Hibiscus is probably the most stunning flower growing in your backyard! Flaunting exotic vibrant petals, it is most commonly found in red color though its pink, yellow or blue hues are also rampant. However, not many realize that beyond ornamental beauty, it is a treasure house of innumerable benefits for your health as well as beauty!
For those of you who are stunned and clamoring for deeper insights, we present below some of its amazing benefits that you can unlock from its most popular way of consumption-the hibiscus tea!
Hibiscus Tea Nutrition Values
Made from the dried petals of hibiscus flower or even from the fresh leaves, hibiscus tea offers you a bonanza of nutrition! You might be surprised to know that when an international team of researchers compared over hundreds of beverages around the world, right from Red Bull to Crowberry liqueur, hibiscus tea superseded even the matcha (a drink made from powdered green tea) in terms of antioxidants! For easy reference, given below is the nutrition chart of hibiscus tea with detailed information of 100 gm serving size of hibiscus tea.
|Hibiscus Tea Nutrition Facts|
How To Dry Hibiscus Flowers For Tea
Hibiscus Tea is a sweet flavored tart that is similar to cranberries. The drink is extremely refreshing whatever the season and has become immensely popular. See a simple method which is the first step to making this reviving tea.
– Take hibiscus flowers that are fresh and free from pesticides.
– The flowers could be dried either by placing them on a dehydrator or a rack.
– You can even dry them under the sun for 2 days
[Also Read: Chamomile Tea Benefits ]
How to Make Hibiscus Tea
Now that you are enlightened about hibiscus tea, we would share the basic ways of making hibiscus tea with you. Consumed as both hot and cold beverage, it renders equal benefits.
Ingredients required for one cup
- Two teaspoons of dried hibiscus calyces
- One cup of boiling water
- Honey/brown sugar/sugar to taste
- Lemon juice /wedge optional
- Flavorings like ginger, mint, cinnamon, apple juice (optional)
Quantity can be raised or decreased proportionately or according to personal preference.
Preparing hot hibiscus tea
- To prepare it, boil a cup of pure water.
- Add two teaspoons of dried hibiscus calyces to it and allow it to steep after covering it for about 5-10 minutes.
- The liquid will acquire a dark red color. Those who really like an extremely strong flavor tend to brew the dried hibiscus calyces as well for about a minute before letting it steep.
- Now strain the liquid into a cup
- Add honey or brown sugar to taste.
- Some lime juice can also be added for enhanced taste.
You are ready to enjoy the tea now.
In case you are using white sugar, you can add it to the saucepan while the water it boiling so that it mixes well. This is also an ideal time to add flavors to your hibiscus tea. For instance, you can add some ginger and cinnamon as well for enhanced taste. Additionally, you can add some mint for enhanced taste and cooling benefits.
Preparing cold hibiscus tea
This can be prepared two ways.
- First, you can boil two cups of water
- Add dried hibiscus calyces as well as some mint leaves to it and steep like earlier.
- Strain it after five to ten minutes and mix sugar, honey or any other sweetener of your choice.
- Lemon juice is again optional.
Allow it to get chilled or simply serve with crushed ice.
- Add dried hibiscus, lemon, mint or any other flavorings of your choice to cold water and mix well.
- Allow this mixture to refrigerate for a good 14-16 hours or even more.
- Due to cold conditions, the flavors of hibiscus will take time to steep.
- Strain liquid in a glass, add sweetener, ice and serve.
- To make it extra delicious, fruit juices like apple juice can also be added to it.
Best Time To Drink
Hibiscus tea is so flavorful and delicious that you would simply like to enjoy just for the taste alone! To extract its maximum health benefits, it is suggested to divide your two or three cups of hibiscus tea in equal four to five portions and consume it throughout the day. Else, a single cup can be enjoyed at any time according to your convenience. Those having digestive problems should ideally enjoy it after eating. It should ideally not be consumed on an empty stomach.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus(Agua De Jamaica) Tea
This ruby red hued sour tasting tea gives a cranberry like flavor in your mouth and is thus quite delicious to drink! Caffeine-free and low in calories, a cup of hibiscus tea can be enjoyed both hot and cold to reap its numerous benefits! Check out its various health as well as beauty benefits:-
1. Reduces High Blood Pressure
Studies and research(1) have proved that consuming a mere two to three cups of hibiscus tea a day can have a positive impact on the people suffering from hypertension. It can even keep it at bay in healthy people. Some clinical studies suggest it to be even better than medications. It has been particularly known to show fantastic results in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. This effect is manifested due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-diuretic properties of the hibiscus tea. According to a research conducted by the Tufts University of Boston, consuming about three cups of hibiscus tea per day for a few weeks can lower the blood pressure by about 10 points.
2. Helps Lower Cholesterol
The modern living and eating style has inevitably led to quite a sizable population across the globe battling with cholesterol related problems. One of the gravest concerns is an elevated level of the bad LDL-cholesterol. Hibiscus tea with its impressive antioxidant properties is touted to lower this bad cholesterol and even prevent its spike! Its high bioflavonoid content blocks the plaque building on the walls of the arteries which in turn lowers the levels of both triglycerides and low density lipo-protein cholesterol. As a direct impact of it, the risk of heart attacks or any other cardio-vascular diseases gets lowered.
3. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Attack
In the lowering of the bad cholesterol levels, we have already seen how it also keeps the heart attacks and other heart diseases at bay. Its potent antioxidant, anthocyanin is majorly responsible for inhibiting atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of the arteries. These narrowed arteries are majorly responsible for heart attacks. By reducing the blood pressure and keeping the arteries healthy, it again helps keep the heart attack at bay. To increase effectiveness, it should be consumed throughout the day in portions for a minimum of six weeks.
4. Common Cold
Hibiscus tea is overflowing with ascorbic acid or Vitamin C. It has been proved beyond doubt that Vitamin C can boost up the immunity system of the body and make it more adept to fight the infection and viruses of common cold, flu, and any other infectious disease. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties further fortify your body against catching a cold and flu. Drinking it right when you feel the onset of cold is not far will help you heal faster.
The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of hibiscus tea have proved extremely effective in bringing down as well as controlling the blood sugar levels. Researchers had conducted a study which established scientifically that consumption of hibiscus tea significantly increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in 53 type 2 diabetics. By reducing the production of the amylase enzyme, it also lowered the absorption of sugars and starch in the blood. The cumulative effect of this is better blood glucose levels and ultimate lowering of blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
6. Liver Protection
The importance of liver in our body cannot be overstated. Research studies have established that the antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea prove a potent arsenal in tackling various liver ailments! Acting as scavengers, they significantly neutralize the free radicals present in the body cells and tissues and thus ward off any diseases. Results of a study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2000 proved the anthocyanins of the hibiscus tea play a crucial role in reducing the inflammatory liver lesions as well as the oxidative liver damage in rats suffering from toxic livers.
7. Menstrual Pain
Menstrual cramps, bloating and pain are issues with many women. Often we tend to sip hot tea to get some relief. Replacing it with hibiscus tea would enhance the soothing effect! The tea is known to restore the hormonal balance to bring relief from the unease. It also helps reduce the mood swings, depression, as well as the overeating tendency, manifested sometimes during menstruation.
8. Anti-Inflammatory And Antibacterial Properties
Hibiscus tea has been established to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It has been witnessed that your wounds take half the normal healing time if you drink hibiscus tea. Some animal studies have shown it to eliminate worms and other bacteria from the body. However, more conclusive reports on it are still awaited. Even when you are suffering from fever, trust its cooling effect to bring the temperature down.
9. Satiates Thirst
Hibiscus tea works two fold! It hydrates the body and simultaneously acts as a diuretic to flush out excess water and toxins from the body. It also tends to cool the body which in turn quenches thirst and helps you feel more satiated. Many sports person are often seen sipping chilled hibiscus tea to keep thirst at bay while playing.
10. Anti-Cancer Properties
The hibiscus tea’s chemo-preventive and tumor-fighting properties are attributed to its component, protocatechuic acid. The Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College, in Taichung, Taiwan conducted a study which established that this acid component of hibiscus tea induces apoptosis of cancerous cells. This phenomenon is nothing but slowing down of the growth of cancerous cells and ultimately leading to their programmed death. The consequence is the arrest of the spread of both cancerous and tumor cells and ultimately its death.
11. Helps Relieve Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression
The fast pace and cut-throat competition of modern life have made it impossible to escape stress, anxiety and depression bouts! Sipping lukewarm hibiscus tea instead of your regular caffeine dose can prove an excellent way of beating the blues! Inducing a calming effect on the nervous system, hibiscus tea can reduce them by getting you in a more positive frame of mind! In 2012, a study was published wherein it was found that hibiscus tea contained flavonoids, anthocyanins, anthocyanidins and vitamins which were responsible for its potential antidepressant activity. Another study conducted in the same year established that hibiscus species actually reduced depression in mice. In Ayurveda and many other ancient medicines, hibiscus has been used for centuries to treat mental anxieties and related issues.
12. Benefits Weight Loss
You would be amazed to know that many of modern weight loss supplements have dried hibiscus powder or its extract as one of its major ingredients! Cut the slack by straightaway sipping two to three cups of hibiscus tea a day and watch your flab melt away! Research has established that hibiscus tea has an enzyme inhibitor which tends to block the amylase enzyme production. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the starch and carbohydrates into sugar as well as its absorption into the body. Thus drinking hibiscus tea cuts down the production of amylase enzyme and subsequent absorption of sugars into the body. Of course, the obvious result is you fitting back into the old so-called tight clothes!
13. Improves Digestion
Because of its diuretic and anti-spasmodic effect, hibiscus tea has a very positive impact on people suffering from digestive ailments. It not only improves digestion and uplifts the overall gastrointestinal system’s health but also helps block colorectal cancer. Thanks to its diuretic properties, you can say goodbye to constipation and experience increased urination and normalizing of your bowel movements! It also goes a long way in combating any bowel and urinary infections.
14. Boost Immune System
The high concentration of ascorbic acid or Vitamin C is touted to be the big reason behind the immune system boosting properties of hibiscus tea. Mingled with its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, the tea is an awesome soldier fighting against various infections! They kill the free radicals within the blood which ensures that no infections thrive in the body to initiate any disease. Simultaneously, its cooling properties ensure that no fever breaks through. Cumulative effect manifests as a more robust immune system for you.
15. Helps Improve Skin Conditions
Fight aging of the skin and all its ailments by sipping hibiscus tea throughout the day! Its exceptionally high antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial bodies remove all free radicals and infections from the blood to fight several skin problems like acne, eczema, skin allergies etc. Simultaneously, the high Vitamin A and C content help treat scars, blemishes, sunburns etc. while smoothing out all fine lines and slowing the aging process to a great degree. In no time, you would feel your skin hydrated, supple and radiate a smooth youthful glow!
While sipping on hibiscus tea is highly recommended, anything in excess has its cons, and so does hibiscus tea. Let’s move on to the side effects.
Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea
While hibiscus tea is indeed a wonder drink and generally safe to consume; it has its own set of possible side effects (2)that you must be aware of.
You already know that hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. Thus, it is not recommended for people suffering from low pressure or those taking pressure medications. Combined with its diuretic properties as well, it would expand the blood vessels and heighten hypotension. You might find yourself exhibiting symptoms like faintness, dizziness, nausea etc. In extreme cases, it may cause damage to the heart and even brain.
2. Affects Estrogen
Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, India recently released a study about hibiscus tea. The study proved that hibiscus tea can lower the estrogen hormone level. Being the predominant female hormone, its misbalance can cause major health issues, early menstruation, and other issues. Due to it, females on birth control treatment or those of you using HRT (hormone replacement therapy) are strongly advised against drinking hibiscus tea unless advised by a doctor. Even then, it should be consumed under strict medical supervision.
3. Pregnancy And Fertility
As it has been already established, hibiscus tea lowers the estrogen hormone level. This induces menstruation or blood flow in the uterus which can easily equate to a miscarriage. It can also directly impact your reproductive ability and you may find it difficult to conceive a baby. Thus, if you are planning a baby or is already pregnant with one, you must abstain from hibiscus tea. If you wish to consume it for its various other benefits, its amount and frequency should be taken strictly in sync with the doctor’s advice and under his supervision. For the same reason, it is also advised against during breast feeding.
Hibiscus tea can cause mild to extreme hallucinogenic effect in some people. Some may feel slight drowsiness along with it though some have also vouched of seeing polka dotted elephants or flying cars! Hence it’s important to diagnose if this effect is produced in your body and to what extent. To be on the safe side, you must always be careful and if possible abstain from driving a car or handling any other machinery after consuming the tea.
Like all ingredients and substances, hibiscus tea can also cause some allergic reactions in some people. Some of you may exhibit mild symptoms like itchy red eyes or sinus. In extreme cases, people have been seen to manifest hay fever. Be cautious about it.
Makes you lazy
Hibiscus tea is known to induce drowsiness in some people which may range from mild to extreme. Thus, while it can help one feel relaxed and lazy and induce sleep in people suffering from insomnia, it can be highly inconvenient for other people. If you experience this side effect to a significant degree, it’s best to enjoy a cup of this herbal tea only before retiring to bed.
Precautions with Hibiscus Tea
Because of its benefits as well as side effects, you should exercise some precautions while consuming hibiscus tea. Some of them are:-
- Since this tea strongly affects your blood pressure, it is strongly recommended to miss it regularly on some days in the ratio 2:1. This means that you should skip it for five days after you have consumed it for ten days in a row. People taking hypertension medicines should only consume it under strict doctor’s vigilance.(3)
- Because of hibiscus tea’s effect on cancerous cells in the brain and skin, it should not be consumed by those taking anti-cancer medicines or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. The interaction may not bear positive results.
- Considered as an herbal medicine, hibiscus tea can sometimes cause stomach ache, diarrhea and vomiting. If it is a cleaning process, it would last for about 3 days to a week. If it persists beyond it, discontinue the tea and seek medical advice.
- Hibiscus tea can interfere with some medicines. For instance, with antiviral medicines, it produces additive effects. It reduces the effectiveness of Chloroquine drug which is given for malaria. Thus, it should not be consumed without a doctor’s consultation if you are on any kind of medication.
- Hibiscus tea should never be consumed with Tylenol or other acetaminophen containing drug. Its diuretic effect may catalyze the speed of release of acetaminophen from the body leading to complications.
Now that you are enlightened about varied aspects of hibiscus tea, enjoy it judiciously with your friend and family! Remember to share your experiences with us by commenting below!