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The Many Medicinal Uses of Hibiscus

Mike Rothschild

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Hibiscus is a lovely flowering plant that comes in different colors including yellow, white, peach, and most commonly red. Its flowers can grow as wide as 6 inches. The red hibiscus is popularly used for its many medicinal wonders.

Historically, many cultures across the globe used Hibiscus to treat different conditions, and they have continued to do so:In Africa, many people have used Hibiscus tea to relieve constipation and cold symptoms. They have also used it against cancer and liver disease. Egyptians have used Hibiscus tea to aid in lowering body temperature and also to help treat heart and nerve diseases. Europeans have used hibiscus to support upper respiratory health, relieve constipation, and maintain healthy circulation. In other cultures, people have used the leaves to facilitate healing of skin wounds. Some have even used them  for hair care.

The hibiscus found in herbal drinks comes from the pods that form when the flower finishes blooming. However, the hibiscus flower itself can be made into tea when dried. Hibiscus tea has a sourish taste; because of this, some people like to add sugar or honey to the mix.

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Hibiscus Tea and Its Effect on Cholesterol

Studies have been conducted regarding the effects of hibiscus tea on the body’s cholesterol levels. In 2014, clinical trials showed an increase in good cholesterol after consuming hibiscus tea or extract.  Although more studies are needed to prove this effect, it has already been established that hibiscus contributes to the good results in cholesterol levels.

Hibiscus and High Blood Pressure Prevention

In 2010, it was found out through a study that drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure of people who were at risk for high blood pressure. The participants in the six-week study were instructed to take 8 ounces of hibiscus tea daily throughout the duration. A significant decrease in the systolic blood pressure was noted in the participants who took the hibiscus tea. Another study was also conducted and yielded a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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Hibiscus and Healthy Metabolism

Building upon years of research and studies on hibiscus, a recent discovery found that hibiscus extract may have contributed to healthy metabolism, thereby making it a great use against obesity and fat build-up.

Flower Power: The Nutritional Composition of Hibiscus

The many medicinal wonders of Hibiscus are attributed to the antioxidant contained in it. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant, and it causes the red coloration of the hibiscus petals. The same substance can be found in berries and red wine. Hibiscus tea contains no calories or caffeine.

Research about the effects of Hibiscus on the overall health is expanding. More and more studies support the many medicinal uses of Hibiscus. It has become a popular choice in many cultures to remedy different conditions, from skin wounds and heart conditions to hair and skin care. In addition to tea, various types of products that contain Hibiscus as an active ingredient have also been formulated, including capsules, supplements, and extracts.