Health Benefits of Hibiscus Sabdariffa
Hibiscus Sabdariffa is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia and North Africa noted for its large and colorful flowers. As such, the plant is now cultivated in tropical and semi-tropical regions throughout the world. Because of its distribution, hibiscus may be referred to as Flor de Jamaica (Mexico), wanjo (Africa), sorrel (Caribbean) and most commonly elsewhere as roselle. Hibiscus flowers are usually added to tea blends or used to flavor various alcoholic beverages, including certain beers.
In the kitchen, hibiscus is delicious when tossed into fruit salads, used to garnish ice cream, thrown into tart and pie fillings, and blended into jams and jellies. This nutritious plant even makes up a popular side dish when served with ground peanuts in regions of Africa. When steeped into an infusion, it’s transformed into a tart-tasting tea that is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. This tea is often sipped to relieve coughs and treat colds; it is also highly regarded as an appetite suppressant, a diuretic, a hangover reliever and a circulation booster. However, its most valuable benefit may be in its role for cardiovascular health.
Recent studies show that hibiscus tea can naturally lower blood pressure as effectively as some standard hypertension drugs. This isn’t brand-new information, as hibiscus has been used to treat high blood pressure in both African and Asian traditional medicine. In a clinical trial performed in 2004 and published in the journal Phytomedicine, hibiscus tea lowered the blood pressure of people with hypertension. In fact, it was as effective as the popular prescription medication captopril.
Similarly, in a study presented to the American Heart Association in 2008, researchers found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea a day lowered blood pressure by as much as 13.2 percent in pre- and mildly hypertensive adults. Researchers have a few possible explanations for this. Hibiscus is a natural diuretic, it opens the arteries, and it may act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, meaning that it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels.
While more research is needed, many experts believe that incorporating hibiscus tea into a daily diet will prove beneficial for hypertensive patients.
Hibiscus remains a popular herbal remedy in countries throughout the world. As research continues, it may become more widely accepted as an effective medical treatment.
Where to buy? Please visit JK Tea Shop.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karina Garcia is sales manager of JK Tea Shop, authentic Chinese Loose Leaf tea supplier, for more information, please visit our website at: jkteashop.com