Tested for Hypertension Reduction
Some studies indicate that hibiscus flower has a mild dilating effect on blood vessels as well as diuretic properties. Is this not exactly what prescription medications are intended to do?
Most people recognize hibiscus for its large bright red flowers attached to a small tree like structure. I was introduced to this plant by my husband who is Jamaican. He calls it “shoe black” as it was used to polish black shoes, and restore blackboards.
The tea made from the flowers, he knows as sorrel and this is what we are interested in.
Rich in minerals, flavonoids and a variety of other nutrients, this fruity tasting tea is popular not only in Jamaica, but so many other countries. People love it hot or cold, and those who know about its ability to lower blood pressure are mad about it.
Hypertension is described by the World Health Organization as a blood pressure that is greater than 140/90, and it is a common condition particularly for people in the developed parts of the world, and it affects around 20% of adults.
Many people who have hypertension never experience symptoms and frequently do not even realize they have high blood pressure. However, it can be the beginning of serious problems with their health if not treated properly. Those problems include congestive heart failure and stroke.
With such a large number of people suffering from high blood pressure which contributes to the risk of heart attacks and strokes, is it no wonder these studies impress some?
What Research Has Discovered About Hibiscus Flower and Hypertension
A double-blind study of 60 patients with type 2 diabetes who also had mild high blood pressure took place in a randomized and controlled trial using hibiscus tea and black tea. Those who were give hibiscus tea demonstrated a decrease in systolic blood pressure by about 22 points, and a diastolic decrease of 3 points after one month, but those who drank black tea saw a substantial rise in their blood pressure.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables that also serve as powerful antioxidants along with moderate exercise are typical recommendations by physicians, while others teach relaxation as a treatment for high blood pressure. Setting by some time each day to relax and sip a cup of hibiscus flower tea makes sense then.
Antihypertensive medications are also frequently prescribed in efforts to bring that pressure down to a manageable state, but those medications often carry with them some undesirable side effects. This is not true when using hibiscus flower as an alternative treatment since there have been no negative side effects noticed when drinking this tea on a regular basis.
How to Drink Hibiscus Flower Tea
The traditional way of enjoying the health benefits of hibiscus is through drinking it as a tea. So here are recommendations by the University of Maryland Medical Center on how to make an infusion.
Add two tablespoons of dry flowers to one cup of hot water and let it steep for about ten minutes. Let it cool, then strain and drink this liquid at least once per day.
This is just a guideline to go by, but to anyone that is under the care of a physician, before you go ahead and enjoy this tea, you should seek their advice for dosing information and that your prescription medications will not be affected.
While all of this sounds promising, keep in mind, there have been no studies conducted to determine whether or not hibiscus is safe for use during pregnancy or in women who are nursing. For this reason it is advised to refrain from using it during this period.
Also there is a lack of evidence to prove that it is safe for those experiencing kidney or liver disease. As with other substances, hibiscus may interact with medications for pain or fever such as acetaminophen. Stop taking it and visit your physician if you experience any ill effects while using it.