a cup of hot hibiscus tea, sipping hibiscus tea

Does your doctor frown over your blood pressure? Sometimes blood pressure is higher in the office than at home. (This is called “white-coat hypertension.”) But if your pressure is starting to climb even when you aren’t sitting in the doctor’s office, you may wish to take action to bring it down. Prompt action might help you avoid prescribed antihypertensive medicine. Perhaps you could start by sipping hibiscus tea.

Husband Lowered Blood Pressure Sipping Hibiscus Tea:

Q. My husband’s blood pressure was creeping up when I read your article on drinking hibiscus tea to lower blood pressure. He has been drinking three cups of Tazo Passion tea with hibiscus every day since then and his blood pressure has gone back to the normal range!

Thank you so much. It’s great to be able to avoid a medication. I shared this info with his doctor; she said she wasn’t familiar with it and wanted the article, as she too is interested in non-pharmaceutical fixes when ever possible.

Nondrug Alternatives for Blood Pressure Control:

A. We’re delighted that your husband’s doctor is interested in evidence-based nondrug alternatives. Hibiscus has a long history as a folk remedy, but there is substantial research on its ability to help control blood pressure (Al Disi, Anwar & Eid, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Jan. 19, 2016).

This lovely red flower works in part by making blood vessels more flexible and by blocking a compound called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). That means sipping hibiscus tea works somewhat like popular blood pressure pills such as lisinopril (Nwachukwu et al, Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Sep-Oct. 2015). In fact, a small study found that it has comparable effectiveness.

Anyone who would like to know more about other nondrug approaches may find our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment helpful.

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  1. Diane
    San Francisco

    Good advice. Need help on plaque built in my aorta. Where can I find suggestions?

    • Terry Graedon

      Some experts recommend a Mediterranean diet to reverse plaque.

  2. Nancy

    this is something to look at

  3. JG
    Toronto Ontario

    I am a 71-year-old woman and have had very high blood pressure for about 10 years. I get unpleasant side effects from medications (and I’ve probably been on most). Just offhand: coughing until I vomit; swelling of face and/or throat, sometimes ankles; insomnia; constipation; etc., etc. To say nothing of falling-down dizziness and extreme fatigue.

    I’ve seen various doctors and a cardiologist, who have told me that I just have to live with the side effects. They have nothing else to offer.

    In my desperate attempt to find natural alternatives I’ve tried many things, but nothing much worked until I discovered hibiscus tea. Three cups a day brought my systolic number down by almost 30 points.

    There’s a big problem for me, though – hibiscus tea gives me the most terrible insomnia. I mean I’m still wide awake at 7 a.m., and melatonin at bedtime doesn’t help.

    It’s not a coincidence. I tried going on, then off, the hibiscus several times. I always get the same insomnia effect, but start sleeping again a few days after I’ve gone off.

    I’ve searched the Internet but can find no one else who has had this experience or any explanation for it.

  4. Magda S.

    I really appreciate the information about lowering BP naturally. Do you have any suggestions for natural ways to remove plaque that is already built up in the arteries?

  5. TERRY


  6. John
    Ypsilanti, MI

    You should try it–but if it works for you, don’t stop; your BP is not “cured”, just controlled. I like hibiscus tea, but if I drink a lot of it, I start coughing involuntarily, just as I did with an ACE inhibitor that I had to go off (but not as intensely).

  7. HK

    So I assume if you have been on an ACE, and other drugs, none of which has produced results, there would be no point in drinking this tea.

  8. Bonnie

    Can you drink Hibiscus tea safely while taking an Ace inhibitor?

    • Terry Graedon

      Yes, Bonnie. Monitor your blood pressure to make sure it doesn’t drop too low, but we don’t think there should be a problem.

      • Donna

        Should you titrate down off lisinopril when First starting the tea? Thanks!

        Donna- Florida

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