What is Hibiscus Tea? Hibiscus tea is a tea made from the sepals of the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant (also known as roselle). The tea can be made by using fresh or dried hibiscus flowers that are steeped in hot water. The tea can often have a tart taste that is similar to cranberry and is usually dark red in color. The tart taste of hibiscus tea sometimes requires sweeteners such as sugar or honey and it is quite common for drinkers to add cinnamon and lemon to enhance the flavor of the infusion. The tea itself contains minerals and vitamin C and is often identified with having cardiovascular health benefits in the areas blood pressure and cholesterol. Hibiscus Tea is also caffeine free making it a great nighttime beverage.
Hibiscus Tea and Blood Pressure
In recent years, there has been increasing popularity and interest in the consumption of hibiscus tea for health reasons. The heightened attention can be attributed to a serious of research studies that were conducted in the past several years. One of the studies which was published in the Journal of Human Hypertension showed that drinking hibiscus tea can possibly reduce high blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. In another study that was conducted, researchers instructed mild hypertensive subjects to drink 3 cups of hibiscus tea every day for six weeks. By the end of the trial period, the subjects exhibited similar findings to previous studies in that the systolic blood pressure decreased over the six week period.
The compounds in hibiscus tea that are responsible for these positive effects are called anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are believed to act as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. The ACE is responsible for controlling extracellular volume and the narrowing of the blood vessels from the contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels.
Hibiscus Tea Benefits
If you have done much research on hibiscus tea, you will probably realize that the tea’s positive effect on blood pressure is one of the most widely discussed benefits of the drink. However, it is also sometimes recognized as being advantageous in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and in assisting weight loss. It is no secret that some teas have been shown to be good for controlling cholesterol and appetite and hibiscus tea can be included in this category. On the subject of weight loss tea, hibiscus tea may also inhibit another enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, it is advised that if you incorporate hibiscus tea in your weight loss regimen that you drink a full cup of the beverage immediately after eating.
Hibiscus Tea Global Popularity
As with many teas, hibiscus tea has been consumed traditionally for many years and in many different regions throughout the world. The tea goes by a variety of names and the name typically differs between regions. The regions where the tea is primarily consumed are Latin American, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa. In some cultures, the tea is consumed on special occasions such as weddings or during holidays. In Asian cultures, the hibiscus is sometimes made into a wine and combined with other tea leaves. In many of these cultures, hibiscus tea is served chilled and sweetened with sugar.