Hibiscus tea benefits are numerous, with health perks such as aiding weight management, heart health and other benefits!
Legend tells us that in ancient Egypt, hibiscus tea was a favorite of pharaohs to cool off in the scorching desert heat. Today, hibiscus tea benefits are widely recognized, and it’s enjoyed worldwide for its unique tangy taste and health-enhancing properties.
In this article, we’ll cover what hibiscus tea is, how it’s made, and the multitude of hibiscus tea benefits. We’ll also guide you on the best way to enjoy hibiscus tea and discuss its potential side effects.
So, prepare your favorite teacup and get ready for an informative reading and sipping time!
What is Hibiscus Tea and How is it Made?
Hibiscus tea is an herbal infusion made from the dried, brightly colored calyces of the hibiscus flower. It’s known for its deep red color and tart, cranberry-like flavor. Varieties include Hibiscus sabdariffa, widely consumed in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Africa, and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, more commonly found in India and China.
For a comprehensive exploration of these types and more, check out our complete guide on hibiscus tea.
How to make a Hibiscus Tea Recipe
Here’s a simple guide on how to make a cup of hibiscus tea, whether you are using petals or a tea bag:
- Start by measuring 1-2 tablespoons of dried hibiscus petals (or one hibiscus tea bag) per 8 oz of water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Pour the hot water over the hibiscus petals.
- Let the tea steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on your taste preference.
- Strain the tea into a cup and sweeten if desired.
Hibiscus tea is caffeine-free, making it a great choice for those looking to avoid the stimulant.
Now that we know what hibiscus tea is and how to prepare it, let’s delve into the many hibiscus tea benefits.
List of Hibiscus Tea Benefits
Hibiscus tea benefits are impressive and plentiful. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
1. Obesity Prevention
Obesity prevention refers to measures that help avoid excessive fat accumulation that can impair health. A combination of lemon verbena and hibiscus flower extracts, known as Metabolaid®, has been shown to prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity through the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) (Lee et al., 2018).
2. Weight Management
Weight management involves maintaining a healthy body weight. Metabolaid®, the combination of lemon verbena and hibiscus flower extracts, has been found to regulate satiety and hunger-related hormones, leading to a more positive perception of overall health status in overweight subjects (Lee et al., 2018).
3. Nephroprotective Effects
Nephroprotective effects represent the capacity of a substance to safeguard the kidneys from potential harm. The kidneys, being vital organs, play crucial roles in maintaining homeostasis in our bodies, including the filtration of blood and excretion of waste products.
Hibiscus tea seems to hold potential in demonstrating nephroprotective properties. Research conducted by Ibrahim & Albadani (2014) provides evidence that hibiscus tea helps reduce the elevation of nonenzymatic kidney markers. These markers are commonly assessed in medical evaluations to indicate kidney health or detect potential kidney diseases.
The implication of such a finding suggests that regular consumption of hibiscus tea might provide a protective effect on our kidneys, although further studies are needed to fully understand the extent and mechanism of this protective action.
4. Antiviral Activity
Antiviral activity denotes the capacity of a substance to prevent or impede viral growth and proliferation. In the context of public health, substances with antiviral properties are crucial in managing and controlling viral infections and diseases.
Interestingly, hibiscus tea has shown potential antiviral activity. A study by Takeda et al. (2019) reveals that the extract from hibiscus tea demonstrated antiviral properties against the human influenza A virus. Influenza A virus is one of the main subtypes causing seasonal flu in humans, suggesting that hibiscus tea could be beneficial in flu prevention or management. It’s important to note that while these findings are promising, more research is needed to validate these effects and understand how they might be best utilized in a clinical setting.
5. Blood Pressure Reduction
Blood pressure reduction involves lowering the force exerted by blood on the walls of the blood vessels. Hibiscus tea has shown antihypertensive effects, lowering blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension (Jalalyazdi et al., 2019). Furthermore, regular consumption of hibiscus tea may also lower blood pressure in pre- and mildly hypertensive individuals (Ndiaye, 2023).
6. Cholesterol Management
Cholesterol management involves maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol levels in the body. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood that your body needs to build cells. However, high levels of certain types of cholesterol, particularly LDL (low-density lipoprotein), commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol”, can lead to health problems like heart disease.
Hibiscus tea has been associated with supporting cholesterol management. Research conducted by Zulfiqar et al., (2019) highlights that hibiscus tea may help in reducing plasma cholesterol levels. This implies that drinking hibiscus tea could potentially be beneficial for individuals aiming to manage their cholesterol levels and maintain cardiovascular health. It’s crucial to note that while these results are encouraging, they should not replace traditional medical treatment for high cholesterol. Further research is necessary to understand the effectiveness of hibiscus tea as a complementary treatment for cholesterol management.
7. Antioxidant Properties
Antioxidants are molecules that help defend your cells against damage from potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When the levels of free radicals exceed that of antioxidants, it can lead to a state known as oxidative stress, which is associated with various diseases including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, emphysema, Parkinson’s disease, and other inflammatory or ischemic conditions.
Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), contributing to its notable antioxidant activity. A study by Kaur et al., (2019) sheds light on this antioxidant potential. By helping to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, the antioxidants present in hibiscus tea might offer protection against a range of health conditions. Remember, though, while these initial findings suggest health benefits from hibiscus tea’s antioxidant properties, more comprehensive research is needed to fully validate these potential health benefits and their practical implications.
8. Anti-inflammatory Effects
Anti-inflammatory effects relate to the reduction of inflammation or swelling in the body. Inflammation is a response by the body’s immune system to injury or infection but can sometimes become chronic and contribute to various diseases.
Hibiscus tea possesses these anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the presence of certain bioactive compounds like polyphenols and flavonoids. These compounds are shown to alleviate inflammation within the body, according to a study by Takeda et al. (2019). Long-term inflammation has been linked to many chronic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The anti-inflammatory properties of hibiscus tea, therefore, have significant implications for overall health.
9. Antimicrobial Activity
Antimicrobial activity refers to the capability to prevent or limit the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Substances with antimicrobial properties are essential in maintaining health and preventing infections.
Hibiscus tea has been found to exhibit such antimicrobial effects. A study by Ibrahim & Albadani (2014) underscores hibiscus tea’s antimicrobial potentials, contributing to its array of health benefits. This antimicrobial action can be of significant benefit, especially in the context of preventing infections. However, it’s important to remember that while the initial findings are promising, further in-depth research is needed to understand the scope of these effects and their potential applications in healthcare.
10. Diabetes Prevention
Diabetes prevention refers to strategies aimed at reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that affects how your body metabolizes glucose (sugar). Maintaining a healthy weight, eating well-balanced meals, and staying active are among traditional preventative measures.
Hibiscus tea has been linked to the prevention of diabetes through its potential anti-hyperglycemic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects. These effects essentially mean that hibiscus tea may help in controlling elevated blood sugar and lipid levels, which are critical factors in managing and preventing diabetes and associated conditions like hypercholesterolemia.
Research conducted by Sanadheera et al., (2021) suggests that the regular consumption of hibiscus tea could potentially play a role in diabetes prevention. However, it’s important to note that hibiscus tea should not be used as a replacement for traditional diabetes treatment or preventative measures. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential of hibiscus tea as an adjunct treatment in diabetes prevention and to provide more precise guidelines on its consumption.
11. Anti-Cancer Properties
Anti-cancer properties refer to the capabilities of certain substances to combat the development and spread of cancerous cells. These properties include, but are not limited to, inhibiting cell growth, promoting the death of cancer cells, and preventing the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow.
In the context of hibiscus tea, recent research suggests potential anti-cancer benefits. This is largely attributed to bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and flavonoids found in hibiscus tea. According to a study by Ndiaye (2023), these compounds have shown promising results in impeding the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. While the exact mechanism isn’t fully understood, the effects of hibiscus tea on inhibiting the spread of cancer cells make it a subject of growing interest within the scientific community.
12. Digestive Health
Digestive health involves the proper functioning of the digestive system, which includes the ability to break down food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste effectively.
Hibiscus tea is traditionally known for its beneficial effects on digestive health. It may help mitigate common digestive issues such as constipation and indigestion, as outlined by Ndiaye (2023). Moreover, Kumar et al. (2022) underscore the high fiber content in hibiscus tea, which aids in promoting healthy digestion and preventing gastrointestinal problems.
13. Liver Health
Liver health pertains to the overall functionality and well-being of the liver, a vital organ responsible for detoxifying the body, producing bile, and many other essential tasks.
Recent studies, such as that by Kumar et al. (2022), suggest that hibiscus tea may contribute positively to liver health. The tea contains bioactive compounds like polyphenols that are shown to have hepatoprotective or liver-protective properties, safeguarding the liver from potential damage. Regular consumption of hibiscus tea could thereby support healthy liver function.
14. Skin Health
Skin health encompasses the condition of the skin, its appearance, and its ability to function properly. This includes the skin’s ability to heal, resist damage, and maintain a youthful appearance.
Hibiscus tea has long been used in traditional medicine for its potential skin health benefits. Its rich content of antioxidants helps protect the skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals, as per Kumar et al. (2022).
Furthermore, it is suggested by Sanadheera et al. (2021) that hibiscus tea may contribute to anti-aging effects, promoting a more youthful appearance while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
This concludes our section on hibiscus tea health benefits. If you’re an avid tea drinker, don’t forget to check out our comprehensive article on the ”health benefits of drinking tea”!
What’s the Best Way to Take Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus tea can be enjoyed hot or cold, making it perfect for any season. Try it on its own, or pair it with ginger, mint, or cinnamon for a flavor twist. It’s also a great addition to salads, sauces, and desserts.
If you prefer to sip it in a fun and flavorful way and reap the benefits of other herbs, you should absolutely try the hibiscus tea blends from Art of Tea!
Potential hibiscus tea side effects Side Effects and Considerations
While the benefits of drinking hibiscus tea are many, it’s also essential to consider potential side effects. These may include lowered blood pressure or interactions with certain medications. Always source your hibiscus tea from reputable providers to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.
In this article, we’ve explored the myriad of hibiscus tea benefits, from obesity prevention and weight management to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. We encourage you to try hibiscus tea and experience its benefits for yourself.
Don’t forget to check out our review post about the best hibiscus teas and share your hibiscus tea experiences with us!
- Ibrahim, D., Albadani, R. (2014). Evaluation Of the Potential Nephroprotective And Antimicrobial Effect Ofcamellia Sinensisleaves Versushibiscus Sabdariffa(in Vivoandin Vitrostudies). Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, (2014), 1-5. Link Here
- Jalalyazdi, M., Ramezani, J., Izadi-Moud, A., Madani-Sani, F., Shahlaei, S., Ghiasi, S. (2019). Effect Of Hibiscus Sabdariffa On Blood Pressure In Patients With Stage 1 Hypertension. J Adv Pharm Technol Res, 3(10), 107. Link Here
- Kaur, A., Suri, R., Rana, K., Thakur, V., Dimri, P., Mittal, N. (2019). Antioxidant Levels In Indian Rose, Hibiscus, Chrysanthemum and Marigold Tea And Their Comparison With Black And Green Tea. Int. Res. J. Pharm., 10(10), 52-55. Link Here
- Kumar, R., Singh, N., Mukopadayay, S., Sah, R. (2022). Ethnomedicinal and Pharmacological Properties Of Hibiscus Sabdariffa. ijhs, 9744-9758. Link Here
- Lee, Y., Yang, W., Kim, H., Min, B., Caturla, N., Jones, J., … & Kim, S. (2018). Metabolaid® Combination Of Lemon Verbena and Hibiscus Flower Extract Prevents High-fat Diet-induced Obesity Through Amp-activated Protein Kinase Activation. Nutrients, 9(10), 1204. Link Here
- Ndiaye, O. (2023). Consumer Responses and Willingness-to-pay For Hibiscus Products: A Preliminary Study. Front. Sustain. Food Syst., (7). Link Here
- Sanadheera, S., Subasinghe, D., Solangaarachchi, M., Suraweera, M., Suraweera, N., Tharangika, N. (2021). Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis L. (Red Hibiscus) Tea, Can It Be Used As a Home-remedy To Control Diabetes And Hypercholesterolemia?. BIOMEDNATPROCH, 1(10), 59-65. Link Here
- Takeda, Y., Okuyama, Y., Nakano, H., Yaoita, Y., Machida, K., Ogawa, H., … & Imai, K. (2019). Antiviral Activities Of Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. Tea Extract Against Human Influenza a Virus Rely Largely On Acidic Ph But Partially On A Low-ph-independent Mechanism. Food Environ Virol, 1(12), 9-19. Link Here
- Zulfiqar, S., Benton, K., Hassan, T. (2019). In Vitro and In Vivo Anti-diabetic Properties Of Hibiscus Sabdariffa. Proc. Nutr. Soc., OCE2(78). Link Here