Hibiscus: Nourish your beauty and health with these vibrant blooms


Last Updated June 13th, 2021

Fun facts on hibiscus

They are one of the most stunning looking flowers with vibrant colors and a distinctively trumpet-shaped flower.  They generally grow in a tropical climate, but wait for a second; it is not that they do not grow in other climates.  You could easily grow a hibiscus plant in your backyard when you provide the right amount of care required.  A hibiscus plant can easily live all year long if taken care properly.  They are generally divided into four main groups.  These plants can grow up to 15 feet tall.  The flowers bloom generally in winter months.

The hibiscus flower seems to provide several health benefits when it is consumed as a tea.  The red-flowered hibiscus is used for medical purpose.  The tea made from the flower is sour but contains several benefits such as cancer-fighting effects, lowering blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress, weight loss, etc.

This tea has been prepared since ancient times.  The Egyptians used them to treat fever, nerve disease, as well as to increase urine production.  They were also used to treat constipation, fight cancer, treat liver problems, as well as used topically to heal wounds.

What is hibiscus tea and how to make it?

The tea is made from the flower of the hibiscus plant.  Numerous types of flowers are used, but usually, the common type used is the flower that is deep red in color.  In the ancient days, the tea was actually made from the protective layer around the flower called calyx.  The dried sepals are used to prepare the tea.  You can add around 3-4 tablespoons of petals to one liter of water.

First, boil the water for 3-4 minutes, then later add the petals to the water.  Allow the petals to steep in for at least 5 minutes.  If you let the petals steep in for a longer time, it would give a powerful and strong taste.  You can strain the liquid and sip on the tea.  For some variations, you can also add a few drops of lemon juice or mint leaf.  If you want to drink a sweet version of the tea, you can go ahead and add sugar or honey to the tea.  If you are looking to reduce your weight avoid adding any sugar or honey to it.  This tea can be served hot or cold.

How hibiscus nourishes you from within

Lowers Blood Pressure

There has been extensive research regarding the use of this tea to reduce blood pressure and it has been proved to reduce the blood pressure levels even in patients diagnosed with particular health conditions.

According to a report by the University of Arizona, more than 10 countries around the world have been using hibiscus tea to successfully lower blood pressure levels.  Researchers have concluded that hibiscus extracts are showing promising results in the treatment of hypertension, but more standardized studies are required.

Several studies have concluded that daily use of three glasses of hibiscus tea can substantially reduce the blood pressure levels and they have concluded that three glasses per day seem to the preferred dosage.  Further, according to a study hibiscus tea seems to be more effective than hydrochlorothiazide, which is a drug used to control blood pressure.  It was also determined that there were no side effects caused by the tea as compared to the drug, which gave numerous side effects.

Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides

High cholesterol and triglycerides are considered to be one of the important risk factors leading to heart disease.  These two components play a big role in managing health.  If you are having increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, they may lead to a medical condition called metabolic syndrome.  Once you are in this category, it is not far that you will be affected by heart disease or stroke.  There is a recommendation in the field of science that hibiscus tea should be used to lower the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients affected by metabolic syndrome.

Studies have indicated that the tea helps to increase the levels of HDL, which is considered good cholesterol and at the same time reduces the levels of LDL, which is considered to be bad cholesterol.  It also plays an important role in reducing the levels of triglycerides as well.

Prevents oxidative stress

As discussed earlier, hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants.  These antioxidants reduce the effects of free radicals.  Reduced levels of free radicals limit the oxidation process.  This, in turn, reduces the oxidative stress that may be caused to internal organs.  This process of fighting the free radicals is accomplished with the help of anthocyanins, which is a pigment found in the flower of hibiscus. It was determined that the antioxidant effect of the tea increased the antioxidant load in the bloodstream.  This, in turn, reduced the oxidative stress that can cause cell damage.

Effective in fighting certain cancers

Due to the presence of antioxidants in the tea, it has been extensively studied for anticancer effects.  Like other cancer related studied, this research is still in the early stages and needs more research done.  During these studies, it has come to light that the antioxidants present in the hibiscus tea are helpful in fighting a certain type of cancer cells.

It has been indicated that these antioxidants were able to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia cells.  It is not clear how this is accomplished, but there is a clear sign that it is able to fight leukemia cells.  Similarly, in another study, it was found that gastric carcinoma cells too were induced to apoptosis with the help of hibiscus tea antioxidants.

Reduces Obesity and Related Risks

If you are really determined to lose weight remove a glass of red wine and replace it with red hibiscus tea and see the difference.  With the antioxidants present they help protect your cells and other compounds present have the potential to encourage weight loss.  There are several other benefits associated with hibiscus tea.  They are known to increase metabolism, fight insulin resistance, as well as maintain blood sugar levels.  On the whole, it is helpful in reducing every symptom in metabolic syndrome.

Another factor contributing to obesity may be related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  This medical condition occurs due to the accumulation of fat cells within the liver.  It should be noted that this is not caused by alcohol use.  Studies have claimed that hibiscus tea reduces the occurrence of fat build-up in the liver and help with liver detox.

Natural Antidepressant

If you are looking for a natural treatment for your depression symptoms consider trying hibiscus tea.  This miracle drink can make wonders by fighting depression.  The bioflavonoids present in the tea are helpful in this process.  They are helpful in improving depression symptoms, reduce fatigue, provide a calming effect on the brain, etc.  It is considered to be one of the best natural remedies for depression.

Potential staph infection remedy

A staph infection is usually caused by bacteria called MRSA.  It is estimated that over 90,000 people are affected by a staph infection in the US every year.  Studies have claimed that a particular type of hibiscus plant that is used to make tea has shown antibacterial effects.  It seems to be particularly effective against MRSA bacteria.  It is very important to prevent staph infections as they are the root cause of several other life-threatening diseases.

Prevents kidney stones

One of the important features of hibiscus tea is the diuretic effect.  It is known to help excrete fluids from the body in the form of urination.  This phenomenon is ideal to prevent kidney stones.  Since the fluids are flushed out regularly, it helps in removing the compounds that are known to form kidney stones.

Side effects of hibiscus tea

It is considered to be overall safe other than some minor side effects and risks.  There is a concern of liver toxicity associated with consuming high doses of hibiscus tea.  Generally, it is recommended to drink 3-4 glasses of tea per day.  If you are drinking more than this on a daily basis, it may lead to toxicity in the liver.  This is practically impossible since it is extremely difficult to drink more than 3 cups of hibiscus tea a day, so the concern for toxicity can be considered minimal.

Another concern regarding the use of hibiscus tea is related to pregnant women.  It is highly recommended to avoid hibiscus tea or other related products during pregnancy, as it is known to induce menstruation.  This property may be helpful for women suffering from irregular periods but can be harmful to pregnant women such as causing premature labor.  There is not much research on breastfeeding mothers, but it is advised to stay away from hibiscus tea or other products right from pregnancy until the completion of breastfeeding.

Possible drug interactions

There is a possibility that hibiscus tea can interact with prescribed medications.  It is highly recommended to avoid them when taking blood pressure medications.  Since the tea has the potential to reduce your blood pressure levels, it is highly recommended to avoid them when taking daily blood pressure medications, as it may cause hypotension.

There is also a concern that it can interact with medications containing Cytochrome P450 enzymes.  It is important to consult your doctor and know the combination of your prescribed medication before adding hibiscus tea to your diet.

The tea is also helpful in regulating blood sugar levels.  It is recommended to avoid hibiscus tea when taking daily diabetes medications, as it may lower blood sugar levels leading to a medical condition called hypoglycemia. It is also advised to avoid them when taking acetaminophen or chloroquine, as it diminishes how much of the medication your body can absorb.

Takeaway

Hibiscus tea is a popular beverage, which can be served cold or hot.  The antioxidant effect of the tea is helpful in various health benefits.  Due to this, it is extensively researched for its effects on various organs.  They seem to be a very good choice for weight loss.  There are some minimal side effects associated with their consumption including the interactions with blood pressure and diabetes medications.  It is recommended to consult your doctor before adding them to your diet.


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