Hibiscus is the genus name for a group of about 250 species of plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae), which is characterized by generally large, showy and often bell-shaped flowers and alternate leaves. Hibiscus plants are popular all over the world. They are valued for their aesthetic, culinary, medicinal purposes, and cultural significance. For example, in India, the red hibiscus is offered to the Hindu goddess, Kali; while in Hawaiian culture, the flower is traditionally worn by a woman to indicate if she is married, in a relationship or not.
In herbal medicine, hibiscus is considered a very potent herb. Our hibiscus tea which is made of roselle herbs (Hibiscus Sabdariffa) is rich in vitamin C, protein, beta carotene, and organic acids that are important in keeping the human body in good shape.
Here are some of the benefits one can get from drinking Hibiscus tea.
May help lower blood pressure
According to the Heart Foundation, close to six million adult Australians are suffering from hypertension. Whilst it is always best to consult a doctor when it comes to managing it, certain foods may help lower the blood pressure naturally.
Hibiscus tea is safe to consume since it rarely causes any side effects, which are often one of the first questions people will ask us about when looking into herbal teas. Recent studies also suggest that it can be as effective as some standard anti-hypertensive drugs that are available in the market.
Even though hibiscus is guaranteed to be safe, it is not recommended for people who are taking hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic medication used to treat hypertension), since there is a possibility that it can interact with the drug.
Good for the digestive system
The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract, the liver, the pancreas, and the gall bladder. This system is responsible for moving food and liquid through the GI tract and for breaking down foods into nutrients which the body uses for growth, energy, and cell repair. Without it, the body wouldn’t be able to absorb the nutrients it needs in order to survive.
Hibiscus tea has a healthy amount of fiber that provides a positive environment for the colon and small intestines, thus allowing good bacteria to grow. These good bacteria aids in the breaking down and absorption of nutrients. It has diuretic properties and has been known to help relieve constipation, and maintain liver health.
Good for the skin
The skin needs antioxidants in order to glow and be youthful-looking. Hibiscus tea is good for the skin, because it is rich in anthocyanocides, a kind of antioxidant that is powerful against free radicals that causes premature skin aging. Anthocyanocides which have anti-inflammatory properties and astringent effects can control excess oil and tighten large pores.
Aside from being an antioxidant powerhouse, hibiscus is also loaded with alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) that deliver the chemical forms of AHAs sans the harshness. These acids help promote collagen production, reduce the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles, promote blood flow to the skin, brighten the skin, and minimize discoloration. Because of the anti-aging components such as these, hibiscus flowers are being used in various skin care products and the plant itself is considered “Nature’s Botox”.
Could help reduce weight, reduce inflammation, and lower stress
Different studies suggest that hibiscus can help induce weight loss since it contains natural bioactive compounds that reduce body weight and lipid accumulation in both human and animal subjects. In a similar study in rats, it was found out that the antioxidant nature compound in hibiscus extracts from its leaves and calices can lower cholesterol levels. These exciting findings, along with healthy lifestyle choices, make this plant a possible potent solution in treating and managing obesity.
Other ways to help induce weight loss is through managing stress and lowering the inflammation in the body (see the relationship of weight and inflammation here), since both can be responsible for unwanted weight gain.
Stress can badly affect metabolism. Research suggests that stressed people burn fewer calories. Thus, they easily gain weight. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, can also be responsible for the accumulation of belly fat and increased cravings for sugar and fat.
Hibiscus tea is effective in managing stress and reducing inflammation since it contains polyphenols which can help in reducing inflammation and lowering the levels of cortisol in the body.
Maintains general health
Hibiscus tea is extremely high in vitamin C, which encourages the production of lymphocytes and phagocytes that help protect the body against infections. It also helps these white blood cells to function better, while protecting them from harmful molecules such as free radicals.
The herb is also a good source of iron, an element that is extremely important for normal development of the immune system. Iron deficiency can result to a body being vulnerable to infections, since this mineral plays a significant role in the proliferation and maturation of immune cells.
Other powerful antioxidants that are found in hibiscus are poly-phenolic acid, flavonoids, and anthocyanins (which are derived from the previously stated, anthocyanocides, when sugars are added). Components such as these have an impressive antioxidant effect since they protect the lining organelles from premature cell damage and slow down the aging process. Lastly, hibiscus tea may help prevent cancer because of polyphenols. These micronutrients protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress and associated pathologies such as cancers, coronary heart disease, and inflammation.
Hibiscus Sabdariffa: A Popular Herb
Different cultures from around the world have recognized the potency of Hibiscus Sabdariffa as a powerful medicinal plant. In fact the love for hibiscus can be witnessed in many cultures. In Vietnam, the young leaves, stems, and fruits are used in cooking soups with eel or fish. In the Philippines, children used it in their bubble-making pastime by crushing the flowers and leaves, and combining it with soap to produce bubbles. In different countries, it is made into refreshing drinks, such as the Karkade, which is served in Egypt, the Agua de Jamaica which is popular in Mexico, and the Bissap juice, the national drink of Senegal.
Here at Tea Life, you can get the best Hibiscus Sabdariffa tea that is guaranteed to be organically grown and fresh. Check it out now and experience its healing benefits.