How To Use Hibiscus Tea


History and Uses of Hibiscus Tea,
What is Hibiscus Tea,
Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea,

Tea Hibiscus is a herbal shrub plant that comes from tropical AFRICA and is grown in many countries all over the world, including Malaysia. It belongs to the Malvacaea family. In Europe it is known as “roselle”, in Latin America “jamaica”, in the Middle East “karkady”, “bissap” in West Africa and “red sorrel” in the Caribbean.

Besides The Useful Effects On Health Hibiscus;

Sabdariffa calyces are used in commercial productions of jam, jelly and sauces as well, but also as an elegant, exclusive supplement to champagne.

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The Hibiscus Tea Plant;

Has a great ornamental value due to its interesting foliage. Hibiscus Sabdariffa is a short-day plant which gets its first naturally appearing flowers, when the night is longer than the day during the autumn and winter months. These flowers are the basic for the great and special fruits. The beautiful red calyces (fruits) are picked when they are still soft, before they dry out and drop their seeds for the next generation.


Hibiscus Sabdariffa likes water, light and sun, and prefers a place with the option of both sun and shade. It can stand drying out, so even if it hangs a bit, it can often times freshen up again after some water.

It likes to grow, and is for that reason ideal for re-potting to a bigger pot a long the way.
Hibiscus sabdariffa, or sour tea, is a genus of the Malvaceae family. In Iran, it is typically known as sour tea. In English-speaking countries it is called Red Sorrel. Originally from Angola, it is now cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions, especially from Sudan, Egypt, Thailand, Mexico and China.

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The calyces of Hibiscus Sabdariffa; are prolific in many modern commercial blends of cold and hot drinks due to its pleasing taste, as well as having decorative, culinary and medicinal uses. In Egypt and the Sudan, it is used as a beverage that helps to lower the body temperature, to treat cardiac conditions, and as a diuretic.

In African; folk medicine it has been used for its spasmolytic, antibacterial, cholagogic, diuretic and anthelmintic properties. Other uses in North Africa include cough and sore throat, while the leaf pulp is made into a topical application for external wounds and abscesses.

In Europe; the dried calyces (the cup-like structures that are formed by the sepals) are used mostly as a tea. Hibiscus is commonly used in combination with lemon balm and St John’s wort for restlessness and poor sleep onset. Historically, folk medicine has used H. sabdariffa for the treatment of high blood pressure, liver diseases and fevers.

In large amounts; hibiscus tea acts as a mild laxative. In Iran, it is a traditional treatment for high blood pressure which is the focus of several studies, as is cholesterol reduction.

Hibiscus has been used historically; for high blood pressure and contains several important ingredients including alkaloids, anthocyanins and quercetin. It is thought that the antioxidant and diuretic effects of hibiscus are its most important mechanisms in lowering blood pressure.

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The flowers of this plant are colourful, but the tea is made from the calyces (the red and dried part of the flowers). It has a sourly cranberry like flavour and is served either as a hot drink or as ice-tea. The best way to drink it is with cane sugar because of the somewhat bitter taste the tea has.

It was consumed already in the ancient Nile Valley during the time of Pharos and was regarded as the royalties’ primary beverage mainly for its ability to improve health.

Hibiscus Tea Has Many Possible Qualities Around The World:

In Africa : Hibiscus has been used in many years in folk medicine for treating cancer, cardiovascular disease, fever and constipation. Natural healers have used it against high blood pressure and liver disease.

In Asia : Hibiscus petals flavoured with ginger are being eaten in countries like Thailand, China and Malaysia, it is believed that this will help lower cholesterol.

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In Egypt: Hibiscus tea is being drunk to keep cool in the hot desert climate, it works like a”refrigerant” to regulate body temperature. Besides this, it is believed that it helps to promote cardiac and nervous system health.

In Sudan: Hibiscus tea is used as a ceremonial toast at weddings and family gatherings.

In Iran: Hibiscus tea is drank as a traditional help against occasionally restlessness and difficulty in sleeping.

In China and on Hawaii: The flower is eaten to improve digestion.

In Mexico: Hibiscus tea is used as a mild and natural diuretic.

Generally: The naturally minerals which is found in the hibiscus flower have a positive effect on hair. It is believed it can prevent early hair loss, reduce dandruff and make black hair shiny. The natural oils are good in hair conditioner.

Nutritional and Medical Importance of Hibiscus;

Hibiscus, the safe medicinal plant, having various medically important compounds called phytochemicalsis well known for delicacy and also for its nutritional and medicinal properties.
The application of the plant in managing different medical problems including cancer, inflammatory diseases, different cardiovascular problems has been well investigated by different scholars in different settings.

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Scientific interest in Hibiscus has grown in the last several years with a small burst of published research studies, especially in the area of dyslipidemia and hypertension.

Over twenty years ago, water extracts of hibiscus flowers were reported to have a relaxation effect on the uterus and to lower the blood pressure.

Studies in both animal and human models have demonstrated that extracts or infusions affect atherosclerosis mechanisms, blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure

In 2007, a clinical trial showed that Hibiscus reduced cholesterol by 8.3% to 14.4% after just one month.11 A total of 42 subjects were randomized to 3 groups for the study, conducted in Taiwan.



The hibiscus extract capsules contained 500 mg of dried herb by macerating 150 g of hibiscus flowers in


6 L of hot water for 2 hours and then drying and filtering the extract.
Group 1 received 1 capsule of extract 3 times daily (1,500 mg/day), group 2 received 2 capsules 3 times daily (3,000 mg/day), and group 3 received 3 capsules 3 times daily (4,500 mg/day) Overall, subjects in group 2 responded best to the hibiscus extract treatment.

Groups 1 and 2, but not group 3, experienced a significant reduction in serum cholesterol levels at week 4, compared with baseline levels. In addition, group 2 experienced a significant reduction in serum cholesterol levels at week 2, compared with baseline levels.

At week 2, there was a 42.9% responder rate in groups 1 and 3 and a 64.3% responder rate in group 2. By week 4, group 2 had a cholesterol reduction response from 71.4% of the subjects. In group 1, 50.0% were responders, and 42.9% subjects in group 3 were responders at week 4.

It appeared that group 2, taking 1,000 mg three times daily, was the optimum dose in achieving cholesterol reduction effects.

While this study is small with a small number of subjects in each of the study groups, as well as a short


duration of 4 weeks, there was indeed a clear effect with significant reductions in serum cholesterol seen as early as week 2, in the 1,000 mg tid group.

Oddly enough, the responders in group 3, receiving the highest dose (4,500 mg/day), had the smallest response to the hibiscus extract with an average of 8.3% reduction at week 4. Group 1 received a 14.4% reduction at week 4.
In 2009, 60 Type 2 diabetics, mostly women, were given either Hibiscus tea from Saudi Arabia or black tea, 1 cup twice per day.

Seven individuals withdrew from the study and after one month, mean HDL cholesterol increased significantly (48.2 mg/dL to 56.1 mg/dL) whereas apolipoprotein A1 and lipoprotein (a) were not significant.

There was also a significant decrease in the mean of total cholesterol (236.2 to 218.6), LDL cholesterol (137.5 to 128.5), triglycerides (246.1 to 209.2) and Apo-B100 (80.0 to 77.3) in the Hibiscus group.
Only HDLc showed a significant change in the black tea group (46.2 to 52.01).

Something as simple as Hibiscus tea in a diabetic, is a welcomed intervention.

Achieving a 7.6% decrease in total cholesterol, an 8.0% decrease in LDLc, a 14.9% decrease in triglycerides, a 3.4% decrease in Apo-B100, a 4.2% increase in ApoA1 and a 16.7% increase in HDLc is no small accomplishment with merely two cups of tea per day.

Hibiscus extract was also studied in 222 patients, some with and some without metabolic syndrome (MS).

A total daily dose of 100 mg Hibiscus sabdariffa extract powder (HSEP) was given for one month to men and women, 150 without MS and 72 with MS.


They were randomly assigned to a preventive diet, HSEP treatment or diet combined with HSEP treatment. The MS patients receiving HSEP had significantly reduced glucose, total cholesterol and LDL-c and increased HDL-c. A triglyceride lowering effect was seen in all groups but was only significant in the control group that was treated with diet.

The triglyceride/HDL-c ratio was also significantly reduced with HSEP in the control and MS groups, indicating an improvement in insulin resistance.

It has been hypothesized that the anthocyanins regulate adipocyte function, which has definite and important implications for both preventing and treating metabolic syndrome. Due to both its hypolipidemic and hypotensive effects, Hibiscus extract would be an excellent option for individuals with metabolic syndrome.

A double-blind, placebo control, randomized trial in 69 subjects with elevated LDL and no history of coronary heart disease did not appear to show a blood lipid lowering effect from Hibiscus extract. The treatment group received 1,000mg/day Hibiscus extract for 90 days in addition to dietary and physical activity.

Body weight, serum LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels decreased in both the extract and placebo groups, with no significant differences between the two.

It is likely that the positive effects were due to dietary and exercise activity. One wonders why the results of this study were negative and the three previous studies above, showed positive results.
The doses and product used in all four studies were different.

One a tea, another used dried powdered flowers, another used a standardized extract powder of the sepals of the flowers, and this one, an ethyl alcohol/water extract, dried and then powder of the leaves.

It is reasonable to consider that these different preparations would yield different results. With more consistent product selection and dosages used in larger randomized trials, we would hope that this would clarify the best intervention to use.

Hypertension is another area indicated for the use of Hibiscus.
The blood pressure lowering effects of sour tea (ST) Hibiscus sabdariffa was compared with black tea in type II diabetics with mild high blood pressure.

Patients were randomly assigned to drink one cup of Hibiscus or black tea two times per day for one month.

The average systolic blood pressure (SBP) in the Hibiscus group decreased from 134.4 + 11.8 mm Hg at the start of the study to 112.7 + 5.7 mm Hg after 1 month.

The average SBP changed from 118.6 + 14.9 to 127.3 + 8.7 mm Hg in the black tea group during the same time period.

There were no statistically significant effects on the mean diastolic blood pressure in either group. This

drop in systolic blood pressure is clinically relevant, decreasing systolic blood pressure in pre-hypertensive ranges, to normal systolic blood pressure.

We do not know if systolic blood pressure would be lowered by one cup of Hibiscus tea in those with stage I or stage II hypertension.

A randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical comparison study was done of Hibiscus sabdariffa extract with lisinopril on patients with stage I or II hypertension.

A dried powdered Hibiscus extract was delivered in 250 mg of water containing a total of 250 mg anthocyanins from Hibiscus extract for 4 weeks and the lisinopril group received 10 mg/day.

Results showed that the Hibiscus extract decreased blood pressure from 146/98 mm/Hg to 130/86 mm/Hg. Blood pressure reductions were lower than with lisinopril, but the Hibiscus extract did not modify plasma potassium levels and did not have the mineralocorticoid effects.

Based on the study data, the authors concluded that the Hibiscus extract did have a significant antihypertensive action, and through at least two mechanisms of action: diuretic effects likely as an aldosterone antagonist and ACE inhibitory effects.

It was also reassuring to note in the study that the diuretic activity did not alter plasma potassium levels and did not have mineralocorticoid effects.


A Cochrane review of Hibiscus effects on blood pressure published in 2010 resulted in five articles. The reviewers included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of 3-12 weeks in duration that compared Hibiscus to either placebo or no intervention at all.

All five of these studies found significant reductions in systolic blood pressure. While they could not draw reliable conclusions about the benefit of Hibiscus for controlling or lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients, in the articles that met their inclusion criteria, they did state that beneficial effects were found in the treatment of hypertension with Hibiscus, but that well-designed, placebo-controlled RCTs were needed.


How To Drink Hibiscus Tea To Lose Weight?

Hibiscus tea and cinnamon add 2.5 tablespoons to a teaspoon.
Optionally, you can add orange or lemon peel. Add boiling water to the teapot. It wait for at least 15 minutes to brew. It will work if you drink 2 glasses a day.


Consuming hibiscus tea can lower your estrogen levels. If you are using HRT (hormone replacement therapy), or are on birth control treatment of any form, you should consider skipping your hibiscus tea.

A recent study conducted by Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, India, released a study on this effect of hibiscus tea.

We already told you that hibiscus tea cuts estrogen levels. It also means that consuming hibiscus tea can have a direct effect on your reproductive ability.


The estrogen-lowering quality of hibiscus may lead to complications if you are planning a child.
There is not much research on how hibiscus tea affects the fetus. However, the best thing to do is avoid having this tea when you are pregnant or wanting to get pregnant.

Although this is one of the major benefits of hibiscus tea, and it helps reduce the risk of hypertension, the blood pressure lowering and diuretic properties may result in expanded blood vessels.
Thus, if you suffer from low blood pressure or hypertension, and you are taking pressure-lowering medications, you must consider removing hibiscus tea from your diet.

The Research concludes that hibiscus affects cancerous cells in the skin and brain.
The National Cancer Institute finds that if you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, you should avoid having hibiscus tea, as it may cause complications when taken along with cancer medications. This is one of the major hibiscus tea side effects that you should be aware of.


Hibiscus Tea Recipe:


1) 1 ounce hibiscus flowers
2) 2-inch cinnamon stick
3) 1 whole clove
4) 2 quarts hot water
5) 1 to 2 cups sugar


Combine flowers, cinnamon and clove in a half-gallon pitcher. Pour hot water over the mixture, stir and let sit overnight at room temperature.
The next day, strain and sweeten to taste. To serve, dilute concentrate to taste with ice and water.


Special Notes:

Global flavor variations:

• Add a split, 2-inch piece of vanilla bean during steeping; serve garnished with fresh mint (Senegal).

• Add a splash of orange blossom water; garnish with fresh mint (Egypt).

• Add a 1-inch knob of peeled ginger root (Jamaica).

• Steep plain, with no spices (Mexico).

• Steep with no spices; add a 3-inch piece of fresh lemongrass (Philippines).


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