Want to Give Hibiscus Tea a Try?

April 2, 2018
Article by Leigh Weingus, MindbodyGreen.com

Whether you like your hibiscus tea hot or cold, there's no doubt that it's delicious. Whether you're sipping your hibiscus tea in iced tea from a tall glass on a tropical beach or drinking it out of a steaming mug on a chilly winter day, once you pick up a hibiscus tea habit, it's hard to go back. This naturally caffeine-free, pink-colored tea is made from either crimson or the calyces (sepals) of the roselle, which is a type of hibiscus flower.

The taste of hibiscus tea is hard to resist: It's a little bit tart, a little bit sweet, and tastes mildly of cranberry. Want to learn more about hibiscus tea? Here's everything you need to know.

Where Did Hibiscus Tea Come From?
Sometimes called roselle tea, hibiscus tea originates in tropical areas like the Middle East and Central America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that hibiscus plants can be one of 40 different species, and once the plant is grown, it has to be dried out before it can be made into tea. Once combined with boiling water, it makes a healthy, delicious beverage.

Hibiscus Tea Benefits
In addition to being tasty, refreshing, and invigorating, hibiscus tea has a number of health benefits. Hibiscus tea is packed with vitamins and minerals that support immunity (looking at you, vitamin C) and can prevent disease down the road. The American Heart Association advises people with mild hypertension to drink hibiscus tea, as it can lower blood pressure in adults.

This recommendation by the AHA is based partially on a study conducted at Tufts University in Boston, which found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily can significantly lower blood pressure. "We found that three cups a day of hibiscus tea significantly lowered systolic blood pressure among the group of people who consumed the tea daily for six weeks, compared with a placebo beverage containing artificial hibiscus flavor and coloring," explained Diane McKay, a scientist in the antioxidant lab at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. "And the effect was even greater among people who had a higher baseline level of systolic blood pressure."

Hibiscus Tea for Anxiety and Depression
Hibiscus tea benefits don't end with its blood-pressure-lowering abilities. Because of the vitamins and minerals found in hibiscus tea (like flavonoids, the same pigment found in red wine), drinking hibiscus tea is a great way to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. These combine to create a natural antidepressant, which can be helpful for anyone suffering from restlessness, feelings of sadness, insomnia, negative thinking patterns, and more.

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