Thursday, February 16, 2012
Healthy, Healing Hibiscus Tea
As some of you may know, I work in a health food store. One of my favorite things about working there is to tell people about alternatives to expensive, chemical-laden products ranging from skin care to pain killers.
So many healthy alternatives can be found by simply buying bulk herbs & spices & making your own teas or even tinctures. One of the most popular ~ & effective ~ bulk/tea purchases you can use is Hibiscus; not only does it taste great (even without honey) but it's probably the most effective, non-prescription way to lower your blood pressure. In my opinion, the best (freshest & cheapest) way to purchase dried hibiscus flowers to make your own tea is to buy it in bulk. Put 3-5 ts (depending upon your taste) in a tea ball & steep in a cup or mug for 5-10 minutes. (Try filling a jug w/water, filling a tea ball w/dried hibiscus flowers & making some sun tea. It's good hot or cold.) You will probably find that there is no need to add sweetener.
The current Spring 2012 issue of Mother Earth News has a fantastic article about it. Lots of great information & explanations in non-medical language. :-) Here's a part of it . . .
Recent studies show hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure as effectively as some standard hypertension drugs can. hibiscus is widely consumed around the world as a ruby-colored, lemony beverage (it's the main ingredient in Red Zinger tea). Hibiscus is safe &, unlike most blood pressure drugs, rarely causes side effects . . .
Hibiscus Has been used to treat high blood pressure in both African & Asian traditional medicine. In 1996, researchers in Nigeria confirmed this age-old wisdom by showing that hibiscus flowers reduced blood pressure in laboratory animals. Soon after, researchers . . . showed the same benefit in people. After measuring the blood pressure of 54 hypertensive adults, the researchers gave them 10 oz of either black tea or hibiscus tea for 12 days. Average blood pressure decreased slightly in the black tea group, but decreased a significant 10% in the hibiscus group.
Since then, several additional studies have confirmed this effect, including two that tested hibiscus head-to-head against standard blood pressure medications . . .
How does hibiscus lower blood pressure? Recent research suggests a combination of reasons: It has diuretic properties, it opens the arteries, & it appears to act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which means it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels. In addition, hibiscus boosts immune function & provides valuable antioxidants.
Dose recommendations vary from about 1 ts of dried "flowers" per cup of boiling water up to the 5 ts used in one of the studies. Steep 5 to 10 minutes . . .
I enjoy Hibiscus tea . . . just "because;" you do not need to have high blood pressure to enjoy it . . . but if you have an issue with high blood pressure, you may want to try it for yourself. It is a hot seller at the store so it must be working for a lot of people.
Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><