Hibiscus is a vivant flower that can be found in various different hues ranging from pink to red to yellow to white to peach to purple. Generally in the shape of large conspicuous trumpet-shaped, having usually at least five petals and more. They are found in the tropical warm climate and subtropical regions throughout the world. This flower is made into tea and can be served in both hot and cold. Another name of hibiscus tea is known as Agua de Jamaica, prepared by boiling parts of the plant. Ruby red or deep magenta is the color of the tea. The tea has a tart flavor with vitamin C content and caffeine free.
With hibiscus tea comes the health benefits of treating high blood sugar and high cholesterol, digestive and immune systems disturbed, inflamed problems and liver diseases, as well as cancer. Hibiscus tea also speeds up metabolism and aids in healthy gradual weight loss. It does also contain other vitamins as niacin and folate. Aside from vitamins, it also contains minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc) and antioxidants.
Hibiscus tea contains anthocyanin that manages elevated blood pressure, colds, and urinary tract infections (UTI). A study from American Heart Association (AHA) published in November 2008 stating it would lower blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. At Tufts University in Boston, a study showed a drop in 10 points in blood pressure. One needs to regularly consume three cups a day for a few weeks. Also note that this tea is a diuretic properties which includes urination. This effect simultaneously lowers the blood pressure.
Carbohydrates have been known to bring weight gain. It’s been. Shown that hibiscus tea lowers the absorption of both starch and glucose. Specifically it inhibits amylase production that absorbs carbohydrates and starch.
LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that damages the body by giving way of heart diseases. Hibiscus tea helps lowering LDL cholesterol from both the hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties. Consequently also helping those with blood sugar disorders like diabetes.
The antioxidant properties mentioned earlier helps in treating liver diseases. It protects the body through the neutralization of the free radicals that is present in body tissues and cells.
In the same token, as it neutralizes the free radicals in the body, it contains hibiscus protocatechuic acid. This is the property that is anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study done in medical and dental college in Taiwan suggests it will slow down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, programmed cell death. Other studies have shown that hibiscus extract inhibits the growth of skin cancer cells.
And of course, a common benefactor of hibiscus tea is the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that are known as vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient necessary to boost and stimulate the activity of the immune system. Stronger immune system will prevent one from catching the cold and flu.
Here’s a benefit for all ladies… it helps to relieve menstrual pain, restoring hormonal balance. And the byproduct is that it reduces symptoms of mood swings, depression, and overeating.
From the diuretic properties of the tea, it improves digestion through regularizes both urination and bowel movements. Also treating constipation and improve gastrointestinal system to avoid colorectal cancer. As a result, it will aid in weight loss.
While it is a diuretic beverage but it does satiate thirst. This is a useable ingredient for sports drinks. It does cool the body down very quickly.
As many benefits as hibiscus tea has it also has it’s side effects. As we discussed prior that it lowers blood pressure, therefore those with hypotension should not consume this often. As it may cause fairness, dizziness, and even damage the heart or brain if consumed by people with low blood pressure.
Hibiscus tea has also an impact on pregnancy and fertility. It is not recommended for those who are pregnant, as it tends to have an emmevnagogic effect and will stimulate menstruation, blood flow in the uterus and pelvic region. Medline Plus study showed that if can cause shakiness, constipation, and stomach discomfort. For those who are taking birth control pills or hormone treatment should consult with a specialist before drinking hibiscus tea.
Another caution for those who have diabetes, as it does lower blood sugar but if one is planning to undergo surgery they should consult with your doctor prior to drinking this.
Now, as mentioned above, while the tea brings benefits to health. It is important to note that these health benefits come because of the potent properties the tea holds. Therefore, some may feel intoxicated or experience hallucinations after drinking hibiscus tea. It is important to know how your body reacts to the tea and how it may or may effect your body.
Lastly, hibiscus tea is a flower. Therefore with consumption it is possible for some to develop allergic reactions such as itchy red eyes, sinus, or hay fever.