Just came across a blurb citing a recent (2008) study that drinking 3 cups of hibiscus tea a day lowered BP in pre-hypertensive and stage 1 hypertensive patients on average 7.2 mm systolic for the pre-hypertensive group, and 13.2 mm systolic/6.4 mm diastolic for the stage 1 hypertensive group. The study looked at 65 people over a 6 week period, with a control placebo group that showed a 1.3 mm systolic drop.
Not a large sample to be sure, but at least interesting, and one more thing to consider adding to one's regimen.
Found another study from 2004 showing an even larger drop in BP with hibiscus tea, nearly 20 mm. Found some of the dried flowers today and am definitely going to start taking it tomorrow...stuff tastes pretty good actually.
What fascinates me is that unlike most supplements that show a typical BP reduction of 4-6 mm, this stuff seems to really have a big double-digit mm effect. I can't quite figure out why, but seems worth investigating.
Very good stuff, do you know how much we should drink & how long to wait for results?
The best I could come up with was "three cups a day." Searching further, apparently you take a small handful of the dried flowers for every 2 cups of water, boil, then steep the stuff for 10 minutes before drinking.
Regarding time before results, as with so many treatments, it appears to be awhile...6 weeks is the figure that keeps coming up.
My sense is you can buy the flowers at a health food store, or more commonly and much cheaper at a Hispanic grocery store, usually labeled "flor de jamaica."
If anyone tries this I'd be real curious what your results are.
I am going to give this a try. I can't find out if there are any brand name teas that contain only hibiscus. Any thoughts? Lemon Zinger was the closest I could find. I wonder if the stuff could be iced and kept on hand for a beverage, or does something get released by having it hot?
I would say to be on the safe side, e.g. maximize effect, try and get the raw materials...the dried flowers. I've seen ads online for the tea and the flowers. Here in Texas they are easy to find because of the Latino communities, but health food stores should have them too.
I am beginning to suspect the main effect may be a diuretic one...