Continents such as Asia and Africa have always been a treasure trove of alternative medicines that the West is just now starting to embrace. Centuries of using plants such as aloe vera and hibiscus for their medicinal qualities have resulted in an area of medicine that is relatively new to North Americans and Europeans. Just lately, the benefits of some of these plants have been pushed into the limelight and creams, drinks, and teas made with medicinal plants are becoming more mainstream.
What is hibiscus water?
Hibiscus is a flower that is found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world like Africa, Thailand, and China. The flowers of the hibiscus have something called calyxes that when steeped in a liquid will create delicious and colorful water or tea that has medicinal qualities.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke and is caused by a build-up of pressure in the arteries. When this build-up becomes too much the heart needs to work a lot harder and this strain can result in heart disease. Reducing your blood pressure can help your heart work at a normal level and reduce the chances of related health issues.
How does hibiscus water help reduce high blood pressure?
One of the much-studied health benefits of hibiscus is in relation to its effects on high blood pressure. Studies have shown that drinking hibiscus tea or water on a daily basis for a month can help reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 7 points. This may not seem like a huge deal, but it can mean the difference between having a heart attack and stroke and maintaining a healthy heart simply by drinking a beverage. Another study showed the benefits of hibiscus tea could help lower stage one hypertension in individuals who sip twice a day.
Other health benefits of hibiscus tea on those with high blood pressure come from another study which showed that people who suffered from high blood pressure benefited the most from sipping three cups of herbal tea with hibiscus every day. Putting hibiscus in adaptogen drinks doesn't just make them look prettier, but can also provide an all-around healthier and calming effect on people who have high blood pressure caused by anxiety.
Simple hibiscus tea recipe
If you want to give a hibiscus tea recipe a try for your hypertension to see whether it will help lower your blood pressure or you just want a delicious and colorful beverage, the recipe below is easy to follow and will produce a lovely tea you can sip on daily. You can brew this tea hot or add ice to it and have it as a cold drink. There is nothing in it that will cause spikes in blood sugars and there is no caffeine, so it won't cause you to lose sleep.
Here is what you will need to make hibiscus tea:
- Dried hibiscus - 1/2 cup
- Filtered water - 8 cups
- Organic honey
- Fresh lime juice
- Boil hibiscus and water in a pot.
- Remove the pot from heat and steep for 15-20 minutes
- While the hibiscus is steeping you can add honey, lime or any other natural flavoring you would like. Lemongrass and basil work well with hibiscus tea as does organic maple syrup.
- After steeping, strain the tea from the pot into a container with a lid. If you let the liquid cool a little bit, putting it into mason jars is very effective and looks pretty too.
- Chill tea in the refrigerator overnight if you want it really cold or heat it back up in a pot if you want hot tea to warm your bones.
- Serve iced tea with lots of ice and a sprig of hibiscus for decoration.
- If you want it sweeter, there are many organic, healthy natural sweeteners on the market available. Just ask your local health food store.
Hibiscus drink benefits can range from killing bacteria in the system to lowering blood pressure. The studies have just started with human test subjects, so it might be a little while before we can see hibiscus water benefits written up officially, but something that has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine must have some good properties. Whether you are sipping it in a hot tea, brewing an iced beverage or adding it to an adaptogen drink, hibiscus makes a delicious, colorful addition to any liquid and can help you stay healthy too.