Teas made from hibiscus flowers and, occasionally, leaves are a very common beverage in tropical regions where they grow. Hibiscus is a large genius in the Malvacea family and they includes several hundred species, all native to worm temperature.
All parts of hibiscus plants are used traditionally. due to their soothing (demulcent) and astringent properties, the flowers and leaves have been traditionally used to treat conditions such as cancer and gallbladder attacks, to lower blood pressure, to relieve dry cough, and topically to treat skin afflictions.
The root has been used as a tonic, whereas the stems yield fibers that can be used to make rope or burlap.
1. High Cholesterol
Studies have shown that hibiscus tea is very effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. It contains bioflavonoids that help to prevent plaque from building up on the walls of your arteries which lowers your cholesterol and helps to prevent a number of other serious diseases.
2. High Blood Pressure
Much research has been done on the effects of hibiscus tea in those with high blood pressure. Drinking just 8 ounces 3 times each day will seriously help you to keep your blood pressure under control. Some studies suggest that hibiscus tea works better than most high blood pressure medications and because it is natural, there are fewer noted side effects than prescription medication. You can effectively lower your blood pressure by at least 10 points if you drink it 3 times daily for just a couple of weeks.
3. The Common Cold
This tea is literally swimming with lots of Vitamin C which will help you to prevent the common cold, flu and other infectious illnesses. If you drink it when you feel the symptoms of a cold coming on, it will help you to get over your cold much more quickly and it has been shown to be very effective in helping open wounds to heal up to twice as quickly.
Imagine not having to spend a small fortune on anti-aging creams and potions. Hibiscus tea has been used for centuries in places like Egypt, China and others to prevent aging. It contains many antioxidants which eliminate the free radicals that are in your body. By eliminating these free radicals, it can effectively slow down the aging process and many studies show that it can actually prolong your life.
5. Weight Loss
Hibiscus is a natural appetite suppressant. It can help you to lose weight without worrying about taking diet pills or having surgery to shrink your stomach. Just drinking a cup each day will help you to eat less and we all know that eating less is what causes weight loss. The tea also affects how your body will absorb and store carbohydrates and fat. It slows down fat absorption so you are burning more fat as opposed to storing it. It also provides a mild diuretic which helps to flush impurities from your system so you will not have water weight or bloating and it provides a mild laxative effect to keep your system clean.
6. Digestive Problems
So, speaking of laxatives, if you regularly suffer from constipation, drinking hibiscus tea can help you to become more regular. It improves the overall function of the bowels as well as the bladder. It contains natural anti-spasmodic effects so you can use it to treat painful constipation as well as other digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome.
Those who suffer from mood swings and depression will find that drinking just one 8 ounce serving of hibiscus tea each day will significantly improve those moods. It provides a number of vitamins and minerals that offer a calming effect on the nervous system. It has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and other mental related symptoms.
Recent studies have shown that hibiscus tea can prevent pre-cancerous cells from growing. This means that it can effectively stop the growth of cells that will eventually cause cancer. Again, it is filled with antioxidants so it can prove very beneficial in helping you to prevent cancer because it kills free radicals in the body.
9. Heart Disease
Studies done by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute showed that people who drink at least 14 cups or more every week of tea have the lowest mortality rates in the first few years after a heart attack. Hibiscus tea is widely used to help lower the risk of heart attack and other heart diseases and can help to decrease symptoms.
10. Diabetes and Liver Disease
Hibiscus tea is used in India to treat both types of diabetes and has shown amazing results. It is also used widely in Eastern medicine as a treatment for many types of liver disease. Because it keeps the body clean from free radicals and offers antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals, it can help to clean the liver. Studies done on mice showed that drinking the tea can prevent liver damage that could be incurred by taking too much acetaminophen or Tylenol as well as other pain killers that can cause liver damage.
So, there you have a list of great benefits from drinking hibiscus tea. Of course, nothing is without its disadvantages and even though this is one of the healthiest teas in the World, it is not without its own side effects. Here are a few side effects that you should watch out for:
Its Side Effects
• Lower Hormone Levels
Hibiscus tea is absolutely not recommended for pregnant women or those who are undergoing fertility treatments. It can lower levels of estrogen in the body and can prompt menstruation which could ultimately lead to a miscarriage. Those in their first trimester especially should avoid drinking this tea. Also, any woman undergoing any type of hormone replacement, and this includes taking birth control pills, should also avoid hibiscus tea. Studies have also shown that it can decrease male fertility in some instances.
• Lower Blood Pressure
Lowering blood pressure can be considered a benefit or a side effect. Those who already have low blood pressure certainly do not need to drink hibiscus tea because it can lower that pressure even more. Those with hypotension should avoid drinking it unless first checking with their doctor to ensure that their blood pressure is not dangerously low.
Many people have reported feeling a bit drowsy after drinking hibiscus tea. Of course, it does help you to relax and fall asleep so this is not a major side effect. However, if you are planning to drive a car or operate heavy machinery, you should avoid drinking the tea until you are safely at home.
Hibiscus Tea, popularly referred to as ‘SOBOLO’ in Ghana, which has been used in modern culture as a mild yet natural diuretic, people with kidney problems often turn to the natural and beneficial properties of the it, because of the Vitamin C and minerals.
According to the public views and opinions when News Ghana hit the streets, ‘SOBOLO’ is very good and it has helped them fight lots of illments even without knowing this research. Therefore, “if research has proven that it can do all that, then let’s not abandon our African rich beverages and its natural medicinal benefits. Let’s rather drink it more” The public.
By : Sammy Adjei / Newsghana.com.gh