Hibiscus Tea Benefits Blood Pressure

Hibiscus tea is both delicious and one of the most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure. Studies show Hibiscus tea is as effective for lowering blood pressure as some prescribed antihypertensive drug treatments.

Hibiscus tea for blood pressure

Hibiscus tea is made from the fleshy red calyx surrounding the flower buds of Hibiscus sabdariffa, a tropical plant known as Roselle.

Hibiscus tea is made by infusing the dried sepals and calyces in boiling water for around 10 minutes until the water turns a rich red. It can be drunk hot or chilled and is a popular, refreshing drink known as agua de Jamaica or sour tea. Hibiscus tea can be sweetened, but stevia is a better choice than adding sugar.

Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, fruit acids, antioxidant polyphenols and potassium.

The blood pressure lowering action of Hibiscus tea is mostly due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on blood vessel walls to improve their elasticity and ability to dilate.

Hibiscus tea also has a diuretic action which flushes excess fluid and sodium/salt from the body, and inhibits angiotensin converting enzyme in the same way as ACE inhibitor drugs.

Hibiscus tea versus captopril

The blood pressure lowering effects of Hibiscus tea were compared against the ACE inhibitor drug, captopril, in 75 people with untreated hypertension.

One group drank Hibiscus sabdariffa tea (made using 10g dry calyx) every day before breakfast, while another group were started on captopril (25 mg twice a day).

After 4 weeks treatment, blood pressure in both groups was reduced by an average of 15.32/ 11.29 mmHg – there were no significant differences between the treatments suggesting that hibiscus tea is as effective in reducing high blood pressure as the prescribed drug, captopril.

Hibiscus tea versus lisinopril

Another study, involving 171 people with high blood pressure, compared the effects of an Hibiscus tea (250mg anthocyanin extracts dissolved in water) drunk daily before breakfast, against the ACE inhibitor drug, lisinopril (10mg).

In those taking the hibiscus tea, blood pressure fell by 17.14/11.97 mmHg, while those on lisinopril say their blood pressure decreased by 23.31/15.39mHg.

While lisinopril did produce a greater fall in blood pressure, the results achieved by drinking hibiscus tea were almost as impressive.

Blood tests also confirmed a significant ACE inhibition with the hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus tea versus a thiazide diuretic

The blood pressure lowering effects of Hibiscus tea were also compared to those of the thiazide diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide, in 75 people with mild to moderate hypertension.

One group drank hibiscus tea every morning before breakfast, one group were started on hydrochlorothiazide (25mg) while a third group took placebo. After 4 weeks, both the hydrochlorothiazide and the hibiscus tea reduced blood pressure significantly more than placebo.

Overall, hibiscus tea was more effective than the thiazide diuretic in treating mild to moderate hypertension, and the effects showed a longer duration of action after treatment was stopped.

hibiscus tea hypertension hibiscus tea blood pressure

Hibiscus tea for high blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes

People with diabetes often develop high blood pressure, and this can be difficult to treat. The effects of hibiscus sour tea were compared with black tea in 60 people with both diabetes and untreated hypertension.

Half were asked to drink hibiscus tea, and half were asked to drink black tea twice a day for one month.

In those drinking hibiscus tea, blood pressure decreased by an average of -21.7/1.1 mmHg, while in those drinking black tea, systolic blood pressure increased by an average of +8.7/3.3 mmHg.

Have you tried hibiscus tea for blood pressure? 

The evidence is overwhelming that this refreshing drink, used as a traditional herbal medicine for hypertension, is effective at lowering a raised blood pressure.

Overall, the pooled results from five clinical trials, involving 390 people, confirm that drinking hibiscus sour tea can lower blood pressure by an average of 7.58 /3.53 mmHg.

Have you tried it? What did you think?

If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is important to maintain good control.

Click here for advice on choosing a blood pressure monitor to use at home.

See my recommended upper arm blood pressure monitors.

Image credit: popperipopp/wikimedia; mbopar/wikimedia; mokkie/wikimedia; berries.com/flickr;

About DrSarahBrewer

Dr Sarah Brewer MSc (Nutr Med), MA (Cantab), MB, BChir, RNutr, MBANT, CNHC qualified from Cambridge University with degrees in Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery. After working in general practice, she gained a master's degree in nutritional medicine from the University of Surrey. Sarah is a registered Medical Doctor, a registered Nutritionist and a registered Nutritional Therapist. She is an award winning author of over 60 popular self-help books and a columnist for Prima magazine.

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8 thoughts on “Hibiscus Tea Benefits Blood Pressure

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi, It depends on the quality of the tea brand. If good quality pure organic roselle sepals are used, and not mixed with other ingredients, they will work. If the hibiscus is old, broken and mixed with other ingredients to make a flavoured teabag then it will be less effective. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Roger, Hibiscus lowers blood pressure so it’s important to start with only a small amount of weak tea and to increase slowly to ensure your blood pressure does not go too low. If your blood pressure is not well controlled, this may improve your readings. If in doubt talk to your doctor. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • G.k.

    I use Lipton green tea,now I ,ll try hibiscus sour tea.in india where available or only amazon will supply.inform me please.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi G.K., Hibiscus tea should be widely available in India as the hibiscus Roselle plant is widely distributed. According to Wiki, it is called “gongura” by Telugu speaking people from India. Hope that helps. Sarah B

  • Denise

    Is hibiscus tea as effective for treating high blood pressure in older adults close to 90? Also should a person on blood pressure medication drink hibiscus tea? Are there any negative impacts?

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Denise, as a ‘food’ hibiscus tea is enjoyed by people of all ages in some countries. If you are on medication it’s always wise to check with your doctor first before taking any medication. If blood pressure is not well controlled, then using hibiscus tea may help to avoid adding in another drug. If your doctor agrees, then start with a small ‘dose’ by not brewing the tea for long, and monitor blood pressure closely. Best wishes, Sarah B