Discover the 7 Shocking health benefits of hibiscus tea and side effects.
Many health benefits are attributed to Hibiscus tea: in this article, we will help you see more clearly!
Not all varieties of Hibiscus are edible …
The virtues of the hibiscus flower have been known since Antiquity and are still used by the Egyptians in traditional medicine for its properties.
Be careful, there are more than 200 species of hibiscus in the world, they are far from being all consumable.
The edible species of hibiscus and used to make delicious refreshing drinks with a tangy taste and for its virtues is hibiscus sabdariffa.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is a tropical plant native to Asia and the Pacific Islands, which grows up to 3 meters tall and at least 2 meters wide. Its flowers can measure 8 cm in diameter.
The star drink from this plant is undoubtedly bissap, a traditional drink from Senegal, but this drink is found in many countries around the world: karkadé (Egypt), agua de Jamaica (Mexico), foléré (Cameroon), redcurrant country (West Indies), dableni (Mali, Ivory Coast, or Burkina), karakandji (Central African Republic), zobo (Nigeria), Ngai Ngai (Congo) …
The benefits of Hibiscus tea
Hibiscus sabdariffa has many beneficial health properties. Hibiscus juice has a particular reputation for providing the following benefits:
•Decrease bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels
•Facilitate weight loss by speeding up the metabolism
•Being antioxidant thanks to its richness in vitamin C and anthocyanins
•Stabilize and maintain a good blood sugar level
•Be diuretic and limit water retention
•Be a powerful ally in the event of a urinary tract infection
1. Benefits of hibiscus tea for high blood pressure
A 2008 study by the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), a scientific research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, tested approximately 65 volunteers between the ages of 30 and 70 for the effects of hibiscus on their hypertension ( 1 )
For about six weeks, half of the randomly selected people in this group drank three cups of hibiscus tea per day.
The other half had a placebo with an artificial hibiscus flavor and color.
After the trial period, the results showed a significant lowering of blood pressure in the group who drank the hibiscus tea compared to the placebo group.
These trials, therefore, suggest that hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure, possibly due to the polyphenols it contains!
2. Hibiscus tea for Cholesterol
Hibiscus has a reputation for lowering bad cholesterol levels. One study found hibiscus extract to be a good natural remedy for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides in people with metabolic syndrome ( 2 ).
This study, however, was performed with concentrated hibiscus extract, not hibiscus tea.
For the moment, there are therefore no studies proving strictly speaking the effect of hibiscus tea on cholesterol. To be taken as a boost!
3. Benefits of Hibiscus tea for weight loss
A 10-week animal study and a 12-week human clinical trial ( 3, 4 ) have shown that a high polyphenol hibiscus extract can help:
Inhibit the accumulation of fat in the liver
Slightly reduce body weight, BMI, and waist-to-hip ratio
4. Decreased levels of free fatty acids in the blood
Another study ( 5 ) indicated that hibiscus extract could inhibit pancreatic amylase, an enzyme produced by this organ to digest carbohydrates and carbohydrates.
However, when it is digested, the sugar which is not used for the needs of the body will be stored in the body in the form of fat.
However, these studies were done with concentrated hibiscus extracts, not herbal tea!
Does hibiscus make you lose weight?
So there are currently no studies directly proving the effect of hibiscus on weight loss … But what is certain is that if we do not add sugar, it is a 0 calorie pleasure drink that has its place in a diet!
5. Hibiscus tea for diabetes
Glycemia, the level of sugar in the blood, is controlled by insulin, a hormone that is absent or deficient in diabetes.
Studies have shown that hibiscus infusion has favorable effects on insulin resistance ( 6, 7, 8 ):
A clinical trial in patients with type 2 diabetes looked at the effect of consuming three cups of hibiscus tea per day for 30 days. The results showed that participants who consumed hibiscus had increased fasting insulin levels at the end of the study.
In a trial using diabetic rats, hibiscus polyphenols improved glucose utilization in the body. As a result, the rats had lower blood glucose levels.
Hibiscus infusion, therefore, appears to have a beneficial effect on insulin resistance and blood sugar regulation.
Hibiscus, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C?
To understand the full potential of hibiscus in this area, a little explanation of biochemistry:
The antioxidants are molecules that protect the human body against the so-called free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules produced naturally by the body, but increased in particular by the sun, pollution, stress, cigarettes, or other factors…
They oxidize the other atoms of the body: this is called oxidative stress. This phenomenon accelerates the aging of our cells and causes irreversible damage to our organs and our DNA, causing cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, etc. in the long term.
Antioxidants react and stabilize free radicals which then become harmless.
In 2010, a study was conducted by researchers at the University of Oslo on the antioxidant properties of 283 drinks.
The results were published in the Nutrition Journal and to everyone’s surprise, green tea is not the big winner but… bissap!
Hibiscus is rich in vitamin C and polyphenols called anthocyanins, antioxidants.
Anthocyanins are also found in red fruits (blackcurrant, blueberries, raspberries, etc.).
It is they who are responsible for the magnificent purple color of the bissap!
One study found that consuming hibiscus infusion increased the load of antioxidants in the blood, and reduced the number of compounds that contributed to oxidative stress. ( 10 )
6. Diuretic properties of hibiscus
The body contains between 65 to 70% water. In normal conditions, fluids are distributed throughout the body in a balanced manner.
In some cases, the body retains water. and body tissues accumulate much more fluid than normal.
Diuretics are foods that promote diuresis, the elimination of excess fluid in the body.
Hibiscus is one of the plants with interesting diuretic properties: in case of water retention, hibiscus herbal tea helps to deflate by eliminating excess salt and water.
7. Hibiscus tea for urinary tract infection
Hibiscus contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant polyphenols.
One component, in particular, gossypetin, a flavonoid, has been identified as a specific antimicrobial component being active against certain bacteria causing urinary tract infection (E. coli and Candida albicans).
According to in vitro research, hibiscus reduces contamination by E. coli and Candida albicans. The antimicrobial effect was immediate and complete after just one day.
Compared to in vitro cranberry extract (cranberry), hibiscus extract has a more potent antimicrobial effect, especially against C. Albicans.
Studies have confirmed the beneficial effect of hibiscus extracts on patients with regular cystitis.
Like cranberry juice, drinking hibiscus herbal tea will help you heal faster if you have a urinary tract infection, less sugar!
Danger and contraindications of Hibiscus tea
The infusion of hibiscus is harmful to the liver in high doses ( 11 ). However, the toxicity of hibiscus appears at such high concentrations that it would be difficult to consume so much in infusion. It is generally recommended not to drink more than 1.8L daily, or more than 7 cups!
Hibiscus is also not recommended during pregnancy. The hibiscus has indeed the reputation of triggering the rules and in this case, we can not rule out the hypothesis that it could promote a miscarriage.
Due to the lack of reliable information on the safety of hibiscus tea during pregnancy, it is best to avoid it altogether. In general, it is also not recommended to consume it at the time of breastfeeding.
If hibiscus has beneficial effects on hypertension, then be careful not to abuse it in case of low blood pressure …
Hibiscus is a drink with multiple benefits, although all of its properties have not yet been scientifically proven.
It has the advantage of not containing caffeine, which makes it possible to consume this plant in the evening for example, before going to sleep.
How to consume hibiscus?
To fully benefit from its virtues, we advise you to use the hibiscus petals in iced tea or herbal tea, sugar-free and organic of course!