Hibiscus Tea benefits are today some of the best documented in the world of science and Tea. From weight loss to menstrual relief; anti-ageing properties to, of course, lower blood pressure, the possibilities are near endless.

Hibiscus Tea can, under the right circumstances, be the perfect accompaniment to a healthy and active lifestyle. In reality, this beverage may be the answer to numerous ailments prevalent in our society. In some countries, Hibiscus Tea is already prescribed by Doctors because of its remarkable medicinal qualities.

The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company are here to answer some of the most pressing questions, including:

What is Hibiscus?

What is Hibiscus?

There are an estimated three hundred species of the hibiscus plant, a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. Found growing around the world, including many countries in Africa, Europe and North America.

The hibiscus plant is generally native to temperate, subtropical and tropical regions, although, under the right conditions, it can also thrive in indoor environments, making it exceptionally versatile.

Perhaps most notably, this plant is widely recognised from the stunning hibiscus flowers, ranging in colours from white to pink, red to orange, peach to yellow, and even purple! Depending on the variety of hibiscus plant, the flowers will often range in length from 4 to 18 centimetres.

The variety used for Hibiscus Flower Tea is Hibiscus sabdariffa. It is these flowers that, when infused in boiling water, create a uniquely tart flavour similar to the taste of cranberry or pomegranate. Hibiscus Flower Tea has often been described as bitter, or even slightly sour in flavour, and can also be infused with other herbs and fruits such as lemon, ginger or dried spices.

While we use the flowers for the making of Hibiscus Tea, many culinary dishes from predominantly far-east countries use the leaves. In Burma, these leaves are a vital ingredient in chin baung kyaw, a well-known Burmese curry.

In the Philippines, Hibiscus leaves are incorporated into a traditional tinola better known as Polynesian chicken stew. The stem of the plant is likewise usable and is often utilised in the production of natural fabrics such as burlap.

Practising Hindus from India are especially fond of the red hibiscus flower. This is because they represent the Hindu Goddess Kali, and are often used as an offering during worship.

Meanwhile, in Hawaiian culture, the hibiscus flower is placed behind the right ear of ‘a maiden’, which indicates that she is looking for a partner! However, if the hibiscus flower is placed behind the left ear, this means she is ‘taken’! Suffice to say; it’s crucial to know the difference!

Hibiscus is the state plant of Hawaii, which is part of the USA. Meanwhile, in the countries of Senegal and Malaysia, it is the national plant.

History of Hibiscus Tea

History of Hibiscus Tea

Despite there being hundreds of varieties of Hibiscus as of the 21st Century, botanists today believe that the species’ ancestors once numbered just eight, eventually evolving over time to become the striking hybrids now scattered across the globe.

The history of Hibiscus Tea benefits began in Ancient Egypt, according to archaeological evidence. Here, in what today is considered the original home of the plant, the Egyptian Pharaohs consumed Hibiscus Tea to combat the fierce scorn of the desert heat while cruising along the river Nile.

It was likewise used to treat heart and nerve diseases, and even as a diuretic to increase urine production (today, not-so-ancient Egyptians still consume Hibiscus Tea for these very same reasons!).

Deeper into Africa, this Tea was used to treat constipation, liver disease and cold symptoms, which has since passed down the generations and is still practised in modern society.

Knowledge of the health benefits of Hibiscus Tea eventually spread to India, China, Mauritius, Hawaii, Fiji and Madagascar. It arrived in Europe by the 18th Century, and in the United States during the 19th Century. Soon after, this seemingly magical brew, as well as the plant itself, took the world by storm, where it continues to increase in popularity to this day.

Does Hibiscus Tea Contain Caffeine

Does Hibiscus Tea Contain Caffeine

Did you know that Hibiscus ‘Tea’ isn’t technically Tea at all? This is because it DOESN’T derive from the Camellia sinensis, the Tea Plant like that of Black, Green, White and Oolong Tea. In other words, the term is a falsehood despite long being used by the industry. 

But what does this mean when it comes to everyone’s favourite stimulating chemical compound? Does Hibiscus Tea contain caffeine? It’s true that some plants other than Tea, including Coffee and Yerba Mate, do indeed have large quantities of caffeine. However, Hibiscus Tea is not one of them. It is, in fact, an entirely caffeine free herbal tisane. 

Interestingly, some people consider its lack of caffeine is one of its Hibiscus Tea benefits, particularly among those who’re caffeine sensitive.

Furthermore, according to NHS Choices, pregnant women should avoid more than 200 mg of caffeine daily - the equivalent of two cups of Coffee. Yet with this beverage, one doesn’t have to worry about any of it at all! 

Why you should drink Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea Benefits

Hibiscus Tea health benefits the mind, body and soul. Its frequent consumption offers a magnificent ‘cocktail’ of health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants.

The antioxidant potential of Hibiscus Tea Bags, in particular, cannot be overstated. It helps tremendously in the fight against natural, though harmful, human oxidation.

Oxidation is a natural process of the body related to the transference of oxygen around the system, as well as being the chemical reaction responsible for introducing free radicals. These free radicals, which are unpaired (and unsafe!) electrons, can be the cause of a multitude of chronic conditions, though namely cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

Hibiscus and its antioxidant can combat and even neutralise free radicals by slowing down the effects of oxidation, thus reducing the risks of developing the aforementioned chronic conditions.

Some scientists have even suggested that Hibiscus Tea could reduce the risks of developing cancer, though research is still in its preliminary stage.

All we know for sure is that Hibiscus Tea benefits are unparalleled. But how can they help you, personally, to improve your everyday way of life? Let’s find out!

Hibiscus for High Blood Pressure

1. Hibiscus Tea Blood Pressure

Most will know already that Hibiscus Tea blood pressure benefits are what put this brew on the map in the first place. It continues to be this way to this day.

Regardless of whether one is using Hibiscus Tea Bags or Hibiscus Flower Tea, its outstanding ability to lower blood pressure has seen a spike in sales in recent years. That hasn’t changed.

It’s estimated that 1 in 3 UK adults suffer from high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney and heart disease, as well as strokes. It’s now thought, however, that drinking 3 cups of Hibiscus Tea a day can lower your blood pressure, according to a recent study conducted.

The research project saw sixty-five people aged between 30 to 70, all of whom were considered “at risk” from high blood pressure, split into two groups. The first group of participants consumed Hibiscus three times a day, while the second group consumed a placebo.

After six weeks, the results determined that the Hibiscus Group “showed an average fall of 7.2 percent in blood pressure, with some recording a 13.2 percent drop. The placebo group, in comparison, recorded a 1.3 percent drop”.

Other studies, including one published in the July 2004 edition of “Phytomedicine”, found that:

"Subjects who took an infusion prepared with 10 grams of dried calyx from Hibiscus for four weeks experienced reduced blood pressure”.

Many Scientists believe this incredible ability is owing to the anti-inflammatory properties of the Tea. These anti-inflammatory properties improve the elasticity of the body’s blood vessels, as well as their ability to dilate.

According to some studies, Hibiscus Tea also has a diuretic action which flushes excess fluid and sodium/salt from the body, and inhibits angiotensin, one of the leading causes of higher blood pressure. Ultimately, Hibiscus Tea converts enzymes in the same way as ACE inhibitor drugs.

On the topic of blood pressure-lowering drugs, we’re often asked whether a combination of Hibiscus Tea and blood pressure medication is safe. The answer is generally yes. However, should one have any concerns, then we would always recommend a medical consultation with a doctor before drinking Hibiscus Tea. It’s important to be safe with your Tea consumption, first and foremost.

The bottom line is that Hibiscus Tea blood pressure benefits have the backing of much of modern science, with many suggesting that its consumption being as effective as Captopril and Lisinopril. In Taiwan, Hibiscus is already formally recognised as a treatment for high blood pressure. Is it only a matter of time before it’s recognised where you are, too?

Hibiscus can Improved Cardiovascular Health

2. Improves Cardiovascular Health

While lowering blood pressure is linked to improved cardiovascular health, it isn’t the only way this Tea can help. In fact, Hibiscus benefits can improve the cardiovascular system in a multitude of ways, making it the ‘go-to’ brew for reducing the risks of Heart Disease and other similar conditions. Namely, this Tea can lower “bad” LDL Cholesterol.

Your body contains two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. While high levels of HDL cholesterol benefit your health, high levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to severe chronic conditions.

The antioxidant strength of Hibiscus Tea has been proven to lower levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol while protecting blood vessels from further damage.

One study published in the June 2010 edition of “Phytomedicine” established that:

patients who suffered from metabolic syndromes experienced a decrease in overall cholesterol levels after taking a daily dose of 100 grams of Hibiscus sabdariffa extract powder.

Finally, a 2009 study published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” recognised the ability of Hibiscus to improve cholesterol levels in people with type-2 diabetes.

Leading the research project was H. Mozaffari-Khosravi, and along with his colleagues, they studied diabetes patients who consumed either Hibiscus or Black Tea twice a day for one month.

The results indicated that those who drank Hibiscus Tea had higher levels of HDL “good” cholesterol and lower levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. The researchers also noted that the participants who consumed Black Tea likewise had higher levels of HDL cholesterol at the end of the study, but their LDL levels did not change. The study concluded that Hibiscus Tea “lowers cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol”.

Hibiscus Tea Benefits Weight Loss

3. Hibiscus Tea Benefits Weight Loss

Most of us will try, and try, and try to lose weight, often to no avail. The truth is that there’s no easy ‘fix-all’ solution, no magic potion or beans, or even Tea that can do the job without any assistance.

Indeed, the absolute truth is that, even with Hibiscus Tea benefits, one should always aim to eat healthily and exercise frequently when attempting to lose weight. Nevertheless, Hibiscus Tea could still offer some much-needed support along the way.

To start with, HIbiscus Herbal Tea, on average, contains no more than 40 calories per serving. In fact, most hibiscus brews usually contain much less than that.

Meanwhile, the average diet of a UK adult is rich in carbohydrates. These ‘carbs’ often contain high levels of sugar and starch which, in turn, results in considerable weight gain for most individuals.

The frequent consumption of Hibiscus Tea, on the other hand, has been proven to lower the absorption of starch and glucose, which ultimately results in improved weight management.

Furthermore, Hibiscus Flowers are considered a diuretic herb and can quite literally flush out unwanted toxins and excess fluids from the body. This can likewise help you to lose weight.

Hibiscus weight loss benefits could, very potentially, go further still, although it remains to be seen whether this brew has metabolism-boosting properties. Many scientists theorise that it does, however.

While further studies are required, preliminary trials have suggested that similar to Green Tea Benefits or even Black Tea, Hibiscus can help you to burn calories both quickly and more efficiently by boosting the metabolism. We hopefully await the proof.

The weight loss potential of this loose leaf tea was summed up nicely by one 2014 study published in the Journal of Food & Function. It stated that frequent Hibiscus Tea consumption could:

“Reduce obesity and abdominal fat, and improve liver damage in obese individuals”.

The bottom line is that one way or another, Hibiscus Tea benefits weight loss.

Hibiscus Tea Benefits include Depression

4. Does Hibiscus Tea Help Anxiety & Depression

Depression is not just feeling ‘down in the dumps’. It’s more; much more. Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and the truth is that Hibiscus Tea can only have a minor impact.

One study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology in 2012 indicated that the flavonoids, anthocyanins and anthocyanidins in Hibiscus Flowers have potential antidepressant activity.

While this is promising, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company will always recommend speaking to a doctor or mental health specialist should one have any concerns about depression.

Furthermore, and slightly more obscurely, a recent study has emerged discussing the potential side effects of minor depression, anxiety and most of all, stress. According to this research, chronic stress disrupts sleep and blood sugar levels.

This then leads to increased hunger and comforted eating. Eventually, side effects like these can escalate, leading to further disrupted sleep, even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugars.

In time, this doesn’t just cause unhealthy levels of body fat, but also increases the risk of type-2 diabetes. Stopping stress at the source is the potential answer, and what could possibly be more relaxing than sitting on the sofa with a nice, hot cup of Hibiscus Herbal Tea?

Aids Liver Protection

5. Hibiscus Tea Good for Liver

One particularly beneficial component found in Hibiscus Tea, anthocyanins, helps to reduce liver inflammation. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2000. It reads:

“Anthocyanins in Hibiscus Tea could significantly reduce inflammatory liver lesions and oxidative liver damage in rats with toxic livers… We speculate that Hibiscus pigments may play a role in the prevention of oxidative damage in living systems.”

While further studies conducted on humans are, without a doubt, required to confirm these findings, this study establishes the health benefits of Hibiscus Tea concerning liver-related ailments. Pretty impressive for your morning cuppa, wouldn’t you agree?

And yet, there’s more! Another interesting study conducted on 19 overweight people noted that taking hibiscus extract for 12 weeks improved liver steatosis.

This is a condition characterised by the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can, in turn, lead to liver failure. Suffice to say, if proven outright, this particular Hibiscus Tea benefit could support the lives of many.

Hibiscus Tea and Menstrual Relief

6. Known to Help with Menstrual Relief

Okay, so there’s no magic “cure” to menstrual discomfort; however, there could be a way to lessen its symptoms. Hibiscus Tea, a beverage that has, for hundreds of years, been consumed for this very reason.

The inevitability of menstrual discomfort once every month can be very frustrating. Amazingly, though, the frequent consumption of this beverage can balance your hormones, thus easing cramps, as well as reducing common symptoms such as mood swings, depression and overeating.

Hibiscus Tea benefits menstrual cycles further with its antispasmodic qualities, which often tackles cramping right at the source of the pain.

Before modern science confirmed what we already knew, the 5,000-year-old practice of Ayurvedic Medicine recognised that Hibiscus (or “Japa Pushpa” as it’s known in Ayurveda) could alleviate irregular menstruation.

Helps With Healthy Hair

7. Hibiscus Tea for Hair

Would you believe there’s even a possibility that Hibiscus Tea benefits hair? Indeed, the evidence all points to the fact that it can support your luscious locks in more than one way.

For starters, it has the ability to stimulate hair growth, even from dormant hair follicles on bald spots. This is due to its richness in vitamin C, which promotes the production of collagen.

Furthermore, it boasts high levels in amino acids, which can, among other qualities, nourish hair, strengthen roots, and keep every last follicle looking shiny and healthy.

If this wasn’t enough, Hibiscus helps with the condition of your hair, thus preventing dryness, frizz and breakage. It might even treat scalp problems such as itching and dandruff.

Hibiscus Tea and Skin Benefits

8. Hibiscus Tea Benefits Skin & Youthfulness

The anti-ageing properties of Hibiscus Tea benefits are the primary reason why it supports healthy skin. This works by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme elastase, which, when left unchecked, can break down the skin’s precious elastin.

By combating elastase, however, Hibiscus Tea can, in fact, increase skin elasticity, thus giving you a natural youth-boost.

But that’s not all. Hibiscus Tea has an exfoliating effect due to its prevalence in organic acids such as citric and malic acid. Through the presence of these chemical compounds, it can speed up cell turnover, resulting in a more even-looking skin tone.

Moreover, its antioxidants can remove visible signs of ageing, including, and perhaps most significantly, wrinkles!

Hibiscus Tea can Support the Immune System

9. Supports the Immune System

Hibiscus Tea could be the answer owing to it containing an abundance of Vitamin C. An essential nutrient that can help protect cells and maintain their health.

Consuming this beverage on a regular basis can help fulfil one’s daily intake of Vitamin C, which can improve the immune system. By propping the immune system it can ultimately help you to combat viral infections, mild fevers and many other minor ailments.

Furthermore, Vitamin C can help with wound healing. While also increasing the amount of iron one absorbs from plant sources such as broccoli and sprouts.

If that wasn’t enough, the Vitamin C in this Tea and Vitamin A, is one way that Hibiscus Tea benefits skin. Increasing one’s intake of these vitamins (with the help of Hibiscus Tea, of course!) can lead to the improvement of acne, eczema and mild skin allergies.

Hibiscus Loose Tea

Other Hibiscus Benefits

One of the oldest known Hibiscus Tea benefits is its cooling effect on the body. This, as we already know, dates back to Ancient Egypt. Today, Hibiscus flowers are often a primary ingredient in numerous sports drinks as it helps to cool the body.

Then there is, of course, its ability to improve digestive system health. Due to its incredible diuretic properties, this beverage can normalise bowel movements and increase urination, as well as treat constipation.

Better still, when consumed frequently, this herbal brew can strengthen the gastrointestinal system. A group of organs that work together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients. This, in turn, may also help with weight management.

Hibiscus Tea and Pregnancy

Hibiscus Tea and Pregnancy

A debate persists as to whether Hibiscus Tea is safe during and immediately after pregnancy. For this reason, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company recommend you exercise caution when considering Hibiscus Tea while breastfeeding, and especially while pregnant.

We’re a family business with family values, and it is not in our interest to sell falsehoods. While some mothers and mothers-to-be drink Hibiscus Tea, institutes such as Baby Center, as well as its UK and Canadian equivalents, recommend against it.

Meanwhile, we recommend seeking a medical consultation before consuming Hibiscus Tea while breastfeeding, as well as while being pregnant.

Hibiscus Side Effects

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Drinking Hibiscus Tea is, for the most, safe, with any side effects associated with it considered extremely rare. That said, there have, in the past, been reports of it having a negative impact on health.

Namely, most doctors and medical professionals advise against drinking it while breastfeeding. Furthermore, those already living with diabetes should avoid this Herbal Tea.

Other side effects that might occur from Hibiscus Tea include temporary stomach aches or pain, gas, constipation, nausea, painful urination, headache, ringing in the ears, or jitteriness.

If you experience any of the above, be sure to contact a medical professional or visit the hospital. Above all else, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company cares about the welfare of our customers. 

Is Hibiscus Tea a Diuretic?

Is Hibiscus Tea a Diuretic?

Before we get into this, let’s first look into what we mean by “diuretic”. This term refers to promoting the formation of urine, which thus enables someone to excrete excess water in several ways.

It could mean, for example, inhibiting the kidney’s ability to reabsorb sodium. This, in turn, enhances the loss of sodium and consequently, water in the urine. (You can read more in our article, “Is Tea a Diuretic?”).

But is Hibiscus Tea a diuretic? There is some preliminary evidence to suggest it MIGHT be. However, studies remain inconclusive. The suggestion is, according to some specialists, that this beverage can pull salt out of the body through the same mechanism which sees blood pressure reduced.

Still, until we know more, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company DO NOT endorse Hibiscus Tea for this purpose. Instead, we support ongoing research.

Hibiscus Tea Properties

Hibiscus Tea Properties

We’ve already established that this infusion contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals. But why, exactly, are they important to Hibiscus Tea benefits? These chemical compounds, found in a plethora of food items, are essential nutrients. Acting in concert, they perform a multitude of supportive roles in the body. 

Below is a table showcasing just some of the beneficial constituents found in Hibiscus Tea:



Hibiscus Tea Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A Vitamin B-1
Vitamin B-2 Vitamin B-9
Vitamin C Magnesium
Potassium Calcium
Iron Zinc

Indeed, vitamins and minerals can, among other qualities, strengthen bones and bolster the immune system. They also convert food into energy while repairing cellular damage. Put simply, these chemical compounds are amazing. 

How to make Hibiscus Tea

How to Make Hibiscus Tea

The good news is that when it comes to “how to make Hibiscus Tea”, the steps are relatively straightforward. In no time at all, you’ll be able to indulge in the floral, bittersweet flavours of this ever-delectable infusion. The instructions are as follows:

Choose Hibiscus 50 Tea Bags or put Hibiscus Loose Tea into a Tea Filter.

  1. Boil FRESH water for the best possible taste.
  2. Add the Tea Filter or Tea Bag into your cup.
  3. Pour freshly boiled water into the cup.
  4. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how strong you’d like it. The longer you leave it, the more prominent the tart notes. 

Now, all that’s left is to sit back, relax and enjoy. 

Where to Buy Hibiscus Tea

Where to Buy Hibiscus Tea

Ready to start your journey? Choose the best with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. If you’re looking to improve your health you could then pick either our Hibiscus Tea Bags or even our Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea Bags.

With Rosehip included in this beverage can also offer its very own health benefits such as relief from respiratory conditions. Increased blood circulation and the potential of stronger bones, you can learm more here, Rosehip Tea Benefits.

If you prefer loose leaf Tea, then consider our Hibiscus Tea (coarse). Alternatively, why not break free from convention even further with our extraordinary Lemon Verbena, Hibiscus and Ginger Tea? As the name will likely suggest, this blend has not one, not two, but three ingredients.

Lemon Verbena is known for improving joint function and halitosis. Ginger, on the other hand, can support many of the benefits of Hibiscus. Including improved digestive and immune system health, as well as lower cholesterol and weight loss potential.

Best of all, every single one of our Teas to include hibiscus taste great! What more could you possibly want from your morning cup of Herbal Tea?

If you're interested in learning more about other tea types, their history, health benefits and much much more you can visit our Tea Blog. These You may like to read these articles too.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.