Hibiscus Tea Helps a Heart Stay Healthy

As effective in treating hypertension as some popular blood-pressure prescriptions, hibiscus tea provides powerful support for heart health.

Hibiscus Tea Helps a Heart Stay Healthy

Hibiscus tea is a great herbal remedy that has earned a big reputation for helping with heart health.

Studies have found that Hibiscus sabdariffa is as effective in treating hypertension as popular blood-pressure prescriptions.1)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mnfr.2013007742)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/173153073)https://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/h-sabdariffa-significantly-reduced-serum-triglycerides-and-systolic-blood-pres (Hibiscus isn’t just good for the heart, though—studies have shown that it also offers a multitude of other benefits, including fighting breast cancer and obesity, improving kidney function, and more.)

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Choosing the Right Species for Hibiscus Tea

If you want to drink hibiscus tea for heart health, be sure you're using Hibiscus sabdariffa. (The Grow Network)

If you want to drink hibiscus tea for heart health, be sure you’re using sepals from Hibiscus sabdariffa. – Image by Jabea TONGO ETONDE from Pixabay

Hibiscus is a large family of plants, comprising hundreds of species of hibiscus across the world. The genus includes delicate houseplants, impressive garden shrubs, and even some small trees that can reach 15 feet in height.

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But to make hibiscus tea, which is recommended for heart health, you’re looking for one specific species of the plant: Hibiscus sabdariffa. I have seen it in nurseries labeled as “Tea Hibiscus” and “Roselle.”

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What’s really important is that you get the right species, sabdariffa. Sabdariffa is an annual in the United States, unless you live in zone 9 or warmer. Grow the plant big and strong through spring and summer, and you’ll get a big fall bloom.

Hibiscus Tea: Brewing Basics for Heart Health

When making hibiscus tea, use the calyx (sepals), not the petals. (The Grow Network)

When making hibiscus tea, use the calyx (sepals), not the petals. – Image by hartono subagio from Pixabay

Hibiscus tea is consumed all over the world, and there are many regional variations on the recipe and the method for brewing. Here’s an overview of what’s important:

  • You use the calyx, or sepals—not the flower petals. The calyx is a waxy shell-like protective layer for the developing bloom. The blooms typically last a few days and then wilt. When the bloom wilts and falls away, the calyx is left behind.
  • There’s a consensus that you need to boil the calyx, rather than just steeping it in hot water.
  • Some cultures only boil the tea in pots with an enamel coating, because it is believed that metal pots cancel out the medicinal effects of the plant.

To get you started, check out this basic recipe.

What Do You Think?

There are many good recipes for hibiscus tea available on the Internet. I’m still experimenting and trying to find my favorite method. I’d love to know your favorite way to make hibiscus tea—please share it in the comments below!


This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on March 10, 2015. The author may not currently be available to respond to comments, however we encourage our Community members to chime in to share their experiences and answer questions!

Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.

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1 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mnfr.201300774
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17315307
3 https://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/h-sabdariffa-significantly-reduced-serum-triglycerides-and-systolic-blood-pres
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  • Rebecca says:

    Great article! We just got some seeds from rareseeds.com labeled Roselle Red Thai. I hope those are the right ones.

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Those seeds are good – I hope you enjoy your tea.

  • Mike63Denver says:

    A flexible float in a fleet of fleece. What’s this got to do with the article you wonder. Well that’s easy. Drinking the tea makes old people feel like fun loving teenagers in a creative writing contest.

  • Ellen Emery says:

    Is this the same variety that Mexican spice companies sell in grocery stores with the spices and dried herbs and the same variety sold as Jamaica in taco shops?

  • angelcrestcollie says:

    I have grown Roselle several years. The leaves and flowers are edible…. great in salads. The fruit can be dried to make teas, or syrups and even jellies. As an added benefit, our goats, horses and chickens love the leaves and fruit too.

  • gennywu says:

    I love the recipe. Instead of adding the extra water right away, I store the condensed tea in the fridge. When I want to drink a glass, I mix it with carbonated water for some fizz – healthy soda.

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