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
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.
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
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!
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