What Is Hibiscus?
Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world.
Hibiscus tea, otherwise known as roselle or sour tea, has many health benefits. One of the few that is actually supported by clinical trials is the impact of hibiscus tea on blood pressure.
In Iran, it is typically known as sour tea. In English-speaking countries it is called Red Sorrel. Originally from Angola, it is now cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions, especially from Sudan, Egypt, Thailand, Mexico and China.
Observational studies show that diets high in plant foods are associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer . The health beneﬁts of plant foods appear not to be simply attributable to their macro- and/or micronutrient content alone but also
to the presence of phytochemicals.
In a study of 75 subjects diagnosed with hypertension (and not taking any blood pressure-lowering medication at the time). The controlled group drank one large hibiscus tea before breakfast each day for 4 weeks. The result was a reduction of 11% and 12.5% in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively.
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In the control study, the daily consumption of a tea or extract produced from HS calyxes significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in adults with pre to moderate essential hypertension and type 2 diabetes. In addition, HS tea was as effective at lowering blood pressure as the commonly used blood pressure medication Captropril, but less effective than Lisinopril.
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that hibiscus has antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties, which can be beneficial for people suffering from hypertension and those at high risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, hibiscus tea can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 points, according to research done at Tufts University in Boston. For this drastic improvement to occur, you need to regularly consume three cups of this tea every day for a few weeks. Also, it has diuretic properties that increase urination and simultaneously lower blood pressure.
How Much As I Drink?
As a tea, about one gram of dried calyx (the part of the flower directly beneath the petals) should be brewed. It should be enjoyed either once in the morning or three per day. But with at least 8 hours between doses. Alternatively, hibiscus supplements are also an option and should be dosed according to their anthocyanin content.
A daily 10 mg dose of hibiscus anthocyanins – equivalent to 1g of a 1% extract or 500 mg of a 2% extract – is optimal. Higher doses may be toxic.
Hibiscus tea has been repeatedly shown to lower blood pressure in those with existing high blood pressure. Their blood pressure decreased around 10% systolic and 12% diastolic. The effect may be noticeable after just two weeks. You would need to drink about 3 cups a day.
However, this remedy is one that must be used continuously to maintain its positive results. When participants in the same study stopped drinking the tea for just three days, their blood pressure began to creep upward.
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