5 Amazing Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Bored of your normal tea! Craving for something fascinating to your taste buds?
It’s quite common that, we all have seen and used hibiscus flowers. But did you know that these dazzling big blossoms are also used to prepare a deep scarlet herbal tea that confers umpteen benefits?
Let’s unravel the medicinal secrets of this flower!
Hibiscus rosa sinensis also called “Queen of Tropics” is a flowering plant with potential medicinal properties. The herbal concoction made out of this extract is used worldwide in making sour tea or Hibiscus tea.
The parts of hibiscus flower have been utilized for various purpose like wound healing, inflammation, bacterial infections and cardioprotective benefits.
Dried hibiscus flowers are rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids, tannins, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and minerals with extensive nutrient benefits.
Hibiscus tea has varied medicinal uses and numerous health benefits ranging from antihypertensive (lowers blood pressure), antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Dried hibiscus flowers are beneficial for the heart and digestive health too.
In this article, we have consolidated the potential health benefits of caffeine-free hibiscus tea and its importance.
Hibiscus tea is slightly sour in taste and can be taken hot or iced based on an individual’s preference.
1. Cardio Protective and Anti-hypertensive:
Drinking hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure, therefore recommended for people with hypertension.
High blood pressure increases cardiovascular risks and deteriorates heart health.
A study based on 2-6 times weekly consumption on an average shows (Journal of Hypertension – 2015 review of studies) that hibiscus tea reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Evidence-based on animal and human lab studies proves that hibiscus tea improves heart health by regulating the blood pressure.
2. Packed with Antioxidants and Prevents Cancer:
Extracts from hibiscus are a potential source of natural antioxidants. It also contains polyphenols along with anthocyanins which limit the growth of tumor cells and has anti-cancer properties. Invitro studies show the prevention of prostate, mouth and stomach cancer.
Hibiscus tea also contains Vitamin-C, a natural antioxidant that has an essential nutritive role in boosting your immune system and thus prevents cell damage caused by free radicals in the body.
This significantly reduces the risk of further health complications such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
3. Promotes Weight Loss:
The phenolic compounds and flavonoids present in the Hibiscus tea aids in weight loss by regulating the genes involved in the lipid metabolism and reducing the size of fat cells.
Studies show that drinking Hibiscus tea for 12 weeks is associated with weight loss and prevents obesity with reduced body fat, BMI (body mass index) and WHR (waist-hip ratio).
Hibiscus tea contains flavonoids that reduce the absorption of fats. If you sip on a cup after dinner, your body won’t be so quick to cling to the unwanted fats from your hearty meal.
Effective in fighting against bacterial strains and inhibits E. coli infections causing bloating, cramps and diarrhea.
Hibiscus extracts prevent bacterial infections ranging from bronchitis, pneumonia and urinary tract infections (UTI).
5. Lowers Cholesterol:
According to the researchers, Hibiscus tea proved to increase "good" cholesterol (HDL) and decrease "bad" cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides).
In some studies, people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome who consumed100mg of hibiscus extract daily were associated with lowered blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Hibiscus Tea - Nutritional Facts:
Hibiscus tea has a tart/sour taste and can be easily prepared at home. One cup small iced tea contains the following nutrients;
- Calories: 79
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Proteins: 0g
- Fat: 0g
Usually, hibiscus flower can be taken in the form of decoction. It is a method of extraction by boiling the herbs in water, to reap the benefits from the nutrients.
Steps involved in the preparation of the hibiscus tea;
- Put 2 teaspoons of Hibiscus flowers in a bowl
- Add 150ml water to bowl & boil it for 2 minutes
- Alternatively, add boiled water and steep for 5 minutes
- Sieve it in a cup & add honey if needed
- Enjoy the sour taste of Hibiscus
- For flavor lemon wedges and mint leaves can also be added
Directions to use: 1-3 times daily.
Now, get ready to sip your tea!
Thus, hibiscus tea is prepared easily using the kitchen staples at home. Hibiscus tea is naturally free of caffeine, sugar and calories too.
Note: Pregnant women and people with low blood sugar and low blood pressure, kindly restrict taking hibiscus tea as it further reduces the sugar levels and pressure resulting in hypoglycaemia/hypotension.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Indu Vaishnavi R, Dietician