Q:

What are some health benefits of drinking hibiscus tea?

A:

Quick Answer

Drinking hibiscus tea over a period of 2 to 6 weeks may help lower blood pressure in patients with elevated blood pressure. Other benefits may include lowered cholesterol and treatment of irritated stomach. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support these claims as of 2015.

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What are some health benefits of drinking hibiscus tea?
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Full Answer

The hibiscus flower, taken as a tea, is a traditional remedy for ailments, including colds, inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, heart and nerve diseases and constipation. These benefits are supported by anecdotal evidence. Small, preliminary studies have indicated that hibiscus may be beneficial for reducing blood pressure in patients with mild hypertension.

A small amount of research has been carried out to determine if hibiscus helps to lower cholesterol. However, the results of these studies are inconclusive. There is insufficient data to support the tea's effectiveness in treating stomach irritation, constipation, loss of appetite and heart disease.

Hibiscus is generally safe when consumed in food or as a tea. In medicinal amounts, its possible side effects are not yet known. Because there is some evidence that consumption of hibiscus triggers menstruation, pregnant women are advised not to take hibiscus, as it may cause a miscarriage. Individuals with diabetes and low blood pressure should consult a doctor before taking hibiscus as a supplement.

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