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Herbal Teas That Reduce Blood Pressure

by
author image Charlotte Waterworth
Based in London, Charlotte Waterworth has been writing about health since 2000. Her work has appeared in trade magazines, including "Independent Community Pharmacist," "Pharmafocus," "Current Drug Discovery" and "Hospital Healthcare Europe." She is a member of the European Medical Writers Association. She holds an honors Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a doctoral degree in gene therapy, both from Cardiff University.
Herbal Teas That Reduce Blood Pressure
Hibiscus tea for sale at an outdoor market. Photo Credit kostman/iStock/Getty Images

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a risk factor for serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. The University of Maryland Medical Center defines hypertension as having a systolic blood pressure above 140 mm Hg, and a diastolic blood pressure above 90 mm Hg, or both. You can help to lower high blood pressure by eating a healthy balanced diet and increasing your physical activity, although you may also need to take anti-hypertensive medicines. Drinking hibiscus tea may also help to lower high blood pressure, although scientific evidence to prove this is limited. Talk to your doctor before taking herbal teas for hypertension

Properties

Hibiscus is a flowering shrub that contains antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, which may have anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering properties, notes the Mississippi Baptist Health Systems website. It may also help to lower high blood pressure, and is commonly used in Taiwan to to treat hypertension, according to an article published in February 2009 in the U.K. Newspaper, "The Telegraph."

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Administration

UMMC suggests preparing hibiscus tea, by steeping tablespoons of dried hibiscus in a cup of hot water and drinking once daily. You may prefer to take this herb in capsule or tablet form if you dislike the taste of hibiscus tea. Mississippi Baptist Health Systems states that a typical daily adult dose of hibiscus should provide 250 mg of anthocyanins.

Effectiveness

Evidence to prove that hibiscus tea helps to lower high blood pressure is limited, although the findings of a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial published in the January 2007 issue of "Planta Medica" show that a dried extract of hibiscus has anti-hypertensive effects. However, an analysis of data from four clinical trials published in the February 2010 issue of "Phytomedicine," concludes that there is no reliable evidence to support the use of hibiscus in the treatment of primary hypertension in adults.

Safety Considerations

RxList states that hibiscus tea is likely safe for most people, but adds that its potential side effects are unknown. As such, avoid drinking hibiscus tea during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Also avoid this herb if you have kidney or liver disease because it may add to the effects of any anti-hypertensive drugs you may be taking, so talk to your doctor before adding this herb to your treatment program.

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References

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