a cup of hot hibiscus tea

Considering the range of side effects that seem to accompany certain blood pressure medications, it is little wonder that many people would like to find natural ways to treat their hypertension. Meditation and slow, relaxed breathing can help. But there are also a number of beverages that can lower blood pressure. One of our favorites is a beautiful bright red tea made from hibiscus flowers.

Hibiscus Tea to Lower Blood Pressure:

Q. Is there a tea that helps lower high blood pressure?

A. The most promising option is tea made from the dried blossoms of Hibiscus sabdariffa. Most people find its tart flavor tasty. In Mexico and Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean, this tea is served chilled and dubbed “agua de jamaica.”

The Research Results on Hibiscus Tea:

A review of the research showed that both animal and human studies indicate a blood-pressure lowering effect (Fitoterapia, Mar., 2013). Two or three cups a day seem to provide a therapeutic dose.

More recently, scientists tested an extract of hibiscus flowers combined with olive tree leaves (Journal of Medicinal Food, May, 2016). They noted that this product (Pres Phytum®) appears to act like a calcium channel blocker. Laboratory research indicates that it is likely the combination could help lower blood pressure without causing undue side effects.

A clinical trial in Nigeria found that hibiscus tea was as effective as lisinopril in lowering mildly or moderately elevated blood pressure (Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Sep-Oct., 2015). In a separate trial, hibiscus tea was more effective against mild or moderate hypertension than hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) (Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice, Nov-Dec., 2015). As an additional advantage, the tea did not alter electrolyte balance as HCTZ sometimes does. Although the scientists did not say so, in our opinion hibiscus tea is tastier and far more pleasant to swallow than a pill.

What Else Can You Do?

Some readers have found ingenious ways to combine hibiscus tea with other remedies to bring their blood pressure down. You can read about that here.

In addition to this lovely red tea, there are other beverages that may also help control blood pressure, including beet juice, grape juice, kefir (fermented milk) and pomegranate juice. We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment so you can learn more about these and other non-drug approaches to combating hypertension.

Revised 5/12/16

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  1. Marie
    South Carolina

    Wow. I have tried other natural remedies for high blood pressure and perhaps they have not worked so well because I found it hard to be consistent using them. But I now fill up my water bottle with water, put a stainless steel tea brewer in it filled with hibiscus tea leaves and leave it in about 20 minutes (this is for cold brew). Add a few ice cubes–it’s hot here in South Carolina–and am ready to go. I can’t believe the drop in my blood pressure. It was between 135/80 to as high as 150/80 even with blood pressure meds. Now it it typically 116-120 over 69. Best ever solution for my high blood pressure!

  2. Kevin
    Reston VA

    I have heart disease for genetic reasons, and my bp is typically 95/60. Despite my low bp, my doctor put me on a “prophylactic” metoprolol, so I was walking around dizzy. I’m off it now, and feel improved. Tired of reading articles about “controlling” blood pressure when what the author means is lowering blood pressure. If you mean lowering, say lowering. Be specific. I need something to control my bp by raising it. A salty snack will work for now.

  3. Beverly

    I read that Hibiscus tea is not good for someone with kidney disease. Is this true?

  4. Cindy M. Black
    Seattle, WA

    I try to drink hibiscus tea every night before bed. I toss in a good splotz of apple cider vinegar and about a tablespoon or so of tart cherry extract, then add a small amt of stevia to counteract the vinegar. FABULOUS! So the tea helps with BP, the vinegar helps control blood sugar and keeps the weight off, and the tart cherry is a great anti-inflammatory AND helps one sleep soundly. To top it off, the concoction tastes kinda like a spicy port wine, so it’s a great nightcap.

    I use Bigelow’s cranberry-hibiscus teabags ( there are probably other brands as well). I make a big pot of the stuff and keep it in the fridge… and before heating the water up, I throw in a fairly big handful of dried hibiscus flowers which you can buy at any good bulk-foods section of any big grocery store. I end up with a very strong and dark-red hibiscus tea, and then add water as needed. Soo delicious!

  5. Barb
    Albany, NY

    I got this tea to help with blood pressure. After drinking one cup per day for two days, I had such diarrhea, I was sick! I am extremely sensitive to laxatives and have had this reaction before. I was told it was due to the expulsion of potassium from my body. I had to take two potassium supplements to regain ‘balance.’ I have read some research on hibiscus tea where two of the comments mentioned having diarrhea so bad that the women, who were pregnant, attributed the loss of their pregnancies to hibiscus. I see Hibiscus tea for sale in places such as Walmart and other supermarkets. Maybe it will work for you, but I felt absolutely terrible after drinking the tea. Washing out potassium and magnesium from your body can’t be good for blood pressure. Just be careful with it. It’s not as innocuous as one might think!

  6. vilma a. d.

    I’m 55 my b/p is 150/90. And had headache every afternoon and had heart disease. does taking hisbiscus okay even if I’m taking drugs for heart?

  7. Kahleen

    If you live in upstate NY – Wegmans’ Food Markets – Organic section

  8. AOW

    Does anyone have a good source for hibiscus tea?

    • patti

      Hi, Vitacost has loose leaf organic Hibiscus tea very fairly priced.

  9. G.L.

    Shoe means that after drinking the Hibiscus tea her b/p went from 180’s/90 to 125/70 if she doesn’t drink strong coffee, but that after drinking Starbuck’s coffee her b/p rises to 140/73.

  10. Kahleen

    That is the regime that worked for me as well.

  11. Elliot O

    I typically (6 days of 7) do not drink coffee and when I do it almost always is decaffeinated.

  12. Kahleen

    Shoe — what do you mean by your statement “after Starbucks”?

  13. pp

    Just read an article in a recent AARP magazine that said timing of taking BP meds is critical–for people over 65 at least some of the medication should be taken at bedtime. The article gives an explanation, and quotes some Dutch research. Turns out there’s a new area of pharmacology, “Chronotherapy,” and timing of meds can make a difference in their effectiveness. I have started breaking my BPmed in half and taking half at dinner time, and it has meant better control.

  14. shoe

    I started this hyb. tea 2 months ago. My hbp went from 180’s/90 to 125/70 if I don’t drink strong coffee (140/73) after Starbucks. Oh, I also take 20mg Ritalin twice daily. I am 65 years of age and work everyday. Hate the taste, but I hate meds more. Thank you People’s Pharmacy. My doc used to classify me as non-compliant, but has tried this herself.

  15. Kahleen

    Do you drink any coffee on the same day you drink the tea? I had to eliminate coffee completely. I drink decaffeinated occasionally.

  16. Elliot O

    I take Lisinopril (20mg) daily and after the first Hibiscus Tea news story that I saw, I tried one cup daily. I let the tea bag seep ten minutes to get the full effect. After almost seven weeks of this, and periodic blood pressure checks, I noticed virtually no change in my blood pressure readings and have discontinued the daily cup of tea.

  17. Joann

    My 85yr old mom had been on meds for hypertension for many years…. now drinks hibiscus tea and her b/p is well controlled.

  18. JB

    I have found out that Hawthorn tea reduces blood pressure tremendously but you have to be very careful in using it. I am under the care of a cardiologist and he has me on two different medications which keep my BP in the safe range. I take one drug in the morning and the other one at night before going to sleep. The first time I drank a cup of Hawthorn tea before going to sleep it had drastic effect on my blood pressure.
    The next morning when I took my blood pressure it was dangerously low. My wife saw that blood pressure reading and immediately declared that I should not take Hawthorn tea anymore. However, I drink one cup of hibiscus tea in the evening and it works mildly on my blood pressure.

  19. paul43

    Has this remedy worked for anyone else?

  20. Kahleen

    This tea worked great for me lowering my blood pressure. I switched from coffee. Coffee seemed to be the thing that was raising my blood pressure. I really hated to give it up and it was hard dealing with the withdrawal headaches, but it was worth it knowing that it was something in my diet that I had control over.

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