Hibiscus herbal tea lowers cholesterol levels, manages blood pressure, helps treating type-2 diabetes mellitus, protects liver, reduces anxiety, helps in digestion, relieves menstrual pain, and it also anti-ageing properties.
Time and again, we have been told that health is one of the most important things and IT COMES AT A COST, the cost of taste. But not, anymore. And time and again, some food (and drinks, of course) have rebelled against this notion and proved us wrong. One such drink is the “hibiscus herbal tea.”
With an enticing tart-taste and a cranberry like flavor, this crimson drink opens the magic door to health. This low calorie, caffeine-free herbal tea is made from deep magenta colored sepals of Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, commonly called Rosselle, steeped in hot boiling water. Honey or sugar are added for sweetening. It contains citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, polysaccharides and glycosides. It derives it’s characteristic color from delphinidin, a flavonoid
This delicacy has acquired widespread fame as Rosella in Australia, Aqua-de-flor-de-Jamaica in Central and South America and Mexico; and Saril across the Caribbean seas. Like many other teas, it can be consumed both piping hot and icy cold.
11 Must Know Health benefits of Hibiscus Herbal Tea
Apart from tantalizing taste, this drink is full of health benefits, some of them are listed here.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Hibiscus tea contains bioflavonoids which increase the good cholesterol (i.e. HDL) and lowers the bad one (i.e. LDL and VLDL). This prevents building up of plaques in arterial walls, thus protecting us from harmful diseases like atherosclerosis.
Manages blood pressure
A 2010 study conducted by Tufts University of Boston suggested that Hibiscus tree is great at reducing blood pressure in hypertensive people. This is due to presence of anthocyanins that act as ACE-inhibitors which means they inhibit the enzyme which raises blood pressure. Additionally, it also has diuretic properties which leads to lowering of blood volume and adds to the anti-hypertensive effect. In fact, the study says it may reduce the systolic BP by 10 points, if taken three drinks a day, continuously for a few weeks.
This anti-hypertensive property along with lowering of cholesterol has a cardioprotective effect and keeps the heart healthy, as we age.
Treating Type-2 Diabetes mellitus
Hibiscus tea not only reduces the risk of developing diabetes, it also maintains the blood glucose levels in already diabetic people by reducing absorption of glucose from the GI tract and hence, reducing circulating glucose. This property also helps in preventing complications of diabetes mellitus like diabetic foot, blindness etc. This can be a boon to diabetics and those predisposed to diabetes.
Read more: Gestational Diabetes during Pregnancy
The large amounts of Vitamin C in this drink stimulates the immune system of the body and helps the body to fight against various infections while simultaneously reducing the unnecessary inflammations in the body. It also has a cooling effect and reduces malice (the uncomfortable feeling in fever). In short, it keeps the immune system on its toes.
Hepatoprotective: protects the liver
The antioxidant effect of Hibiscus tree neutralizes the free radicals and detoxifies the liver. It lowers the ammonia levels and increases the metabolic rate, rejuvenating and energizing the body. Keeping the liver healthy is a sure shot way of staying young and fit.
Hibiscus tea prevents the growth of cancer cells. It contains Procatechenic acid and polyphenols which, along with antioxidants, induce apoptosis (cell death) in the tumor cells and hence keeps cancer in check. It also prevents stomach and colo-rectal cancer by relaxing the GI smooth muscles.
Flavonoids in Hibiscus tea calms down the nervous system, restoring a sense of peace and driving away crippling anxiety. Drinking hibiscus tea regularly also drives away depression and keeps the mind healthy. A healthy mind is an essential factor to keeping a healthy body.
Hibiscus tea regularizes bowel movements by relaxing the smooth muscles of intestine. It acts as a laxative allowing easy movement of bowel and treats constipation.
Read more: Natural Remedies to Cure Indigestion in Kids
Relieves menstrual pain
The minerals and vitamins relax the body and reduces cramps. It also helps in balancing the hormones during menstruation and soothes the pre-menstrual symptoms.
It lowers starch absorption by inhibiting Amylase production (the starch digesting enzyme). It also makes the body burn more fat.
Antioxidants are not only effective in killing the free radicals, but also prevent ageing signs. Hibiscus tea enhances the real beauty and prevents wrinkles and adds the skin glow. It can be a good replacement to the anti-ageing creams in beauty treatments.
- Hibiscus tea lowers estrogen levels. It should be used with caution along with HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and birth control.
- It may cause dizziness in people who have low blood pressure.
- Some people feel lightheaded and intoxicated after drinking hibiscus tea. Driving after consuming it may not be a good idea.
Hibiscus tea is a wonderful drink with great benefits but also a few side-effects. With a little care, it could be a relishing addition to life-style with magnificent long-term health benefits.
Read more: Herbal Teas to Avoid During Pregnancy