A report from the AHA (American Heart Association), published in November 2008, states that consuming this tea lowers the blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. It also states that 1/3 of adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension. A study conducted by Odigie IP suggests that it has antihypertensive and cardioprotective properties, which can be beneficial for people suffering from hypertension and those at high risks of cardiovascular diseases. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, hibiscus can reduce blood pressure by up to 10 points, according to a research done at Tufts University in Boston. For this drastic improvement to occur, you need to regularly consume three cups of this tea every day for a few weeks. Also, it has diuretic properties that increase urination and simultaneously lower blood pressure.
It 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 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 tincture lowers cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which helps to manage this unpredictable disease.
Research studies have also suggested that the antioxidant properties of hibiscus tincture also help in treating liver diseases. Antioxidants help protect your body from diseases because they neutralize the free radicals present in body tissues and cells.
Hibiscus contains protocatechuic acid which has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. A study conducted by the Department and Institute of Biochemistry at the Chung Shan Medical and Dental College, in Taichung, Taiwan suggests that hibiscus slows down the growth of cancerous cells by inducing apoptosis, commonly known as programmed cell death.
Hibiscus is rich in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. It is an essential nutrient required by your body to boost and stimulate the activity of the immune system. Hibiscus is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Therefore, it protects you from catching a cold and flu. It is also used to treat discomfort caused by fever, due to its cooling effect.
The health benefits of hibiscus tincture include relief from cramps and menstrual pain. It helps in restoring hormonal balance as well, which can reduce the symptoms of menstruation like mood swings, depression, overeating and help manage irregular menstruation cycles.
Hibiscus contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids which have antidepressant properties. Consumption of hibiscus tincture can help calm down the nervous system, and it may reduce anxiety and depression by relaxing the mind and body.
If you suffer from or are at risk for depression, you may want to consider trying hibiscus tea as one natural way to combat these sometimes debilitating signs of depression, such as fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in hobbies and more.
Many people drink hibiscus tincture to improve digestion as it regularizes both urination and bowel movements. Since it has diuretic properties, it is also used to treat constipation, which helps you lose weight, improve the health of your gastrointestinal system, and avoid colorectal cancer.
Because it functions as a diuretic, hibiscus tea has also turned the heads of those studying the health of the kidney and urinary systems. Initial testing suggests that hibiscus tea presents what is known as an “anti-urolithiatic property,” meaning that it may lower the instance of compounds that form kidney stones.
Hibiscus tincture is beneficial for weight loss. You are likely to gain weight if you consume food that is rich in carbohydrates. However, studies have suggested that hibiscus extract lowers the absorption of starch and glucose and may help in weight loss. Hibiscus inhibits the production of amylase, which helps in the absorption of carbohydrates and starch, so drinking hibiscus tea prevents the absorption from occurring. Therefore, hibiscus is found in many weight loss products.
Hibiscus has shown tremendous results when it comes to boosting hair growth. It is rich in vitamin C that boosts collagen (the amino acid chain that gives your hair its strength) production, ensuring healthy hair growth. It nourishes your hair, strengthens your roots, and keeps your locks lustrous and healthy.
The flower stimulates hair regrowth from dormant follicles and bald patches. This helps thicken your hair and add volume. It also helps condition your hair, preventing dryness, frizz, and breakage, and treats issues of the scalp, such as itchiness and dandruff.
Hibiscus leaves help to prevent split ends by keeping your hair strong, nourished, and hydrated.
From Hawaii to Egypt and China, the Hibiscus flower has been incorporated into cultural, medicinal and magical areas of life. Since this flower has stretched far and wide, with possible origins being difficult to pin down, there are many different traditional medical applications within Africa, India and China.
The Egyptians and Sudanese used Hibiscus flowers, most notably the calyx, to make a red tea that would have been used for treating problems of the nervous system and heart. In other parts of Africa the same tea concoction was used to treat coughs, colds, sore throats, increase appetite and to heal wounds and abscesses. Ayurvedic medicine concludes that the flower can be made up into a paste that will help keep the scalp moist, stop hair falling out and give hair a healthy lustre. While this is the most common use of Hibiscus in Ayurvedic medicine, another prominent Hibiscus remedy is to help regulate the menstrual cycle and in anti-fertility treatments.
Folklore and History
There seems to be a correlation throughout the world with the Hibiscus flower and feminine energy. In Hawaii/Polynesia if the woman wears a Hibiscus flower over her left ear then it means that she is in a relationship while wearing the flower over the right ear means that she is available or open to a relationship.
In India the Hibiscus Flower is traditionally used as an offering to goddesses and traditional Southern Indian iconography of the Goddess Kali features Hibiscus flowers heavily. A variation in Greek mythology shows Hibiscus being a potent symbol of beauty where the god Adonis is transformed into a Hibiscus flower and then fought over by the goddesses Aphrodite and Persephone.
This may be why Hibiscus also features in early magic to incur lust or love in others. Overall the Hibiscus is seen as a very beautiful tropical flower and has resulted in many different hybrids and variants continually being bred all over the world.
Other common names: Ambashthaki, Groseille de Guinée, Guinea Sorrel, Hibisco, Hibiscus Calyx, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Jamaica Sorrel, Karkade, Oseille Rouge, Red Sorrel, Red Tea, Rosa de Jamaica, Roselle, Sour Tea, Sudanese Tea, Thé Rose d’Abyssinie, Thé Rouge, Zobo, Zobo Tea.
Preparation: Put a teaspoon of hibiscus flowers into a 200ml cup of boiled water. Cover it and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink a cup three times per day.
To use as a hair product, you can prepare a tea in the same way and use it to rinse out your hair: or, you can infuse the flowers into a oil of your choice (coconut and olive oil are recommended) and massage the oil into your scalp. Add a teaspoon of crushed hibiscus flowers to the oil and warm it up gently. Keep it on the heat for 15 minutes, but not frying. When it has cooled down sufficiently, apply it to your hair and scalp. The oil can be kept in the fridge.
Pregnant women should never drink hibiscus tea or take hibiscus products, as it can cause “emmenagogue effects.” This means it can induce menstruation. Generally, it’s not known whether or not hibiscus tea is safe for nursing mothers, who should also avoid drinking it until they discontinue nursing.If you are pregnant, be aware that hibiscus may be on a label under “rose of Sharon” or “althea.”
Diabetes: Hibiscus might decrease blood sugar levels. The dose of your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Low blood pressure: Hibiscus might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking hibiscus might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Hibiscus might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery. Stop using hibiscus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
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