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Hibiscus Tea Side Effects Benefits and Medical Use

Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a genus of floweringplants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. Is common in India and in other tropical and warmregions of the world. The plant is also known as agua de flor de Jamaica, rosa de Jamaica. The hibiscus flower contain glycosides hibiscin and gossypetin. It also has the active flavonoids delphinidin and cyanidin, which gives the tea its red color. Dried flowers have a high  vitamin C content. While the hibiscus flower has over 200 species, the tea is made from Hibiscus sabdariffa. Hibiscus tea is also referred to as sour tea.

Hibiscus Benefits

Hibiscus has high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants assist the body in neutralizing the losses of free radicals, slowing down aging processes, and improving our general health. When body uses oxygen, it releases cells containing hydrogen peroxide that can damage cells; this can speed up the aging process and contribute to illness. Is a important source of Vitamin C, which plays a role in strengthening  immune system and helps to ward off infections and colds. Antioxidants also help lower the risk of developing cancer. Hibiscus tea is a natural ACE inhibitor, which inhibits the contracting action of ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme ), dilates the blood vessels and reduces the blood pressure. North Africans hibiscus tea is used to help maintain a normal body temperature, support heart health, and encourage fluid balance.

Hibiscus  may help reduce inflammation in body. This plant has important antioxidant activity. Antioxidants can decrease inflammatory symptoms in many health conditions, including inflammatory joint disease, and acute and chronic pancreatitis. The antioxidants in hibiscus may help lessen liver inflammation and enhance liver health. (2009-Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry). Hibiscus tea is believed to have positive effects in treating liver disorder in traditional Asian medicine. It is used to treat liver disease in India and China. Antioxidant compounds in hibiscus tea offer protective effects for the liver, according to a article published in the 2011 issue of the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry. An experimental study in mice detected that hibiscus can preventliver damage caused by acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and a number of other pain-killers, which is known to cause liver damage in high  doses. When tested against stomach cancer cells, hibiscus showed to be deadly to the cells. A study published of Chemico-biological Interactions found that an extract of hibiscus is toxic to cancer cells.

Hibiscus Flowers and Blood Pressure

Hypertension is  known as high blood pressure. The World Health Organization defines hypertension as blood pressure higher than 140/90. Hibiscus tea reduces blood pressure in prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive people. Some research has demonstrated that they have a diuretic effects and have found mild blood vessel–dilation property. Studies done at “Tufts University” of Boston show that drinking 3 cups of hibiscus tea each day lowers blood pressure by an average of 6 points. For 6 weeks, 65 adults who had mildly elevated blood pressure drank either 3 cups of hibiscus tea or a placebo beverage each day. After 6 weeks, systolic blood pressure in individuals drinking the hibiscus tea was significantly reduced. Compared with the baseline measurements, hibiscus tea reduced systolic blood pressure by 5.5%  whereas no reduction was seen in the placebo group. The researchers conclude that hibiscus tea could be a dietary change recommended for people with prehypertension  or mild hypertension.

A other study published in the “British Medical Journal” showed that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea every day for a 3 months could help lowering high blood pressure levels by 10 percent. A study described in the “Phytomedicine” tested the effects of 16 ounces of hibiscus tea every morning and 25 mg of hypertension captropil twice a day. Research findings show that the tea works just as well as the medication. A randomized, placebo-controlled study from Iran compared the effects of hibiscus tea on 54 people with moderate high blood pressure. After fifteen days, those who drank the hibiscus tea had an about of 11.2 %decrease in systolic pressure and 10.7 % decrease in diastolic pressure. These decline were statistically significant when compared to the placebo group.

How Does it Work

The anthocyanins and flavonoids  found in hibiscus tea have antioxidant effects. Antioxidants inhibit the level of oxidation that affects molecules, which can cause cell damage and higher blood pressure. This plant has diuretic effect. An critical property of the diuretic action of the hibiscus tea is that it increases sodium excretion without affecting potassium. It opens the arteries, and it appears to act as a natural ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme ) inhibitor, which means it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels. In addition, hibiscus plant helps promote relaxation, reducing stress levels and subsequently blood pressure. The presence of stress hormones in the blood can cause blood pressure increases.

Dosage

A typical adult dosage of hibiscus;  One cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily or dried powdered hibiscus extract providing 250 mg anthocyanins per day. 2 tsp of dried blossoms or 1 tsp of crumbled blossom with 1 cup of boiling water, steep for ten minutes. Tincture : 1 – 3 ml, daily (1–3 full droppers)

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Individuals who have low blood pressure must avoid drinking Hibiscus tea. Consuming the tea by individuals with low blood pressure may cause dizziness, faintness or other more serious problems such as damage to the heart or brain. If you take medications to hypertension, talk to your physician before taking natural remedy with similar features. People that are taking acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory drugs should be careful with regard to their consumption of hibiscus tea, due to the fact that the tea could affect how the body processes the drugs.

Consuming hibiscus tea reduces estrogen levels, and  using hormone replacement therapy or taking birth control drugs should avoid drinking the tea. Do not drink hibiscus while pregnant or breastfeeding. Hibiscus plant may stimulate the uterus and is contraindicated in pregnant women due to its theoretical ability to induce abortion. Women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, or those who are using hormone replacement, should play it safe and avoid drinking hibiscus tea. Some individuals have experienced an hallucinogenic effect from drinking hibiscus tea or a sensation of feeling intoxicated. Take care when driving or using machinery if you are unfamiliar with the effects
of such tea. Hibiscus can be an allergy trigger for some people. Symptoms will mostly resemble hay fever, with stuffed sinuses, itchy red eyes.


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