High blood pressure is among the most common diseases in the world. It is fairly easy to treat with medications, but if left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems. High blood pressure is actually considered to be one of the major risks when it comes to heart diseases, heart failure, aortic aneurysm, and even chronic kidney disease. Medical therapy has shown positive effects of putting high blood pressure under control, but the medication tends to be expensive and takes longer to show effects. For that reason, people seem to be turning to folk and traditional medicine.
For thousands of years, herbs have been utilized as medication for a variety of different diseases. A plant, known as Hibiscus Sabdariffa, in particular, has been used for health issues related to high blood pressure. That is why it is recommended nowadays for people with mild to moderate high blood pressure issues to drink the amazing beverage known as hibiscus tea. In the following paragraphs, we will look at the issue of high blood pressure and how it interacts with hibiscus tea.
High Blood Pressure Overview
Before we look into blood pressure and hibiscus tea interaction, we must first understand what high blood pressure actually is. High blood pressure, also known as HPB or hypertension, is a case of blood pressure being consistently high (140/90mmHg or higher). Blood pressure is actually the force in which your blood pushes against the walls of your blood vessels. If the pressure is consistently high, there could be some serious health issues.
The pressure is created by your heart. The heart, of course, pumps the blood throughout the body, and in order for each organ to receive enough blood, (read oxygen), your heart needs to put in a lot of pressure and work. That is when the issues of high blood pressure occur. The heart starts dealing with an increasing workload, which causes it to work harder, but with less efficiency. After a while of such intense blood pumping, both the heart and arteries start becoming more and more damaged. At this point, cholesterol starts affecting the arteries, which further harms them. This condition usually results in arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke.
Along with heart issues, high blood pressure can cause vision loss, kidney disease or failure as well as sexual dysfunction. No wonder high blood pressure is known as our ‘silent killer’; it can create problems for years, and if left untreated, it can be fatal for our health.
Hibiscus Tea and High Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that hibiscus tea is an outstanding treatment alternative when it comes to lowering high blood pressure. It usually affects mild to moderate cases but is surely effective in dealing with both, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Especially when it comes to systolic blood pressure, studies have shown that hibiscus tea does wonders; in one particular study including 3 groups of adult women, results were incredible. Hibiscus tea managed to lower the systolic pressure even 15 minutes after consumption. Now, let’s see how else hibiscus tea works in regards to this awful ‘silent killer’;
Hibiscus tea is known to have diuretic properties or that it can actually act as a diuretic. Now, diuretics are usually medications that are used for the treatment of high blood pressure. There are numerous types of diuretics that act differently, but every diuretic has the same purpose.
Diuretics actually affect kidneys; something hibiscus tea has been recognized to do. They increase the amount of salt and water coming out of urine; a process in which your body is getting rid of too much salt and extra fluid. The salt and the fluid usually accumulates in your blood vessels, which in turn, increases blood pressure. Therefore, hibiscus tea relaxes the blood vessels, enables easier blood flow, lowers the pressure on the heart and the arteries. and helps the body get rid of the excess salt and fluid.
Sometimes diuretics can be too invasive, especially with people who have a history of kidney or liver problems, or people with diabetes. That is why medical professionals advise regular consumption of hibiscus tea, however, not at the same time as the consumption of medication. Hibiscus tea is known to interact and lower the efficiency of certain drugs, so it better be taken on its own.
Hibiscus as a plant, as well as the tea itself, is rich in organic and phenolic acids. These acids are exceptional contributors to the regulation of pH levels in the body as well as the inhibition of enzymes. They also act as anti-inflammation and anti-tumor properties, as well as a regulator of cardiovascular health. Moreover, hibiscus is rich in flavonoids; these components are responsible for the inhibition of fat accumulation and decrease of cholesterol levels.
Because of these components, hibiscus tea can act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. The angiotensin-converting-enzyme is a central component of the renin-angiotensin system, which is responsible for blood pressure control. It also regulates the amount of fluids in the body and is generally known to cause the blood vessels to constrict. This all causes blood pressure to increase, usually resulting in cardiovascular diseases.
Now, hibiscus tea acts as the inhibitor of the angiotensin-converting enzyme and for that reason is included in numerous ACE-inhibitor medication. Hibiscus tea lowers the volume of blood in your arteries, decreases tension and pressure on blood vessels and overall decreases the blood pressure by inhibiting this enzyme. The enzyme usually becomes active when you’re stressed. Therefore, make sure to check your blood pressure regularly and see whether it is stress-caused. Chances are the hormones that have gone wild and that the enzyme is constricting the blood vessels, in which case a cup of hibiscus tea can be very helpful.
Immune System Boosting Effects
Studies have shown that the immune system plays a rather important role in hypertension or high blood pressure. When it comes to suppression and inhibition of the immune system, the heart and the arteries weaken, making it possible for high blood pressure to affect your health quite considerably. Damaged immune cells, oxidative stress and other, natural occurrences that inhibit the immune system have been directly associated with inflammations in the body, dysfunctional vascular relaxation, overactivity of the nervous system, etc.
Luckily, hibiscus tea is an exceptional remedy for the immune system, and in turn, for the high blood pressure. Hibiscus tea is rich in minerals, amino acids, iron, carotene, thiamine, vitamin C and other, medically important compounds that improve the immune system and strengthen the immune cells. Hibiscus tea is also filled with antioxidants, which are known to fight off free radicals (compounds known to cause blood pressure issues, heart diseases, and diabetes). Antioxidants in hibiscus tea help improve the immune systems, handle inflammation, keep the free radicals away and overall keep the body and metabolism in shape.
How to Use Hibiscus for Blood Pressure
In order to see the effective results of hibiscus tea, it is important to know how to use it. Now, it is important to know that hibiscus tea may affect you differently than other people; its effects depend on various factors, like weight, age, medical history, smoking and drinking history, etc. Before the actual consumption of hibiscus tea, it is essential to consult your doctor or medical professional who is familiar with your medical history and the medication you’re using.
When it comes to lowering of the blood pressure, you can consume up to three cups of hibiscus tea per day. According to the University of Michigan Health System, one cup of tea should contain up to 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers. This should be enough for the tea to start affecting and lowering your high blood pressure. It is recommended to consume the first cup right before breakfast for the maximum effect.
However, at this point, it is essential to mention medication interactions of hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea is known to interact moderately with high blood pressure medication. If you use both, at the same time, hibiscus tea can make the blood pressure go lower than it should. So, now you won’t be dealing with high, but low blood pressure, and this can also cause adverse health effects. So, make sure to avoid such consumption patterns, and, of course, consult with your doctor prior to hibiscus tea consumption.
High blood pressure is a sign that something is going on with your body. It doesn’t have to be a necessarily bad thing; it is normal for the pressure to be high and low depending on one’s day and mood. It is usually caused by stress and worries, so it is important to know how to relax. Hibiscus tea will now only help you regulate your blood pressure, but it will also help you relax and calm down. So, make sure to enjoy your cup of tea to the fullest; either alone, over a good book or a movie, or with friends and family over a nice chat and a laugh. Either way, give hibiscus tea a chance to help you, and you will surely see effects very quickly.