Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea
Some Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea Worth Knowing About
The hibiscus flower is indeed beautiful, but does that mean anything as far as the health benefits of hibiscus tea are concerned? We can and do make tea from many different things, most often with taste in mind, and the enjoyment we get in sitting down to a “nice cup of tea”. At other times we brew tea for reasons of health, or the healing powers it may bring. For whatever reason, a nice hot cup of tea can seemingly do wonders for he mind, spirit, and body.
Hibiscus tea is a popular drink throughout the world. It can be enjoyed both hot or cold, and it goes by many different names in the many different countries it's served in. Its flavor tends to be a bit tart, so many who drink it like to add a little sugar or sweetener. The flavor is said to resemble that of cranberries.
A Miracle Tea Or Just A Good Tea?
As is the case with many other herbal teas, a fairly lengthy list of real or imagined benefits of hibiscus tea has been compiled over the years, including some benefits that seem to crop up whenever the latest herbal compound or supplement is being promoted , including curing cancer as a prime example. Most of these claims are of course made by those promoting the product. Few are made by healthcare providers or nutritionists.
Two of the more prominent benefits cited are:
- Reducing cholesterol
- Lowering of blood pressure
Most of the supposed benefits of hibiscus tea have yet to be clinically proven. A number of formal medical studies have been made however, and the results of these studies have been published. The studies indicate the tea is a positive force in controlling blood pressure. The effects of the tea on blood pressure have compared favorably with current medications. In addition, the studies pointed out that drinking the tea for this purpose appears, in most instances, to be quite safe.
Formal Studies Gave Positive Results
In studies funded by the Department of Agriculture, patients having high blood pressure were given either hibiscus tea or a placebo over a 6-week period. The patients given hibiscus tea exhibited a marked reduction in blood pressure. Those given the placebo did not. The results were reported at the American Heart Association 2008 Sessions.
It is probably not surprising that the tea has the effect it does on blood pressure, as the active ingredients include compounds known to encourage the dilation of blood vessels, which of course directly leads to a lowering of blood pressure. Hibiscus tea is in general a healthy drink, being rich in vitamin C, various minerals, and flavonoids.
It would appear that only good things are to be expected from drinking hibiscus tea. If it reduces blood pressure, and possibly has additional benefits, and is quite safe, what more could one ask for?
A Few Precautions
The truth is, herbal teas are seldom completely safe, and this includes hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea in itself is in most cases completely safe to drink, but not in all cases. If we are considering drinking herbal teas for some purpose we need to ask ourselves if any there might be any negative side-effects. That often depends upon the relative health or well-being of the person drinking the tea, as well as any reactions the tea may have with medications that are currently being taken.
For example, if a person is currently taking medication to lower blood pressure, or to reduce hypertension, it could be unwise to drink hibiscus tea without first consulting a physician. Drinking the tea could upset the balance the doctor is striving to achieve through the dosage that has been prescribed. Something that's good for you, plus something else that's good for you does not always add up to something that's even better for you. It could go the other way. In a related example, it is believed that the benefits of hibiscus tea includes its potential as a cancer fighter. If a person is taking anti-cancer drugs or in chemotherapy, drinking this tea could have unexpected or unpredictable results, just as in the blood pressure medication example.
Finally, it's been established that drinking hibiscus tea can lower estrogen levels over time. Women taking birth control pills, who are pregnant, or are trying to conceive, are advised not to drink hibiscus tea in significant quantities.
As you can see from the above examples, while hibiscus tea has generally proven to be safe, under certain conditions the effects from drinking the tea may not be completely predictable, and the tea would therefore have to be considered unsafe. Then, there are a few people who claim that when drinking the tea they experience hallucinatory effects. Depending on your lifestyle, this knowledge may convince you to abstain from drinking hibiscus tea, or encourage you to drink more of it. Nevertheless, even if you want to get a slight buzz, or experience a little light show, it still would be best not to drink the tea if you are taking medications for any of the aforementioned conditions.