This tropical beauty is more than just an infusion of color in the landscape. Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) plants are prized for their elegance and good looks but have qualities that go far beyond aesthetics.
Recent research shows that hibiscus tea can effectively lower blood pressure as well as conventional drugs. This is good news for those who are tired of the side effects of prescription medication.
Hibiscus tea is popular around the world and is the main ingredient in what is well known as Red Zinger tea. Hibiscus tea is safe and has no known serious side effects. Since hibiscus is grown in such a large part of the United States, it is likely that you could actually grow your own blood pressure medication.
Researchers in Nigeria confirmed in 1996 that the customary way their ancestors had treated high blood pressure, using hibiscus tea, was indeed effective. Hibiscus flowers reduced the blood pressure in laboratory animals and also in human study participants.
Study subjects with elevated blood pressure were given either black tea or hibiscus tea for 12 days. Those who drank the hibiscus tea experienced a 10% drop in blood pressure over just a slight decrease in the group who drank black tea.
Over the last fifteen years, there have been numerous other studies done that have concluded that when hibiscus tea goes head-to-head with standard blood pressure medicine the results are favorable for the tea.
In a more recent study, one group of participants was given a standard blood pressure medicine, while another group were given hibiscus in the form of a capsule. In four weeks, the herb treatment was neck in neck with the conventional medicine as far as effectiveness.
What Makes Hibiscus Work?
So, how does this elegant plant lower blood pressure? Researchers suggest that it has a diuretic component which inflates arteries and acts as a natural ACE inhibitor – it slows the release of hormones that tend to constrict blood vessels. Hibiscus also boosts immune function and is loaded with life giving antioxidants.
Dose recommendations vary between 1 teaspoon of dried flowers per cup of water up to 5 teaspoons.
As with any herbal treatment, check with your physician before taking. Some people benefit from taking a lower dose of their conventional drugs along with a hibiscus supplement while others can do away with the drugs all together.
-The Alternative Daily