helps in weight loss, improves the health of the gastrointestinal system, and prevents colorectal cancer.
It also contains compounds which promote peristaltic movement to increase the speed at which the food passes through intestine, thereby improving digestive capacity, absorption and preventing chance of infection in the intestines.
Aids Weight Loss:
This wonderful drink is also found to be a useful tool to aid weight loss. It is low in calories, and being a diuretic, flushes out excess fluids and toxins from our body. The removal of toxins helps to automatically reduce the amount of water that our body stores as water weight, and also helps to reduce bloating.
Hibiscus tea also inhibits the production of amylase, an enzyme that helps in absorption of carbohydrates. As a result, more sugars and carbohydrates are flushed out of the body, resulting in absorption of healthier compounds which help maintain weight efficiently.
Prevents Dermatological issues:
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of hibiscus make it an effective tool for the treatment of acne, scars, sunburns, eczema and other skin conditions. It also hinders the signs of aging like loss of moisture, elasticity and wrinkles.
Hibiscus tea is used as a rinse for soothing dry scalps, dandruff and mild fungal infections. It leads to stronger hair shaft and lesser breakage. It is used to colour gray hair and helps in repairing rough and curly tresses.
Some studies suggest that including 2 cups daily of hibiscus tea in your diet for about 1 week reduces the risk of heart disease significantly.
Hibiscus tea is known to effectively lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. But if an individual with already low blood pressure (hypotension) consumes it, hibiscus could lower the blood pressure even more, resulting in faintness, dizziness and can even cause organ damage.
It is not recommended for pregnant women due to its emmenagogue effects which may stimulate menstruation or blood flow in the uterus region.
Hibiscus tea has been found to induce hallucinations in a person who has just consumed it. So it is advised to completely and carefully understand the effects of the drink on one’s body before driving a car or operating machinery.
Some people may be allergic to hibiscus tea and can develop reactions such as itchy red eyes, sinus and hay fever. It has also been found to be hepatotoxic at high doses.