Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world.
Hibiscus tea, otherwise known as roselle or sour tea, has many health benefits. One of the few that is actually supported by clinical trials is the impact of hibiscus tea on blood pressure.
In a study of 75 subjects diagnosed with hypertension (and not taking any blood pressure-lowering medication at the time). The controlled group drank one large hibiscus tea before breakfast each day for 4 weeks. The result was a reduction of 11% and 12.5% in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively.
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Those effects were equal to the active control group who were taking 50 mg of Captopril (a pharmaceutical drug) daily for the same time frame.
How Much As I Drink?
As a tea, about one gram of dried calyx (the part of the flower directly beneath the petals) should be brewed. It should be enjoyed either once in the morning or twice per day. But with at least 8 hours between doses. Alternatively, hibiscus supplements are also an option and should be dosed according to their anthocyanin content.
A daily 10 mg dose of hibiscus anthocyanins – equivalent to 1g of a 1% extract or 500 mg of a 2% extract – is optimal. Higher doses may be toxic.
Hibiscus tea has been repeatedly shown to lower blood pressure in those with existing high blood pressure. Their blood pressure decreased around 10% systolic and 12% diastolic. The effect may be noticeable after just two weeks. You would need to drink about 3 cups a day.
However, this remedy is one that must be used continuously to maintain its positive results. When participants in the same study stopped drinking the tea for just three days, their blood pressure began to creep upward.
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