A Favourite For High Blood Pressure
Can Hibiscus Tea (Roselle tea) really lower blood pressure?
No doubt many of you reading this article are familiar with this drink and its health benefits from traditional home cures plucked directly from the back yard, and you probably swear by it. But today skeptics, and people who want to go natural, cry out for proof which can be a bit thin on the ground, and that`s not because there isn`t any to be found.
Roll on The Proof
Some research has been conducted that indicate that some people with hypertension can reduce their blood pressure simply by drinking three cups of natural tea which contains hibiscus flowers. This research took place at the Tufts University in Boston under the direction of Diane McKay, a nutrition scientist. McKay presented her research to the American Heart Association during their annual conference.
McKay’s study involved 65 people from the age of 30 to 70 who had already been experiencing high blood pressure. This group was divided into two groups with the first partaking in hibiscus tea three times each day for a length of six weeks. The other group was provided a placebo.
Every day, the activity, diet and blood pressure were monitored for each participant. At the end of the test period, the group which was given the placebo showed a 1.3 percent drop in blood pressure (wonder what was in the placebo), but the group that drank the hibiscus tea three times each day showed an average drop of an amazing 7.2 percent with those with the highest risk having a drop of 13.2 percent, which is even more amazing and very promising.
Don`t you agree, this study has demonstrated that using a standardized hibiscus flower extract can effectively reduce blood pressure in those individuals who experience mild to moderate hypertension.
For this dramatic effect though, you may need to use the extract for potency
Hibiscus Tea is an Antioxidant, Natural Diuretic, and Vasodilator
It`s helpful to know the properties and components of hibiscus flower that seem to be responsible for its ability to lower blood pressure, and there are several.
The first of those components are antioxidants, compounds that are known to protect cells against damage inflicted by free radicals which are considered to be a major cause of aging and disease.
These antioxidants could be, at least in part, responsible for the cardiovascular benefits as they protect the heart muscle and blood vessels from damage due to oxidation.
The good news is, along with its beneficial effects, this herb causes no negative side effects, and that makes it very attractive when considering alternatives to medications for reducing hypertension.
But as always is the case, many health care providers and investigators tend to be reserved, and this case is no exception.
As to the findings of this one study, they consider it to be inconclusive, pointing out that there are a number of different causes of high blood pressure, including genetic and environmental factors, as well as diet. And no doubt, this is true. There are different causes of HBP and that is the very reason why it may help some people, is it not?
You could be one of those people who respond favorably to dietary measures to help reduce your blood pressure. It is good to try out something before dismissing it.
Precaution must be taken however. While all of this sounds promising, there have been no studies conducted to determine whether or not hibiscus tea 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 it is safe for those experiencing kidney or liver disease. As with other substances, the herb 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.
Proponents of using hibiscus tea as an alternative to chemical based prescription medications feel that the study does clearly show its efficacy in the treatment of high blood pressure. This small step in the investigative process is very exciting to others as they discuss the need for even more work to gauge its benefits in relation to lowering blood pressure. I am sure it has excited you too!