Also known as sour tea, sorrel, or flor de Jamaica, hibiscus tea is a popular beverage consumed worldwide. Hibiscus flowers are rich in two antioxidants (anthocyanins and quercetin) that help protect your body from free radicals — harmful molecules that cause oxidative damage to your cells, which results in signs of aging and disease.* Anthocyanins also contribute to the tea’s deep red color and have anti-inflammatory properties.*
In addition, hibiscus can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure via diuretic action.* If in search of a weight loss aid, hibiscus tea might do the trick.* This is due to its laxative action and ability to inhibit amylase production (reduces blood sugar levels and starch absorption).* Hibiscus calyces may ameliorate iron deficiency anemia, and thanks to its vitamin C content, provide an immune system boost (thus combating the flu and common cold).*
Some other benefits of hibiscus include:*
- Toxin cleaner. Hibiscus is antioxidant rich, which can cleanse your body from harmful and unwanted toxins.
- Lowers cholesterol. Hibiscus tea is very effective in lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels by helping prevent plaque buildup on the inside of arteries.
- Mood regulator. During menstrual cycles, women undergo a lot of hormonal changes, and can also experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) prior to menstruation. Hibiscus can help regulate hormone generation, thus serving as a potential PMS remedy. Hibiscus also contains antidepressant properties which promote feelings of calm and serve as an anxiolytic. Studies indicate that it may reduce symptoms associated with depression, like fatigue, irritability, and listlessness.
- Energy booster. Hibiscus tea re-hydrates the body, which helps with revitalization. Its high iron levels also offer an energy and focus boost.
- Diabetes. Hibiscus tea and extract have shown promise for improving both blood pressure and blood lipid profiles in diabetics and those with other metabolic disorders.