Hibiscus tea is an herbal tea made by steeping parts of the hibiscus plant in boiling water. It has a tart flavor similar to that of cranberries and can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
There are several hundred species of hibiscus varying by the location and climate they grow in, but ‘Hibiscus sabdariffa’ is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea.
Research has uncovered a range of health benefits linked to drinking hibiscus tea; here are five benefits of drinking hibiscus tea:
1. Hibiscus tea may lower blood pressure
One of hibiscus tea’s most significant claims to fame is its ability to help lower blood pressure—and research backs up this theory. In a study, adults with hypertension (high blood pressure) who consumed three servings (720 mL) of hibiscus tea daily saw a decrease in their overall blood pressure.
2. Hibiscus tea helps keep your immune system healthy
Along with washing your hands religiously and getting a flu shot, this herbal tea may help you ward off winter sickness. Hibiscus tea is high in Vitamin C, a critical vitamin that helps support a healthy immune system.
3. Hibiscus tea may tame inflammation
Fruits and veggies aren’t the only way to get your daily dose of antioxidants. Hibiscus tea is also full of phytochemicals like polyphenols and anthocyanin. These compounds can help lower inflammation in the body, which, when out of control, can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
4. Hibiscus tea may improve liver health
Some studies have found that hibiscus may promote liver health. One 2014 study found that taking hibiscus extract for 12 weeks improved liver steatosis—a.k.a. fatty liver disease, a severe condition that can lead to liver failure—in overweight individuals.
Again, this research used hibiscus extract versus the tea, and just drinking the fruity beverage likely won’t have the same dramatic impact. So, sip wisely.
5. Hibiscus tea may support your weight-loss goals
There have been some studies that suggest that hibiscus may have the ability to aid in weight loss. One study found that taking hibiscus extract for 12 weeks resulted in lower body weight, abdominal fat, and BMI in overweight/obese individuals.
It’s essential to keep in mind that this study uses hibiscus extract, which is more concentrated than the tea. While you may see similar benefits by sipping the tea, they’ll likely be on a smaller scale. (One serving of the extract equals about six servings of tea.)