Hibiscus for High Blood Pressure

Hibiscus for High Blood Pressure: How to bring BP down drinking tea


 

H

ibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) belong to the mallow or Malvaceae genus family. Hibiscus is part of several hundreds of species native of temperate, subtropical and tropical habitats around the world.

Species are mainly known for its wide variety of beautiful flowers presenting in different colors. Hibiscus is a annual as well as a perennial plant and grows as woody shrubs or small trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek word hibískos. Hibiscus is related to okra Avelmoschus esculentus a plant with anti-diabetic properties. Hibiscus is rich in flavonoids, minerals and other nutrients. The flowers have a fruity tart taste that makes hibiscus a popular drink both hot and cold.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure (HBP) is a metabolic syndrome condition. Treating high blood pressure is an important part of treating diabetes or heart disease. If you want to treat HBP naturally the first thing you need to know is how to know your high blood pressure. In practice this means checking your BP regularly, and keep records of when is high or normal and try to find co-factors which causes changes in BP. Buy an arm cuff BP machine; wrist BP cuffs are not accurate.

First you should go to your doctor to rule out serious conditions which could be causing your blood pressure to be high. If you don’t have serious conditions (and I hope you don’t) you might want to try controlling your BP naturally. The other alternative is to ask your doctor to prescribe you medication. Your physician will most likely get you started on a diuretic which is the first line of defense for hypertension but taking medications could quickly lead to more drugs such as ACE inhibitor or Beta Blockers. The downside of these drugs is the side effects they bring: drowsiness, low blood pressure, tiredness, fatigue, cough, lightheartedness.

First off if you want to treat your HBP naturally you will also have to do more than just drink hibiscus tea. Drinking the tea but eating junk food and not changing your lifestyle will not do much. In order to make this botanical remedy work well is very important that you change your diet start exercising. The most significant change you can make in your diet is to eliminate salt and sugar and start eating more fruits and vegetables. Even though hardly anyone recognizes sugar being a HBP factor new research is saying otherwise.

Sugar can cause small levels of inflammation on your capillaries, and these small vessels greatly impact on your blood pressure because they offer the greatest resistance to blood flow in the entire vascular system. The smallest constriction in your capillaries can make your BP raise.

Stress can raise your BP fast because it constrict your capillaries in seconds. Salt will raise your blood pressure because it retains water by not allowing your kidneys get rid of excess liquids raising your blood volume and causing pressure to raise accordingly. Exercise is important because it benefit every health need you body requires. Stress, cardiovascular tone, elimination of toxins just to name a few. Weight lifting offers the greatest protection against heart disease. Doctors prescribe weight barring exercises to patients after a heart attack. A combination of cardiovascular and weight lifting exercises is the best.

Hibiscus for high blood pressure

if your blood pressure  is around 140/85 to 160/95 (mild hypertension) you could try to lower BP by using hibiscus which can bring it down to 125/70 or even lower. I have used hibiscus for years and after drinking it for a few days my blood pressure might get so low I have to stop drinking it. In one study hibiscus was found to be as good as, or better then coreg for lowering blood pressure. In another study comparing captopril to hibiscus blood pressure was reduced 84% on those taking captopril and 79% in those taking hibiscus tea. In yet another study there was evidence to support using hibiscus with extra benefits to lower BP in type II diabetics individuals.

How does hibiscus lower blood pressure? Recent research suggests a combination of reasons: It has diuretic properties, it opens the arteries, and it appears to act as a natural angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which means it slows the release of hormones that constrict blood vessels. In addition, hibiscus boosts immune function and provides valuable antioxidants and its loaded with vitamin C.

How to use hibiscus

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Tea bags wont do it. You have to get the dried flowers which are easy to find online or in good health food stores, buy hibiscus in bulk. Drinking hibiscus tea is a pleasure. It has a beautiful color and a interesting tart flavor, for some it might be an acquired taste. I use a Chinese herb cooking pot but it can be done in any regular pan. I add about 1/2 gallon of boiling water to 3 nice and generous pinches or 3 heaping tbs and let it soak all night and the following day too. The important is that the tea turns out deep red like red wine then you know you have a good strong tea. A light colored tea that you easily see through will not be potent enough. Drink one cup 3 times a day for as long as it takes to lower your BP. The morning cup is the most important one because they have the most diuretic effect. Other then lowering your blood pressure hibiscus also give your immune system an amazing boost. If you drink it frequently is an excellent way to avoid catching colds and improving your overall health.



Conclusion

Don’t play around with your blood pressure. Have it checked first by a physician to rule out any serious conditions. HBP is dangerous because you don’t feel any symptoms but it causes permanent damage to your kidneys, heart, and vessels. Our blood pressure oscillates during the day. When you are stressed, or when you perform strength exercises it temporarily raises but then it should return to a baseline; but a blood pressure that remains high without reversing back to the baseline is a motive for concern. If you have a blood pressure that is 190/100 and doesn’t go down you should seek medical help right away. Using hibiscus to lower your blood pressure should be attempted when you are familiar and comfortable checking your BP regularly and have a pretty good idea of how BP works and what causes it to be high or low. I believe that part of keeping your blood pressure in check is to know at all times where your BP is and establish a baseline. BP that is left untreated for a long period of time tend to progress as your metabolism sets a baseline which tend to steadily climb. I hope you have fun using hibiscus and happy low BP.

 


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Videos

 

Dr. Diane L. McKay discusses findings that drinking hibiscus tea can reduce systolic blood pressure. Bruce Jancin of Elsevier Global Medical News ( EGMN) reports from the annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.


 

 

Dan is making fresh hibiscus tea out of fresh picked hibiscus flowers. Location: Darwin, Australia


 

 

 


References

 

Flickr.com image credits: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

Comments

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4 comments… add one
  • Dhivya Rajesh Oct 31, 2016, 2:31 am

    Hi my husband has bp he is taking nebicard 5 mg for 1 year and past 2 days I am giving him hibiscus tea I am afraid will it interact with bp tablet??

    • Marcos Taquechel Oct 31, 2016, 9:49 am

      Nebicard is a bata-blocker. They works by causing the heart to beat less forcefully or slow down your heart rate. Hibiscus is a diuretic and to certain extent a mild vasodialator. Many people take sometimes 3 BP medications without any problem. Just check you husband’s BP if is too low you can reduce either Nebicard or Hibiscus. It also depend on how much hibiscus you take. One or two cups of hibiscus tea is not enough to have a strong affect on BP.

  • ladokun jibola May 8, 2015, 1:54 pm

    hibiscus flower ;what a wonderful herbal story!

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