Hibiscus Tea for High Blood Pressure: How Much to Drink to Lower Blood Pressure?

Hibiscus tea for Blood Pressure
Credit: Wikimedia

High blood pressure is among the top health complaints in the world today, and many sufferers are in search of a natural remedy apart from prescription medication. Hibiscus is one such plant that finds many uses in traditional medicine. So, does hibiscus tea lower blood pressure? Does drinking hibiscus tea for blood pressure offer a natural remedy to this illness? Read on to find out.

How Hibiscus Tea Lowers Blood Pressure

Besides being the beautiful, fresh flower that it is, hibiscus has many other surprising uses. It is one of the main constituents of a ruby-colored, lemony beverage known as Red Zinger tea or hibiscus tea.

Recent research has shown that hibiscus tea, made from hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) could lower blood pressure to a great extent. It is recognized as the most natural way of lowering blood pressure, and is widely used in the Middle East, Africa, and many other regions of the world. Let’s see how it helps with lowering blood pressure.

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Diuretic & Antioxidant-Rich Hibiscus Tea Lowers Blood Pressure

Drinking hibiscus tea on a daily basis has been shown to lower blood pressure due to its diuretic properties, antioxidants, and other constituents. It is known to clear up arteries and slow down the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels by acting as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor. Hibiscus also enhances the immune system due to its antioxidant properties and minimizes the damage to the blood vessels (and, in turn, heart) caused by free radicals. The combined result of this may ensure the lowering of blood pressure.

Having hibiscus tea regularly has shown to remarkably improve systolic blood pressure readings. However, consistency must be maintained when drinking hibiscus tea to get the desired results.  If the required frequency is not maintained, blood pressure may start rising again.

Hibiscus Tea for Blood Pressure: What Does the Study Say?

Many past studies have illustrated the link between hibiscus tea and the lowering of blood pressure.

A study conducted in 2008 by the Agriculture Research Service (ARS), a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and privately-funded organization, tested around 65 volunteers from 30 to 70 years of age for the effects of hibiscus tea on their consistently high systolic blood pressure.

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For about six weeks, half of the randomly selected people in this group drank three cups of hibiscus tea daily. The other half had a placebo drink with artificial hibiscus flavor and color. After the trial period, the results were evident.

Results of the Study

All those drinking hibiscus tea showed a 7.2-point drop in their systolic levels, while those who were given a placebo drink had only a 1.3-point drop. In a subgroup of 30 volunteers, drinking hibiscus tea showed about a 13.2-point drop in the systolic pressure and about a 6-point drop in the diastolic pressure. In this group, the average reading of arterial pressure dropped by around 8 points.

The study clearly points to the positive effects of hibiscus tea on blood pressure, and shows the tea’s potential to lower it in a natural way with consistent use in the required quantities.

How Much Hibiscus Tea to Lower Blood Pressure?

It is important to confirm the right amount of hibiscus tea dosage for lowering blood pressure. Hibiscus is easily available, and a natural way would be to use dried flowers from the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant to prepare the herbal or medicinal tea.

We must take into consideration overall health status, weight, and age before deciding the amount of hibiscus tea to drink for the desired effect of lowering blood pressure. The best person to guide you on dosage would be your medical practitioner.

Recommended Dosage:

Health professionals at the University of Michigan Health System recommend infusing one cup of water with one to two teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers.

It is fine to consume up to three cups of hibiscus tea daily. Another option is to drink one 500 ml serving of hibiscus tea each day before breakfast. Doing this regularly may help to lower your blood pressure levels.

Side Effects of Drinking Hibiscus Tea in Relation to Blood Pressure

Hibiscus tea is the most traditional and natural remedy for lowering high blood pressure without any known side effects. Again, you must be consistent in drinking hibiscus tea to get the desired results. If consistency is not maintained, your blood pressure may start rising again after four to five days.

1. During Pregnancy and While Breastfeeding

There are no known side effects of drinking hibiscus tea. However, it is not recommended during pregnancy. Hibiscus is known to possibly start menstruation, and can lead to a miscarriage.

Due to the lack of reliable information on the safety of taking hibiscus tea during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, it is best to avoid it completely.

2. Risk for Diabetes Patients

Since hibiscus is known to lower blood sugar levels, medicines for diabetes control must be altered if you are consuming hibiscus tea on a regular basis.

Consult with your doctor and get your dosage modified based on your reports and requirements.

3. Risk of Lowering Blood Pressure below Normal Levels

Blood pressure goes down in cases of regular consumption of hibiscus in any form. Theoretically, it can cause the pressure to become too low in those suffering from low blood pressure.

Make sure you consult with a general practitioner before starting any diet involving hibiscus, if you are a low blood pressure patient or otherwise.

4. In Case of Ongoing Medication

If you are on hypertension medication, ask your doctor to adjust or reduce your dose according to your overall health.

This is to avoid lowering the blood pressure to below-normal levels. Also, because these medicines as well as hibiscus are diuretics, there is a risk of losing salts and fluids beyond the normal level and adding pressure on the kidneys.

5. Implications in Surgery

Hibiscus interferes with blood sugar levels and may cause difficulty in maintaining the required levels during surgery.

If you are going for a scheduled surgery, stop hibiscus intake at least two weeks beforehand to avoid any complications during the surgery.

To Summarize

Hibiscus is an easily available flowering plant that can be grown in home gardens or terrace gardens. Since it has excellent medicinal properties and its effects on reducing blood pressure are well documented, it provides a potential natural remedy to control a commonly occurring ailment such as high blood pressure.

Knowing the details and the properties of the constituents and understanding how it can interact with certain other medical conditions helps us in deciding if we should start a hibiscus tea diet or avoid it completely. Showing consistency in consumption is key, and any breaks can bring you back to square one in a matter of four to five days. Be careful, consult your doctor, and live a healthy life by normalizing your blood pressure, managing stress, and other related issues.


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Sources:
“Lower Blood Pressure Naturally With Hibiscus Tea” http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/herbal-remedies/lower-blood-pressure-naturally-zmgz11zrog, last accessed August 7, 2017.
“Study Shows Consuming Hibiscus Tea Lowers Blood Pressure” https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2008/study-shows-consuming-hibiscus-tea-lowers-blood-pressure/, last accessed August 7, 2017.
“Side Effects of Hibiscus Tea” http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-211-hibiscus.aspx?activeingredientid=211&activeingredientname=hibiscus, last accessed August 7, 2017.