Hibiscus tea is a popular herbal tea, which has a deliciously fruity yet tart flavour, similar to the taste of cranberries and cranberry juice.
Not only is it a tasty hot drink but it also has a number of surprising health benefits too.
What is hibiscus tea?
Hibiscus tea is made from the flowers and leaves of the hibiscus plant.1
These parts of the plant have also traditionally been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.
The flowers are large and ruby red in colour and they bloom in the morning and wilt in the afternoon.2
The hibiscus plant is native to subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world.3
Hibiscus tea is ruby red or deep magenta in colour and can be made at home or purchased as hibiscus tea bags.
To make the tea at home, simply steep 1.5 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flower in 150ml of boiling water, for five to 10 minutes.4
You should drink no more than two or three cups of hibiscus tea each day.5
You can choose to drink it hot, for a warming treat or ice cold, for a refreshing beverage when it is warm outside.
Hibiscus tea health benefits
Iced hibiscus tea makes a great healthy alternative to a traditional iced tea.
But is hibiscus tea good for you? Here we have a look at some hibiscus tea benefits.
Hibiscus tea is packed with antioxidants
First up on our list of hibiscus benefits is antioxidants.
Hibiscus tea is packed full of anti-oxidants which may help prevent damage to the cells and oxidative stress caused by the build-up of free radicals.6
Studies conducted on animals have shown that hibiscus extract can reduce the harmful effects of free radicals by up to 92%.7
Free radicals not only cause ageing but they can also heighten your risk of illness and diseases.8
Hibiscus tea is a calorie and caffeine free, hot drink alternative
You might be thinking about cutting down on caffeine because of the effects that it has on your health.
Or maybe you are looking to save calories by cutting down on milky cups of tea. Why not try a yummy cup of hibiscus instead?
Hibiscus tea is naturally free from both calories and caffeine.9
Hibiscus tea may help to lower blood pressure
Drinking hibiscus may help to lower blood pressure. One study showed that adults with higher blood pressure who consumed three servings of hibiscus tea daily for six weeks saw that their overall blood pressure had decreased.10
If you are already taking medication to lower your heart-rate, then you should consult your GP before starting to drink hibiscus tea for medical reasons.
Hibiscus tea may help with weight loss and management
Hibiscus has diuretic properties which means that it helps to increase your urine production and stops you feeling bloated.
A study found that consuming hibiscus extract over 12 weeks resulted in a lower body weight in overweight people.11
Hibiscus tea can also stop you from binging on sweet treats. Try a cup after dinner when you have got a craving for something sweet. It can help to see off the craving because it changes the taste in your mouth to something sweeter.12
Hibiscus tea may also stop you feeling hungry in general. Taking your mind off eating and making yourself a cup of hibiscus tea will distract you from feelings of hunger.
Also, hunger is often confused with thirst, so drinking a cup of hibiscus tea will help to keep you dehydrated.
Hibiscus tea may help to lower cholesterol
Research suggests that drinking hibiscus tea could lower cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol.13
Hibiscus tea helps to support a healthy digestive system
Keeping yourself hydrated helps to keep your digestive system running smoothly.
Hibiscus tea also might function as a natural diuretic, which helps to remove water and sodium from the body, which can contribute to normal urination and bowel movements.14
Hibiscus tea is packed with vitamins and minerals
Hibiscus tea is packed full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C.
Vitamin C has an important role within the body as it helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol, converts amino acids to serotonin to help boost mood and helps to prevent allergic reactions and fight infections.15
All of these vitamins and minerals help to support a healthy immune system.
It is essential that you look after your immune system, especially during the winter months as this will help to ward off common colds and flu.
Last updated: 16 April 2021