If you’re looking for the best hibiscus supplements & teas to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Hibiscus Tea Guide.
Top 10 Hibiscus Supplements & Teas
|#1||Now Foods Tea Bags Organically Hip Hibiscus||More Info|
|#2||Swanson Full Spectrum Hibiscus Flower||More Info|
|#3||Solaray Hibiscus Flower Extract||More Info|
|#4||Nature’s Bounty Dual-Spectrum Cranberry Plus Hibiscus||More Info|
|#5||Traditional Medicinals Organic Hibiscus Tea||More Info|
|#6||The Republic Of Tea Natural Hibiscus Superflower Herbal Tea||More Info|
|#7||TerraVita Hibiscus Flower||More Info|
|#8||Naturetition Supplements Hibiscus Flower||More Info|
|#9||HawaiiPharm Hibiscus Alcohol-FREE Liquid Extract||More Info|
|#10||North American Herb and Spice Mineral Supplement Tea||More Info|
These days the market has been flooded with a mountain of dietary supplements that promise anything from instant weight loss to curing cancer. The truth is that most of those products are unregulated junk that does little to live up to their lofty claims.
However, science has proven that not all of the herbal remedies are fraudulent. There are a number of herbs and teas that, when combined with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, can be beneficial to your health. Among them are turmeric, ginger, and hibiscus teas.
Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food.
A quick stroll through your local grocery store will reveal a host of teas, all claiming to have medicinal properties. Some of them are based on time-tested recipes and their claims are supported by scientific research. Others are little more than snake oil.
One of the teas that are finding its way onto more and more shelves is hibiscus tea. Touted as a soothing aromatic tea with health benefits and hundreds of years of tradition behind it, what is the truth? Snake oil or ancient wisdom?
What is Hibiscus Tea?
Hibiscus teas are an infusion of calyces of the roselle flowers (Hibiscus sabdariffa). Hibiscus is found in tropical climates and most likely originated in West Africa before being cultivated throughout Asia, India and the Caribean. The flowers are usually a rich red or deep pink color, giving hibiscus teas their unique color. The flavor is similar to cranberry but much milder.
It can be served cold or hot and is often blended with other elements, like ginger and honey. In Egypt hibiscus is used to make a drink called Karkade, and in Jamaica, it is used to make a beverage called sorrel. The Chinese call it sour tea and it is the main ingredient in lemon drop tea.
Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is often used to treat loss of appetite, colds, high blood pressure, and fluid retention. While there is insufficient scientific evidence to support many of these claims, there is evidence to suggest that consuming hibiscus regularly can contribute to lowered blood pressure and heart health.
It should be made clear that no single thing can prevent or treat high blood pressure or coronary heart disease. IN the United States alone, nearly 650,000 people die of heart disease. That is nearly 1 in every 4 deaths. Half of them are women. Most of those deaths could have been prevented with proper care and treatment early on. Weight control, eating a healthy diet full of fiber and healthy fats, and regular check-ups are necessary preventative measures against heart disease.
Nearly thirty percent of the plant is made up of plant acids, including citric, malic, and tartaric acids. It also has hibiscus acid, which is specific to this plant. Historically, folk medicine has used hibiscus to treat high blood pressure, liver diseases, and fevers. In large amounts, hibiscus tea acts as a mild laxative. In African folk medicine, it has been used to relieve muscle spasms, and treat stomach and intestinal worms as well as for it’s antibacterial, cholagogic and diuretic properties.
For the last twenty years, scientists have known that water extracts of hibiscus flowers have a relaxing effect on the uterus and lowers blood pressure. In recent years there has been a flurry of studies using hibiscus to treat both high blood pressure and diabetes. These studies have shown that in both human and animal models extracts and infusions using hibiscus impede the hardening of arteries, lower blood sugar, lipids, and blood pressure.
In 2009 a study was conducted with diabetics using hibiscus tea and black tea from Saudi Arabia. The participants achieved a 7.6% decrease in total cholesterol, an 8.0% decrease in LDLc, a 14.9% decrease in triglycerides, a 3.4% decrease in Apo-B100, a 4.2% increase in Apo-A1 and a 16.7% increase in HDLc after consuming two cups of tea every day.
While the studies are not exhaustive, they are very promising. Not bad for a little flower power.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The safety profile for hibiscus tea is excellent, with almost no adverse reactions reported at all. It currently has a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status with the FDA.
When taken orally, there is a slight possibility that hibiscus can be dangerous during pregnancy. This is because it can stimulate menstruation and cause a possible miscarriage.
Additionally, because it has been known to lower your blood pressure, it can be dangerous for people who already suffer from low blood pressure.
As demonstrated earlier, it can also lower blood sugar. Pregnant women are especially at risk in this regard, as it may become hard to regulate blood sugar while pregnant and drinking hibiscus tea.
It is best to reduce or eliminate your use of hibiscus teas before surgery and while pregnant. It is also possible that hibiscus tea may have an effect on the absorption rate of acetaminophen (Tylenol) but not enough evidence to suggest that it is dangerous.
How to Take Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus teas can be consumed hot or cold, sweetened or unsweetened. They make a great summer time beverage and many cultures have their own way of preparing it. One common way is to serve it as a chilled drink. To make this variation you will need to purchase dried hibiscus flowers or loose leaf tea instead of the tea bags.
First, bring water to a light boil and then add hibiscus flowers and cinnamon sticks. Let the mixture steep for twenty minutes. Strain the tea and add sugar. Serve it over ice with a twist of lemon or orange slices to help bring out the bouquet.
For a hot drink use the same method described above, but serve immediately. Add ginger for a nice kick that also promotes digestive health. For the best results, it is recommended that you drink at least two cups of hibiscus tea per day.
There is no standardized dosing available for hibiscus tea. How much you need to consume in order to experience any health benefits will depend on your age, size, and general health. However, in studies, participants did experience health benefits within a month.
What to Look For in a Good Hibiscus Tea
As with any herbal supplement you want to be sure that what you are getting is of the highest quality. That starts with a USDA approved organic farm. While organic certification is far from comprehensive, it is still a start in eliminating many of the harmful chemicals that are often associated with industrial agriculture.
As mention before, you can find hibiscus tea in tea bag form. Often it is used as one ingredient in a blended herbal tea. For best results, it is best to buy hibiscus teas that aren’t flavored with anything or combined with any other herb. Tea bags are convenient, but loose tea or whole dried flowers are better. Check the color of the flowers and the tea once brewed. If it is brown in color something is wrong. Hibiscus tea should always be red once brewed.
You can enjoy hibiscus tea without worry. It is not only tasty but also incredibly good for you. Use it to replace sodas as your beverage of choice and your waistline will thank you. While the evidence that it can calm nervous disorders and decrease inflammation is still inconclusive, what we do know about it makes it a legitimate part of a healthy lifestyle.
So the next time you are in your local grocery store and you see hibiscus teas for sale, do yourself a favor and indulge your senses in this delightful treat. It’s a heart healthy habit that you can feel good about.