Hibiscus, or Hibiscus Sabdariffa, is a tropical flower belonging to the Malvaceae family. Botanists believe that there are eight original hibiscus species that can be considered ancestors of the hibiscus hybrids found today. These are said to be native to India, China, Mauritius, Hawaii, Fiji, and Madagascar. Certain varieties were introduced to Europe during the 18th century and around 100 years later in the United States. It has a taste similar to that of cranberry, read on to discover our Top 5 Health Benefits of Hibiscus!
1. Antidepressant and relaxant properties
Powerful flavonoids such as sabdaretine, gossypetin, and hibiscetine alongside many vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C are found in hibiscus tea for example which has antidepressant properties. Drinking hibiscus tea can soothe the nervous system therefore countering the effects of anxiety, depression and insomnia by inducing a feeling of relaxation throughout the mind and body.
2. Digestive issues
Drinking hibiscus tea has diuretic effects and can ameliorate overall bowel and bladder function. Given that it acts as a natural anti-spasmodic, it can be used to treat painful constipation and other digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion.
3. Fevers and colds
The Egyptians used the tea from this flower for its cooling effects, primarily for lowering body temperature and reducing sweating and fever. However it also has its uses for soothing the discomforts of hot flushes in menopausal women. Historically it has also been used as a treatment for nerve and heart diseases. This plant is rich in vitamin C and is also valuable for treating liver disease, symptoms of cold and boosting the immune system. The pulp or juice made from the leaves can also treat skin wounds.
4. Blood pressure
Traditionally used in Iran, its tea can drastically reduce blood pressure due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Given its medicinal attributes and diuretic properties that increase urination, it has the ability to flush out excess fluids and harmful toxins from the body whilst simultaneously lowering blood pressure.
5. Weight loss
Hibiscus tea is favourable for losing weight. A diet high in carbohydrates, as many are in the Western world, will contain starch and sugar and potentially lead to unwanted weight gain over time. Fortunately, studies have shown that hibiscus can decrease the absorption of starch and glucose. By halting the production of enzymes such as amylase, used for the absorption of carbohydrates and starch, it can help aid with weight loss.
So there you have it, if you’re looking to keep your blood pressure in check, or if you’re suffering from digestive issues, perhaps you have trouble relaxing or if you’re struggling to see off that stubborn belly fat, hibiscus may well be your newfound plant friend. It can be consumed as a tea, juice, tincture or you can find an extract of the dried flowers at your local health store. Use hibiscus? Tell us about it below or @ KeepfitKingdom !