The beautiful flowering plant Hibiscus is a member of the mallow family. It grows in tropical climates across the world. Calyxes or hibiscus flower buds when dried and steeped in boiling water, produce an exotic-looking ruby red infusion, with a tart taste and a ‘truckload’ of health benefits. You could also buy hibiscus tea bags from a reputed brand to gain the same benefits, without the hassle.
Hibiscus tea is not a ‘typical’ tea, since it is not produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant that produces all other types of black and green teas. However, it certainly packs a punch in terms of taste and a plethora of health benefits. Drinking hibiscus tea gives you a caffeine-free delectable beverage, which can be enjoyed both steaming hot or chilled. Hibiscus tea is also known as ‘sour tea’ given the tart taste and has been used across Asia and the Middle East as a herbal remedy for overall health and wellness. Let’s plunge into the health benefits of this deep red herbal tea. Do check with your doctor, however, before drinking Hibiscus tea, especially if you have an existing medical condition and or are on medication.
Health Benefits of Drinking Hibiscus Tea
- Loaded with Antioxidants
The hibiscus plant is loaded with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, anthocyanins (water-soluble phenolic compounds, which possess antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects, and help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases), and beta-carotene (converts into vitamin A or retinol that is necessary for good vision and health of our eyes, supports a strong immune system, and healthy skin and mucous membranes). Antioxidants together, combat excess free radicals in the body, which could otherwise damage the body and cause diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart ailments.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
Drinking hibiscus tea can prevent and reduce inflammation in the body. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that enable the body to process the stress hormone cortisol. The build-up of this hormone leads to high blood pressure, clots, and inflammation. Drinking hibiscus tea helps the reduction of inflammation, which thus reduces the risk of diseases caused by inflammation. These diseases include cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
- Bringing Down High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can prove to be extremely dangerous for health and brings on serious health issues such as stroke, heart attack, kidney and heart failure, and more. It is important however to note that drinking hibiscus tea is not a replacement for the medications prescribed for these serious ailments. Always check with your doctor before consuming anything.
- Lowering Bad Cholesterol Levels
High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) do raise the risk of getting a stroke and heart ailments. Drinking hibiscus tea could lower LDL levels, and serve to maintain these levels at a safe limit. Consistent research is on to further prove the efficacy of drinking hibiscus tea for this reason.
- Supports Weight Loss
While drinking hibiscus tea does not curb appetite, it does support weight loss. It contains anthocyanins, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids, which regulate the genes responsible for the digestion of fat, thereby accelerating fat reduction. These substances also reduce the size of fat cells, thereby assisting fat cell hypertrophy (“a recognized feature of dysfunctional adipose tissue that is associated with increased cellular stress, decreased metabolic flexibility, and systemic diabetes” - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Anti-bacterial Properties
Hibiscus tea contains antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, which not only lend the distinct vibrant color of the flower but also act as an antibacterial aid. This in turn supports the prevention and combating of certain chronic and seasonal illnesses.
- Supports the Health of the Liver
The antioxidant properties of hibiscus tea are shown to support the treatment of liver ailments. These properties protect the liver by neutralizing the excessive free radicals in the tissues and cells of the body. Drinking hibiscus tea can thus elevate overall wellness and lifespan.
Hibiscus tea is safe for consumption since it is a herbal tea. However, it is important to speak with your doctor, especially if you are unwell, have a chronic medical condition, and or are on medication. Here’s to flower power and your health!
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