a cup of hot hibiscus tea, sipping hibiscus tea

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to manage your health risks through your choice of what to eat or drink? It turns out this is not a pipe dream. Elevated blood pressure responds very well to a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and low in red meat and sweet treats. This DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been extensively studied, and more than 400 publications about its effectiveness have been published in medical journals. It is recognized as reducing the risk of coronary artery disease (American Family Physician, June 1, 2016). In addition to the DASH dietary program, a delicious tea made from hibiscus flowers can also help with blood pressure control.

Hibiscus Flowers for Red Tea:

Q. One of my Mexican friends told me about hibiscus tea. They call it “jamaica,” and I get it loose at a Mexican market. It only costs about $4 a pound, and it doesn’t take much to make a cup of tea. It really brought down my blood pressure, and I love the taste.

A. Tea made from the dried flowers of the plant Hibiscus sabdariffa, known as “jamaica” in Mexico, has been reported to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and dangerous oxidation of LDL (Endocrinologia y Nutricion, online Jan. 17, 2014).

A few very preliminary studies have suggested that Hibiscus sabdariffa extracts may be beneficial in fighting obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Materia Socio-Medica, 2013; Food & Function, online Feb. 19, 2014). It is probably too much to expect that drinking hibiscus tea could be slimming, but it certainly seems like a healthful choice and a bright, tangy somewhat tart beverage. It is not difficult to find hibiscus tea; Celestial Seasonings offers several blends with hibiscus under the “Zinger” name.

If you are interested in other non-drug approaches to controlling hypertension, you may wish to review our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. In addition, if you would like more information on how to follow a DASH diet, you will find it in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

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  1. Cindy M. Black
    Seattle, WA

    I love hibiscus tea and drink it every night. I use both the flowers (bought in bulk at any good store) and teabags together (Bigelow Hibiscus-Pomegranite tea). I make it good and strong, sweeten it with Stevia (yummm!) I make a big pot, double or triple strength, and then drink that all week, adding water to the concentrate.

    I can’t say how much it’s lowered my BP, but it does run around 115/75 and that seems pretty good, especially for someone who eats lots of salt.

  2. Joyce

    I dropped my usual BP by about 18 points with 3 cups of Hibiscus Tea daily.
    In summer it is strictly an Iced Drink. Very happy paying the grocery store instead of Pharmacy and no side effects such as lowering Potassium. I did discuss this with my doctor.

  3. Nothern Rebel

    After a silent Heart attack in March of ’13, I was placed on the standard cluster of PX. After a year of drugs I can say I feel worse than I did before. I have stopped taking the Statin drugs and have a marked reduction in muscle aches. I had to stop Lisinopril because of the coughing it produced and switching to Ramipril seems to have the same effect, not as bad though.
    I have decided to slowly stop all of the drugs and will work with my currant Dr or a new one, but alternative Heart treatments will have to be part of my treatment.

  4. jan of raleigh

    I like the tea and am hoping it works to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure. I don’t know how much to drink per day. Any suggestions?
    People’s Pharmacy response: The dose is not completely standardized, but one study used 10 grams of dried flowers daily for the tea. This is about a third of an ounce.

  5. DJ

    I tried hibiscus tea to lower my blood pressure. It worked. However, after about a week I found that it began to have a very strong diuretic effect which became intolerable. The first few days weren’t a problem, but by the end of the week it was a bit too much. The diuretic effect seems to have built up over several days.

  6. ps

    I am taking lisinopril 20-25 mg which does a good job of keeping my blood pressure at 98/80. What would be the procedure to determine if hibiscus tea would do the same job, quit the medication and go on the tea and check your blood pressure daily? If your pressure goes way up, how long would you give the tea to start working before going back on the medication?
    People’s Pharmacy response: It would probably be safer to overlap with the tea and the lisinopril, gradually reducing the dose of lisinopril after several days of overlap, and watching how the blood pressure reacts.

  7. fbl

    My Ethiopian neighbors introduced me to hibiscus tea and it does help! I can’t take the BP meds so between the tea and chiropractic manipulation of C7 I’m doing fine with my blood pressure.

  8. Kahleen

    Hibiscus Tea also helped to lower my blood pressure, after I kicked the coffee habbit (very hard). Then I switched to Saffron Tea which is also helping my psoriasis as well as the Cilantro that I was previously eating without all the preparation.
    Has anyone else had good affects with Saffron Tea?

  9. Carol

    Anything to help improve our healthful without drugs is a great thing to know about! I have tried Red Zinger and Lemon Zinger and wondered why it made me feel better.. Now I know.

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