Hibiscus Sabdariffa, also known as roselle, is a herb that originates from plants found in the eastern pacific tropics. It has been used for years in countries such as India and Malaysia for both cooking and medicinal purposes. Until recently, many of roselle’s supposed health properties were questionable because of lack of scientific research backing the claims. However, scientists are now just beginning to understand how this simple flower functions to provide the body with a host of nutritional benefits.
One of roselle’s best documented features is its ability lower blood pressure. It is so potent in this regard, that a study conducted by Tufts University in 2010 concluded that individuals with mild hypertension and not taking any medication could reduce their blood pressure simply by drinking a cup of hibiscus tea daily. An earlier study published in the scientific journal Phytomedicine compared an antihypertension medication (captopril) directly with this herbal beverage. Participants in the experiment were separated into two groups, with some being asked to drink a cup of hibiscus tea before breakfast, while others took 25 mg of captopril twice a day. The result was that 79% of those who drank the herbal remedy saw at least a ten point reduction in their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number displayed in a reading), while 81% of those who took medication saw the same sort of change. While hibiscus sabdariffa has other health properties as well that we will cover, few of them are as powerful or well researched as its ability to reduce hypertension.
A less studied, but still promising feature roselle has displayed is its ability to control blood glucose levels in the body. It is also thought to lower the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the body, making one less susceptible to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Some preliminary research suggests that hibiscus tea can help with weight loss since it slows down the rate of absorption by carbohydrates in the body. Finally, this herbal remedy has long been used to treat chronic coughs and sore throats. It’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it effective in fighting off minor illnesses, while also providing relief to any swollen parts of the body.
Aside from all its researched health benefits, roselle is known to be one of the most antioxidant rich foods in the world. In a study comparing over two hundred drinks, scientist found that hibiscus tea had the highest antioxidant content, scoring 138 overall. For reference, the next highest drink was matcha green tea, which scored 100 in the same experiment. As many of our readers may know, antioxidants are crucial because they prevent damage from free radicals to cells in the body. When this occurs, it is thought that many serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes are more likely to develop.
Perhaps hibiscus tea’s best feature is that it has numerous health benefits, and no currently known negative side effects. We highly encourage that our readers add this herbal drink to their daily diet, whether they are diabetic or not. Its nutritional value is hard to match, and deservedly earns being called a “superfood”.
Do You Want to learn How To Make Hibiscus Tea? It is very simple, check our video below. Or read our article of Hibiscus Flower Tea