More than a beautiful flower, hibiscus is a flowering plant whose benefits and medicinal potential are still being discovered.
Hibiscus has been proven to have various benefits for our health.
Within the body, compounds called free radicals can cause illness and damage cells, and they are also linked to a variety of different diseases. Antioxidants are molecules that can help fight these compounds, and hibiscus contains a large number of antioxidants. Hibiscus can help prevent the damage and diseases that are caused by the buildup of these free radicals within the body. Hibiscus also contains vitamins, like vitamin C, which benefit the body.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Blood pressure refers to the pressure of the blood within the body pushing against artery walls. It is measured both when the heart is beating and when the heart is resting, and blood pressure levels shift throughout the day based on your routine and activities.
Consistent high blood pressure, which is also referred to as hypertension, can increase the risk of developing health problems like heart disease and put you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Hibiscus has shown its potential to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and in a study where the effects of hibiscus tea and a placebo were being tested, participants who were given hibiscus tea had a decrease in their systolic blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure can remove heart strain and keep you healthy.
Lowers Blood Fat Levels
Also known as dyslipidemia, high levels of fat in the blood are not good for the body. Too much fat in the blood can cause buildup along the walls of blood vessels and can plug up arteries. Clogged arteries cause poor blood circulation and can increase the risk of developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke.
In studies where the usage of hibiscus drinks as compared to black tea, the participants who drank hibiscus tea had improved blood fat levels. Hibiscus has been shown to reduce triglycerides and blood cholesterol and those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, though more research is still needed for its potential benefits for the general population.
The liver is one of the most important organs within our body. Not only does it produce bile, a product that carries waste away from the liver, but the liver also filters harmful products from your blood. When the liver can’t function properly, an individual can experience:
- Liver Failure
- Liver Tumors
- Liver Steatosis
- Liver Diseases
Our bodies cannot function or live without a properly working liver. Hibiscus, through studies, has been shown to help the liver work efficiently and promote overall health. It has proven to increase the concentration of drug detoxifying enzymes in the liver and decrease markers of liver damage.
Studies using hibiscus extract have shown that hibiscus has the potential to help with weight loss and protect against obesity. In one study, overweight participants were given either hibiscus extract or a placebo. After the 12 weeks, the participants were found to have reduced body fat, body weight, and body mass index.
Hibiscus contains flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and anthocyanins that help to regulate genes involved in fat digestion and reduce fat cells.
May Help Fight Bacteria
In a test tube study using hibiscus extract, the extract reduced the activity of E. coli, one of the more common strains of bacteria. This reduction in activity shows that hibiscus has the potential to help fight bacterial infections.
Another study used hibiscus extract with eight different strains of bacteria to see its effects; the extract fought the eight strains of bacteria and proved to be just as effective as some of the medications used to treat bacterial infections.
While our bodies have neurotransmitters and chemicals that are anti-inflammatory, inflammation can still be present. Inflammation can cause different illnesses to develop, like asthma, heart disease, and arthritis, as well as various skin conditions like acne. Hibiscus has shown itself to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce and prevent inflammation within the body.
Ways to Take Hibiscus
Hibiscus is good for our health for a number of reasons, and it is available in different forms for us to enjoy.
- Tea: Dried hibiscus buds can be used to make hibiscus tea, though hibiscus tea bags are also available. For those looking for something sweeter, other hibiscus drinks like juices are available.
- Powder: Hibiscus is available as a powder, which can be mixed with water. The powders are made from finely ground plant parts.
- Extract: Concentrated liquid forms of hibiscus are also available from various retailers.
With all of these great health benefits hibiscus offers, why not give it a try?