The People's Perspective on Medicine

How to Lower Blood Pressure with Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea (made from Hibiscus flowers) has a pleasantly tart flavor. There is now scientific evidence that it can lower blood pressure.

Blood pressure control is essential to maintain good kidney health and reduce the possibility of a stroke or heart attack. But it can be difficult to find blood pressure medication that does not have unpleasant side effects. You and your doctor might have to use trial and error to find a medicine you can tolerate. But if blood pressure is only moderately high, could you lower it with hibiscus tea or other kitchen remedies?

Using Hibiscus Tea to Control Blood Pressure:

Q. At my last physical my blood pressure was 158/90, the highest reading I’ve ever had. (I chalked that up to white coat hypertension). It had been running 135/82 or so, which still concerned me. I bought a high-end BP monitor that keeps records on my smartphone.

I started drinking hibiscus tea, 20 ounces iced per day, minimum. After 6 months my readings average out to 109/71.

I don’t add salt when I cook, and I have also started to avoid food with added sodium. I’m sure that has helped as well. I read about the DASH Diet online and found it very enlightening. I’m a 54-year-old menopausal woman who exercises regularly.

Hibiscus as a Blood Pressure Remedy:

A. Hibiscus tea is made from the petals of the bright-red flowers of Hibiscus sabdariffa. The taste is tart and many people find it pleasant.

Hibiscus tea seems to act as an ACE inhibitor, similar to the blood pressure drug lisinopril. It was tested head-to-head with lisinopril in a small study and found to be about equally effective (Indian Journal of Pharmacology, Sep-Oct., 2015).

The same clinical team found that it worked better than hydrochlorothiazide, a standard blood pressure medication (Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice, Nov-Dec., 2015). In another recent comparative study by these investigators, hibiscus tea improved markers of kidney function at least as well as lisinopril did (Nwachukwu et al, Journal of Physiological Science, Jan. 2017). The subjects in this trial had mild to moderate hypertension.

People taking statin medication should probably not drink hibiscus tea, however. Research suggests that this lovely red beverage can reduce the concentration of simvastatin and might interfere with its effectiveness (Showande et al, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, online Sep. 18, 2017).

Controlling Blood Pressure:

We discuss the phenomenon of white coat hypertension and the proper way to measure blood pressure in our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. In it, we included many other non-drug approaches such as chocolate, beet juice, grape juice and pomegranate juice. Exercise, meditation and slow breathing can also bring blood pressure down.

You might find that a combination of these remedies can make a difference. Be sure to keep good records of your blood pressure and discuss your approach with your physician. Not everyone will be able to control blood pressure without drugs, but adding the DASH diet and an exercise regimen to medication will probably help.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I wish someone would update this article – what brand tea? Bags or loose? How much? How often? How long to get results? Many thanks from many of us I’m sure.

Judy – I drink 3 cups a day. Morning/afternoon/night. A brand called “Republic of Tea” Hibiscus with blueberry. They are tea bags. I heat a cup of water, and let that bag steep for about 15 minutes. Lowers my BP and relieves chest tightness.

The tea has the potential to make you groggy/dizzy, but I find that usually wears off within a half hour or so after each cup I drink. Can also cause headaches in some, did for me but that wore off after a short time. Be prepared to be near a restroom, as it acts as a diuretic! Hope this helps!

Has anyone ever tried the Dried Hibiscus Flower capsules? I buy them from a reputable online company, and each one is 400 mg. I wanted to just drink 2 cups of the tea a day and then take 2 capsules to replace the third cup. Does anyone know anything about this, or ever heard of it? I would like to know:
1) is this a sensible strategy
2) how many of the capsules should I be taking?
The one thing that seems frustrating in this topic is that the dosages are not very precise.
Thank you all. Any advice is welcome.

My main reason for reading this page was to find out about dosage of the hibiscus teas. It seems that there is a question about how long
to steep the tea.

This may be important because various components of the tea probably have different solubilities, but I don’t want to waste time in the brewing.

I drink hibscus tea each day (take the leaves and steep them overnight). But I don’t like the taste. What can I mix with it? Cranberry juice is too pricey. Any other ideas? Thanks.

I make lemonade Then soak hibiscus tea bags….it makes the lemonade a pretty pink color
I keep a glass pitcher in the fridge at all times ….NEVER drink sodas or sugar drinks….one cup of coffee each morning …NO sugar
My blood pressure has lowered considerably …diastolic is 65-70 range and consistent
I had no idea that hibiscus is reputed to lower high blood pressure
When I went to the dentist ,I discovered I had high blood pressure The diastolic was 120
I was shocked
I walk a mile a day and have THREE RESCUED ADORABLE dogs ,which lesson my stress

Trader Joes has very cheap (Apx Quart for less than $3) Cranberry Juice and it is very good!

This conversation is mind-blowing….I have high blood pressure and started taking Lisinopril (5mg) and Amlodipine Besylate (5mg) a year ago with good results…200/90 convinced me that I had a problem. My doctor has resisted ANY discussion of natural remedies as he monitors my liver and kidneys for side-effects….just found out about hibiscus tea last night…I will let you know!

I’m curious to know what exactly constitutes Hibiscus Tea? Is it just Hibiscus and at what concentration?

If hibiscus tea works like lisinopril. would it be reasonable to assume that one should avoid it if one cannot take lisinopril? My wife took lisinopril twice at the urging of her physician, and I found her passed out in the kitchen and bathroom each time, and violently sick to her stomach each time, with diarrhea, and we concluded that she should not take lisinopril.

Yet the doctor seems to think that lisinopril is safe. She now refuses to take any blood pressure medication, since the doctor thinks that lisinopril is the mildest of the ACE inhibitors. On the other hand, her blood pressure was 180/78 a week ago, when he had our annual physicals, and we are concerned about this. Are there any other foods or beverages which have the effect of a mild anti-hypertensive and might be safe to try?

I have always liked Hibiscus Tea but found that most brands have other tea stuff mixed in them. Not bad in it’s self but I wanted pure Hibiscus Tea for all the benefits. I found some at Walmart don’t you know. It is 100% Hibiscus and it is great. The brand name is Tadin and it is in bags too. (They probably have had it for years but I never looked). The tea color is very bright red and quite tart so I put one tea spoon of Honey in it.

It sounds like her systolic is more of a problem than her diastolic. I got very good systolic results with unsweetened Montmorency tart cherry juice.

I pick flowers fresh and make my tea, as we do not have hibiscus tea available to buy in South Africa

I for got to add on my post about Tadin Hibiscus tea. It is caffeine free. Caffeine is something I cannot tolerate. It gives me heart palpitations and skipped beats.
That makes Tadin Hibiscus tea even better.

I started drinking Hibiscus tea sometimes iced and other times hot about 2 cups a day. Occasionally my BP comes down to 116/70 from 226/90. I am still on my medication metoprolol and Losartan, because if Hibiscus results in a sustainable lowering of my BP, I then like to consult my cardiologist. However, for now I like to maintain both. My question is how Hibiscus is recommended as far as dose per day?

Some research projects have used 150mg/kg hibiscus extract per day. The disadvantage is that you need to know how many mg/ml or per ounce are in your tea. You also need to know your own weight in kg.

Perhaps more practical is the dose of three cups of hibiscus tea per day. Here’s the link:

Has anyone ever tried Tazo Passion Tango tea for this purpose? Wondering if it would have the same effect on blood pressure as the others mentioned here. Thanks!

Hi Michel:

I started brewing loose hibiscus leaves 6/21 (8 days ago). BP 160/90 (stroke range). Today BP 120/78. Let it steep all day. I refrigerate it and drink it cold with nothing added. I was diagnosed with high BP atrial fibrillation — both have disappeared. I highly recommend it. High BP runs in my family and killed my 62 y/o brother 3 years ago. My Mom took BP medication and it killed her kidneys over a period of 40 years causing her death. Hope this helps you. I definitely believe!!! Make sure you are also getting a good source of potassium. I found V8 juice (low sodium worked great). Tomatoes are higher in potassium than O.J. or banana. However, doing all three I believe is the trick. All the best! BTW I have over 40 years of medical experience – including surgical suite. I know the body inside and OUT!

Originally from Seattle, I started drinking hibiscus when I moved to LA because it was so easily available in Hispanics stores down here and I wanted to get off Lisinopril.
I drink about 3 cups a day. Seems to work and I like the taste.
I’m not sure if it’s related, but I get warm sensations in my groin (I’m a guy), when I drink this tea, and I heard it can increase circulation in that anatomy of women…….not sure if it’s related.
I read somewhere that for blood pressure, drink 3 cups a day, with about 2 grams of dried tea leaves for each cup.

Should I continue drinking hibiscus tea even if readings are at normal?

Where do you buy leaves or what makes you think leaves are better than tea bags? You could get like whole sale organic packages with decent price at amazon.


I started drinking hibiscus tea and shortly developed the same irritating cough as when I was taking lisinopril. As with lisinopril when I stopped drinking the tea, the cough was gone.

I’ve had cough since I began hibiscus tea a week ago.

Almost forgot to mention! Yes, my blood pressure has gone down, from ~135/80 to ~108/65, and I didn’t even know it was due to the hibiscus tea.

I just bought hibiscus and started drinking it as a tea hoping to get off lisinopril. I started lisinopril while having pneumonia so I wasn’t sure about it causing the cough. Have you found any working alternatives? My HP was 191/137, I know I need to get it down.

I use the Bigelow “Cranberry Hibiscus” tea…. it comes in teabags. It’s got a lot of hibiscus in it, and even better, it’s a brand that Bartell’s regularly puts on sale for $1.69 per 20-teabag package!! Which makes it a lot cheaper than the Stash teas. Just for good measure, I ALSO add the hibiscus flowers, which you can find in any good bulk foods section.

I make a whole pot at once, which means about 10 cran-hibiscus teabags, about 2 heaping tablespoons of hibiscus flowers, maybe a couple of “spicy” teabags like Stash’s Double-Spice Chai” or Bigelow’s “Constant Comment…” (these are black teas). Then if I’m feeling frisky, I might add a few cloves and some dried orange zest. I let it all steep a LONG time.

All this makes a deep-red, spicy and DELIGHTFUL pot of condensed tea which I then use throughout the week. Add about 1 part water to 3 parts tea, or more water if desired, at the time you use it. It’s good as-is, but some Stevia in it is pretty divine too.

ALSO, (as I’ve written before), if you add a good thick splash of apple cider vinegar, maybe a touch of lemon, some pomegranite juice and/or some liquid tart-cherry extract, and then the Stevia, you’ve got a pretty potent and delicious non-alcoholic beverage that really does taste alcoholic — but instead is absolutely loaded with health-promoting ingredients. CHEERS! — from Cindy
PS, in case anybody’s wondering, of course there’s no caffeine in hibiscus tea.

I wish someone would comment on the dried beet powder that you can add to your drink. It is really being promoted now. Are there any studies out there?

Your write in said she drinks 20 ounces iced hibiscus tea a day, for her high blood pressure. Would drinking it hot work & how many 8 oz. cups a day would you suggest? Also, does the tea have caffeine in it?
Thank you I hope I get a reply, because I would like to try the tea.


Armineh ~ I started taking beet root capsules just 8 days ago. I take one with each meal and also several other times a day. I don’t know if this would be better for you or not. I know the actual juice would be upsetting for me as well. I am seeing good results with my blood pressure, and as a bonus my barometric headaches have been gone for 8 days! After more than 20 years of those headaches, I am thrilled!

I drink Lemon Zinger by Celestial Seasonings tea – 2 cups in the morning. The first ingredient in it is Hibiscus. I’m not sure how much of it is in there, since there are other ingredients as well. Hope this helps.

There is a hispanic market in my area, which there may not be in your area, where I purchase: Te De Jamacia(Hibiscus Tea) for
2.99 a box of 24 herbal tea bags. I tried another brand..Stash Tea from Sprouts Market which was $2.oo more. It was labeled Wild Rasberry Hibiscus Tea. After I used it with stomach pain and bladder pain, I read the ingredients in very small print…lemongrass, hosehips, orange peel, licorice root, raspberry flavor. It did not agree with me. Licorice can raise blood pressure. Another brand, Traditional Medicinals has some of their teas in the markets or can be ordered online. They have a new one with rosehips and hibiscus. I have not tried this one. In researching hibiscus…it is diuretic and a mild laxative, which I don’t happen to need…everything I eat goes right through me. Some people might benefit from the hibiscus. Research everything that you are going to use. Good luck in your search.

I bought one pound of dried hibiscus flowers on Amazon and the bag is huge. I make my tea from that—bring a large pot of water (5 qts) to boil, turn off the heat, put in 1/2 cup of the dried flowers, cover and steep. I let this sit for awhile, then strain the tea into a beverage container with a lid and refrigerate. My husband likes to add a little orange juice to his, but I like the natural tart flavor, so drink it as is. My blood pressure is usually good, but had started to creep up, so I wanted to forestall having to take any meds (I’m 67). My husband has been on BP meds for a number of years, so we’re trying to bring his down so he can stop the meds. Still too early to tell if this is helping him, but I took my BP this morning and it was 115 over 75.

I add a couple green tea bags to 4 hibiscus tea bags in 6 cups boiling water 5 minutes. Then I add 1 cup pomegranate juice and chill. Wonderful, love the taste. Sometimes I add a drizzle of honey also.

Thank you for these interesting and helpful articles about natural health remedies. I did use your suggested beet juice for a while, and experienced a big blood pressure drop. However, every time I drank the juice, I felt nauseated. Then, I developed stomach ache. When I went for my regular upper endoscopy test, the doctor told me that I have inflation of the stomach. Could the beat juice have caused it? Is there anything I can add to the above juice so that I will not feel like throwing up every time I drink beet juice? I am going to try your suggested hibiscus tea. Could you please tell me which brand is a good one to buy or order? I love your helpful suggestions and so happy to have discovered your site.

Finding hibiscus tea: A number of places on line, but the Celestial Seasonings “Zinger” teas all have it. I enjoy a hot cup in the am and a cold glass in the afternoon. I find 1 teabag will make about 48 oz.

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