Hibiscus tea is a true classic among teas and is one of the most popular varieties in Germany. In addition to its delicious taste, tea also has a variety of health-promoting properties. FITBOOK reveals what it is.
The delicious hibiscus tea is made from the flowers of the hibiscus plant of the same name. It belongs to the mallow family and grows mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. There are hundreds of different variations of the hibiscus flower, but they all have the characteristic bell-shaped fusion of the five symmetrically arranged petals that form the base of the tea. Hibiscus tea can be enjoyed hot or cold and has – in addition to a fresh and fruity aroma – a very beneficial effect on health.
What ailments should hibiscus tea help with?
In healing and alternative medicine, people swear by the herbal drink for loss of appetite, circulatory disorders, some skin diseases, and colds. It is also said to have a calming effect on circulatory and digestive disorders, to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and to strengthen the immune system. Hibiscus tea is also said to increase metabolism and thus aid in weight loss.
What active ingredients are there in tea?
Hibiscus tea has a high percentage of citric, malic and tartaric acid, which gives it its acidic pH value and is a real vitamin C bomb. It has been shown that vitamin C and the polysaccharide complexes contained in hibiscus they strengthen the body’s defenses. The tea also contains flavonoids, which can potentially reduce the risk of cancer, and antioxidants, which counteract oxidative stress in the body.1.2
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Is the effect of hibiscus tea scientifically proven?
One of the best known benefits of hibiscus tea, its effects on lowering blood pressure, has been investigated in several studies. One of them came to the conclusion that tea can lower both systolic blood pressure (the pressure during the heartbeat when the heart muscle contracts) and diastolic blood pressure (the pressure on the vessels when the heart muscle relaxes). In the study, 65 subjects with high blood pressure were given either hibiscus tea or a placebo for six weeks. In the hibiscus tea group, systolic blood pressure decreased significantly compared to the placebo group.3
In addition to the hypotensive effect, another study found that regular consumption of hibiscus tea can actually have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. The study required 60 diabetics to drink hibiscus tea or black tea for one month. Those who drank hibiscus tea had more “good” HDL cholesterol and less “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in their blood after one month. In another study, 36 overweight subjects had to take hibiscus extract or a placebo every day for 12 weeks. After twelve weeks, body weight, body fat percentage, BMI, and hip-to-part ratio had all decreased in the hibiscus group, and liver values had also improved.4.5
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Are there possible risks and side effects?
Hibiscus tea is generally considered to be very safe and well tolerated. As always, pregnant and lactating women should check with their doctor beforehand if it is safe to eat. This also applies to people who have very low blood pressure or who regularly take blood pressure medications.
Where do you get your tea from and how is it prepared?
You can find tea, in tea bags or as dried flowers in any well-stocked supermarket. To make loose flower tea, you just need to pour boiling water over five grams of the fine blend in a 750-milliliter pot and steep for five to ten minutes. Then strain the tea through a tea strainer and enjoy the hot drink or, after it has cooled down, cold.
Also interesting: the different effects and proper preparation of Kombucha tea
What Does Hibiscus Tea Taste Like?
The intense, sweet and sour taste of hibiscus tea is reminiscent of cranberries or currants and also has an awakening freshness thanks to its acidity. This is exactly why the drink is a popular base for delicious cold teas on warmer days.
- 1. Riaz, G. & Chopra, R. (2018). A review of the phytochemistry and therapeutic uses of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Biomedicine and pharmacotherapy
- 2. Chen, AY and Chen, Y., C. (2013). A review of the food flavonoid, kaempferol on human health and cancer chemoprevention. Food chemistry
- 3. McKay, D., L., Chen, C.-Y., Saltzman, E. et al. (2010). Hibiscus sabdariffa L. tea (herbal tea) lowers blood pressure in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. The Journal of Nutrition
- 4. Mozaffari-Khosravi, H., Jalali-Khanabadi, B.-A., Afkhami-Ardekani, M. et al. (2009). Effects of acid tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on the lipid profile and lipoproteins in patients with type II diabetes. Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine
- 5. Chang, H.-C., Peng, C.-H., Yeh, D.-M. et al. (2014). Sabdariffa hibiscus extract inhibits obesity and fat accumulation and improves fatty liver disease in humans. Diary of food and functions