Hibiscus – Rich in Antioxidants
The Hibiscus flower is beautiful and it may surprise you to learn about its many health benefits. Hibiscus sabdariffa is prized around the globe ornamentally and medicinally. The Hibiscus flower is rich in antioxidants and minerals, providing a cooling and refreshing effect (classified as ‘refrigerant’) as an infusion or tea with diuretic properties and support to the cardiovascular system. The antioxidants, specifically the anthocyanins in hibiscus may explain the cardiovascular benefits by protecting blood vessels and heart muscle from oxidative damage.
Daily consumption of 3+ cups/day of hibiscus tea, also called sour tea, may benefit pre and mildly hypertensive alongside effective dietary and stress reduction changes. Hibiscus tea, made from hibiscus flowers, has showed blood sugar and cholesterol lowering properties in a study published in the November 2003 issue of the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology.” In the study on laboratory animals, hibiscus supplementation for 21 days lowered blood sugar by as much as 46 percent and insulin by 14 percent.
The extract also lowered total cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 30 percent. Of note, hibiscus increased HDL cholesterol, the good form of cholesterol, by 12 percent, whereas the diabetes drug glibenclamide raised HDL levels by 1 percent, in the study.
Enjoy Hibiscus – it’s safe and delicious!
Hibiscus sabdariffa L. tea (tisane) lowers blood pressure in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. J Nutr. 2010 Feb;140(2):298-303. Epub 2009 Dec 16.
The effects of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on hypertension in patients with type II diabetes. J Hum Hypertens. 2009 Jan;23(1):48-54. Epub 2008 Aug 7.