Hibiscus plants are commonly known for its beautiful flowers, but we might not know about its unique health benefits that people around the world have already used since ancient times.
But have you heard of Hibiscus being used as primary ingredient to make tea?
Hibiscus tea is sometimes called a “sour tea”. But how does it get its bright colour and refreshing taste? The answer is in the red calyces that are used to make hibiscus extract. These red calyces are cup-like structures that have beautiful deep colour and when the petals of the hibiscus flower fall off, the red calyces grow into pods that look like flower buds. This kind of plant was already being grown in the ancient times for its health benefits.
In fact, it is thought that ancient Egyptian pharaohs take the hibiscus tea to maintain the normal body temperature and stay healthy. Also in Iran, the hibiscus tea is used to relieve restlessness and sleep problems. It is definitely more healthier alternative for sleeping pills and far more tasty one.
There are more traditional benefits of the hibiscus tea including the heart’s function, blood pressure and respiratory health support. But recently we have been exploring the metabolic benefits of this delicious tea much further. We found researches that suggests it may support healthy weight. Nowadays as there is so many people fighting with obesity this is certainly a topic to look into.
The hibiscus extract has still been quite unknown in the US, but it will most likely not stay that way since the researches continue to reveal its health potential. Most of that we owe to its high polyphenol content. So why not treat yourself like the Egyptian pharaohs did in the ancient times or next time when you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, the hibiscus tea might just be the answer you’re looking for.
Hibiscus Extract Reduces Obesity, Abdominal Fat and Fatty Liver
Hibiscus sabdariffa extracts (HSE) are known for their metabolic-regulating and liver-protecting potential. In February 2014 we published a research, which showed that obese people between ages 18 to 65 consuming hibiscus extract for 12 weeks had some really interesting results. We also want to share those results with you.
They had significantly reduced their body weight, body mass index (BMI), bodyfat and also waist-to-hip ratio. That is pretty impressive, isn’t it? What makes those results even more exciting is the fact that also HSE lowered serum free fatty acid (FFA). High levels of FFA are associated with obesity and uncontrolled diabetes. That is very remarkable outcome.
There is even more to come. People, who took the hibiscus extract, had improvements in liver steatosis (also known as fatty liver). From this research we conclude that all those benefits described above should be attributed to the polyphenols that the extract contains. We think that HSE could be an adjuvant that prevents obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Still there is a lot of work to be done. It is only the latest study that confirms the anti-obesity effects of hibiscus. In 2007 similar research showed that hibiscus extract significantly reduced body weight gain in obese mice.
5 Reasons Why Hibiscus Extract Is Good For Your Health
Polyphenols are plant compounds that help to prevent different diseases, also have antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Hibiscus extract is a potent source of polyphenols. Researches have shown that hibiscus extract have been used effectively in native medicines for high blood pressure, diabetes and liver disorders. To this day, a variety of studies show that health benefits of hibiscus extract are very impressive and here are 5 main benefits:
- Potential anti-cancer effects. Researches show that polyphenol-rich hibiscus extract induced cell death in human gastric carcinoma cells. It has also induced cell death in human leukemia cells. Makes us wonder, if the hibiscus extract can help to kill cancer cells, what else can it do for your health!
- Antioxidant benefits. Research showed that consuming the hibiscus extract enhanced the systemic antioxidant potential and reduced oxidative stress in the partcipants. We also found a high biotransformation of the ingested HSE polyphenols. That shows that the compounds are in a highly bioavailable form. Meaning that the hibiscus extract can help all the antioxidants in your body help to keep you healthier.
- Kidney stones and liver protection. One study has shown that hibiscus extract has anti-urolithiatic activity. That means it may help to reduce the formation of kidney stones. It has helped to protect the liver against chemically induced damage in fish.
- Diabetes. Hibiscus extract has shown promising results in improving both blood pressure and blood lipid profiles in people suffering from diabetes. That will definitely make living with diabetes a little bit easier.
- Metabolic syndrome. Hibiscus extract has even shown promising results for preventing and trearing metabolic syndrome. One study found that consuming a daily dose of hibiscus extract for one month, resulted in improved glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as improved insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome.
Sounds almost unbelievable that just this special blend of polyphenols can do so much for your health. After researching the hibiscus extract more further and discovering all of its benefits, there aren’t many reasons left, why not to try the hibiscus tea, whether you’re suffering from any of the conditions described above or not.
Hibiscus Tea May Be Even More Beneficial Than Black Tea
Researches show that many of the health benefits that are attributed to tea are mostly thanks to its polyphenols. In mainstream health reporting green and black tea gets most of the attenton, however in reality each tea type has its unique properties due to its special blend of polyphenols. There is also some evidence suggesting that hibiscus tea may even outshine black tea in this department.
There is also a study where people with diabetes were asked to drink either hibiscus tea or black tea twice a day for one month. The hibiscus group had significantly better blood lipid profile while the black tea group did not have.
In similar study, diabetic patients with mild hypertension who drank hibiscus tea had lowered blood pressure level while those who drank black tea actually had an increase. If you are a tea drinker, then why not to try with organic hibiscus tea. Even non-tea-drinkers may want to reconsider for this. Unlike black tea, hibiscus tea is completely caffeine-free. In addition to blood pressure and cholesterol support, the polyphenols in hibiscus tea may also help with the following:
- Helps with the weight control
- Helps to support memory and concentration
- Promotes a healthy heart
- Supports your immune system
- Boosts the effectiveness of vitamin C in the antioxidant network
At the moment there are so many people out there struggling with weight control. Maybe you are one of them or you know someone who is? However, a simple change for most of the people would be replacing sugary beverages with pure water and occasionally have healthy anti-obesity option like hibiscus extract tea. So next time when you are in the food store standing in the tea section wondering, which tea to try next, we strongly suggest to try the hibiscus tea instead of traditional green or black tea. Not only is it good for your health in so many ways, it will also help to keep your body weight in control and furthermore has a refreshing taste.