Heart Healthy Tea
You only need to drink two cups of the Hibiscus Blossom tea each day to support your cardiovascular system. Hibiscus flowers have long been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of conditions, but today the flower is most commonly used to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and provide vitamin C and antioxidants to help maintain the structure of the blood vessels.
Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure by slowing down the production of the hormones which constrict the blood vessels, so the vessels stay open keeping blood pressure low. If you have low blood pressure hibiscus tea is best avoided as it may cause your blood pressure to go lower than is healthy. Please note that hibiscus tea cannot be used to treat high blood pressure in pregnancy. Hibiscus tea has been known to initiate menstruation in some people, and during pregnancy, this may cause miscarriage.
Both animal and human studies have shown that as little as two cups of hibiscus tea each day can reduce blood cholesterol levels within a month, this is comparative to many mainstream pharmaceutical cholesterol lowering medications.
In someone with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, there is usually a build-up of plaque (hardened cholesterol) on the artery walls, this builds up as well as long-term high blood pressure can damage the integrity of the vessel walls. The high vitamin C and antioxidant concentration of hibiscus tea help to repair and maintain the vessels. Vitamin C is necessary for the repair of any damage in the body as well as the artery walls, and the antioxidants can help to prevent further damage in the body.
Hibiscus Blossom tea is sometimes also called ‘sour tea’ this is because of its slightly sour citrus flavour. It can definitely be described as tart, so you can add honey to increase the sweetness. You can also try adding spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger depending on your taste, or mix with fresh mint. Enjoy hot or cold.
Words on Wellness by Jessica Gilijam-Brown
New Zealand based Holistic Nutritionist (BSc) @wellnessbyjessica