Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea with many health benefits. The hibiscus flower contains the calyx, which protects and supports the hibiscus plant and is responsible for those health benefits. Hibiscus tea consists of dried calyces, which are steeped to make both hot and cold beverages.
There are over 200 varieties of hibiscus tea. The formal name of hibiscus is the Hibiscus Sabdariffa flower. It is caffeine-free and bursting with sweet-yet-tart flavors, making it the perfect swap for a normally sugar-filled juice or beverage. Its flavor is thought to be similar to cranberry, and it is sometimes referred to as “sour tea.” It is rich in anthocyanins, which are responsible for its deep red/magenta color. It can be served cold as a refreshing glass of iced tea or hot to warm you on a cold day or as part of an evening ritual.
Hibiscus Tea Nutrition
100 grams of Hibiscus tea contain 7.41 grams of carbohydrates, 0.3 grams of fiber, 0.43 grams of protein, 3 milligrams of sodium, and 89.63 grams of water
Hibiscus tea have 0 milligrams of Cholesterol and 0.65 grams of fat.
100 grams of Hibiscus tea contain 37 calories, the 2% of your total daily needs.
It also contains some important vitamins: Vitamin A (296 IU), Vitamin C (18.4 mg) or Vitamin B-1 (1.27 mg).
Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
1. Boost immune health
Hibiscus tea contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals that boost immune health. Hibiscus tea contains large levels of vitamin C, which can help you fend off the common cold and flu. The effect of sour tea can help boost immunity and keep you healthy, even during flu season.
Research studies have consistently shown that vitamin C plays an important role in human health. Vitamin C helps convert cholesterol to bile acids, helping to lower bad LDL cholesterol. Vitamin C also converts amino acids to serotonin—the happy hormone—and boosts mood. Vitamin C can also prevent allergic reactions and fights infections.
2. It could help lower blood pressure.
The aforementioned polyphenols in hibiscus tea have particularly been linked to lowering blood pressure. “Our data support the view that polyphenols from hibiscus sabdariffa play a regulatory role in metabolic health and in the maintenance of blood pressure, thus implying a multi-faceted impact in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases,” one study reads.
3. Supports Healthy Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Blood pressure isn’t the only heart disease risk factor for which hibiscus tea benefits you. It may also help people with dyslipidemia manage their cholesterol and high triglycerides.
Hibiscus tea helps to lower the levels of (bad) LDL cholesterol from the body, thereby helping to protect against heart diseases and protecting blood vessels from damage. The hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic properties of hibiscus tea can be beneficial for those who suffer from blood sugar disorders like diabetes.
A research study conducted on patients with type II diabetes suggests that consumption of hibiscus and sour tea lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increases (good) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which helps to manage this unpredictable disease.
4. Hibiscus tea and kidney stone prevention
One study investigated the effect of drinking hibiscus tea on kidney stones. Kidney stones occur when there is a buildup of calcium oxalates in the urine. These stones are painful, and it is difficult for them to leave the body. This study evaluated hibiscus as a way to prevent calcium oxalate crystals from turning into stones in rats. The study found that the calyces of the hibiscus flower are anti-urolithiatic and can be consumed with no harmful effects, meaning drinking hibiscus tea may be effective at preventing kidney stones.
5. Hibiscus tea helps keep your immune system healthy
Along with washing your hands religiously and getting a flu shot, this herbal tea may help you ward off winter sickness. “Hibiscus tea is high in Vitamin C, a key vitamin that helps support a healthy immune system,” says Rounder.
6. Hibiscus tea has been associated with weight loss
Made from the flower of a hibiscus plant, hibiscus tea is a tart-tasting herbal tea that may provide you with some benefits during weight loss. Like other herbal teas, hibiscus tea is very low in calories. But drinking hibiscus tea doesn’t guarantee that you’ll lose weight.
7. Relieves Menstrual Pain
The health benefits of hibiscus tea include relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It helps in restoring hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation such as mood swings, depression, and overeating.
What Is Hibiscus Tea?
There are several hundred species of hibiscus plants all of which belong to the family Malvaceae but the most common is the Hibiscus sabdariffa L. species. These flowers are deep red in color.
Some people also use Hibiscus rosa sinensis, which is what many people think of when they hear “hibiscus,” a broad-petaled flower that comes in a range of colors. Hibiscus plants are also known as rose mallow, hardy hibiscus, and rose of sharon. Perennial hibiscus plants typically bloom in late summer. The hibiscus plant is native to the Caribbean.
Traditional hibiscus tea is made from dried parts of the hibiscus plant, most often the calyx, or the protective layer around the actual flower part of the plant.
Hibiscus is also known as Roselle (English), I’Oiselle (French), and Karkade (Arabic).
Hibiscus flowers are also frequently used in flavored teas to add new taste notes. Hibiscus flowers are often blended with green tea and black tea.
Hibiscus Tea Side Effects
Although hibiscus tea is a health enhancer and a natural weight loss booster, there are possible side effects you should be aware of.
- Blood Pressure: The health benefits of hibiscus tea include lowering blood pressure (antihypertensive properties). Therefore, it is not recommended for people who already have low blood pressure or hypotension, according to The Telegraph. It may cause faintness, dizziness, and can even cause damage to the heart or brain if consumed by anyone with low blood pressure.
- Pregnancy and Fertility: Hibiscus tea is not recommended for pregnant women. Side effects of hibiscus are uncommon but might include temporary stomach upset or pain, gas, constipation, nausea, painful urination, headache, ringing in the ears, or shakiness.
- Diabetes & Surgery: Hibiscus may lower the blood sugar levels so it is best advised to consult your doctor if suffering from diabetes or planning to undergo surgery. Stop using hibiscus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Other: Some people may feel intoxicated or experience hallucinations after drinking hibiscus tea. Therefore, be cautious until you know how your body reacts to the tea. Don’t drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you know what its effects are on your system.
- Allergy: Some people develop allergic reactions, such as itchy red eyes, sinus or hay fever when consuming hibiscus tea.