7 Surprising Hibiscus Tea Benefits

Clear mug with hibiscus tea

Summer’s just around the corner, and there are a few things we’re looking forward to: warmer weather, summer tea parties, and tropical flavors. In fact, we plan on combining all three to have an outdoor tea party with tropical teas!

If you’re looking to host a tea party that will be the talk of the ton, we highly recommend adding hibiscus tea to your menu. With its light, refreshing taste and numerous health benefits, you can’t go wrong. Read on to learn more about hibiscus tea and why it deserves a spot in your tea spread.

Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Members receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscription service.

What Is Hibiscus?

You might know hibiscus as a tropical plant in your local garden center, but did you know that many parts of the hibiscus plant are actually good for you? Hibiscus flowers, seeds, leaves, and stems can all have some surprising health benefits. In fact, hibiscus has been used in herbal remedies for hundreds of years!

“Hibiscus” (also known as roselle, jamaica, or sorrel in some areas) refers to any part of the Hibiscus Sabdariffa plant, which is native to warmer climates. The plant is known for its flavor in many teas and tropical drinks, and it’s also known for its herbal benefits!

Although hibiscus has been a time-tested supplement, modern science further proves its usefulness. The hibiscus plant also makes a magically delicious tea that is wonderful for warmer weather.

7 Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

Hold on to your seat, because we’re about to spill the tea on how amazing hibiscus is for you.

Free Radical Scavenger

Hibiscus tea is chock-full of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and anthocyanin. Antioxidants like these help minimize the risk of damage from free radicals. In fact, hibiscus tea has even more antioxidants than green tea.

What are free radicals? We’ve done the research for you. 

Free radicals are atoms that are missing some electrons. This can make them quite unstable, which causes them to react more quickly to other substances. Antioxidants contain atoms that generously give free radicals the missing elections and stabilize them. Thus, they neutralize the threat and minimize the damage.

Unchecked free radical damage can ultimately result in illness down the line. That’s why it’s so important to take in antioxidants. Antioxidants can’t prevent free radical damage, but they sure can help. 

Your body naturally produces antioxidants, but you can also get antioxidants from fresh fruits and veggies, supplements and products, and tea. Although there are a few teas out there that contain antioxidants, hibiscus tea has the most.

Heart Health

Hibiscus tea can also promote a healthy heart. While it’s no replacement for prescription medication, the tea has been shown to help support healthy blood pressure levels in those who have high blood pressure. If you’re under a lot of stress, a nice cup of hibiscus tea might be just the ticket!

This tropical tea may help promote healthy cholesterol levels (high-density lipoproteins) in those with high cholesterol. Hibiscus tea may also help regulate the “good” HDL cholesterol and the “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. 

We need more science before we can say for sure, but human studies have shown promising results. In any case, an evening cuppa certainly won’t hurt.

Liver Health

Remember those pesky free radicals we talked about? They can cause damage pretty much everywhere in your body, but especially in your liver. Your liver’s main job is to filter toxins out of your body, so it’s exposed to more toxicity than the most recent celebrity breakup.

With such a hard job, your liver needs some support! One way you can help it out is by — you guessed it — drinking some hibiscus tea. Because of its potent antioxidants, hibiscus tea helps support your liver and clear out those toxins and free radicals. Show your liver some love and pour yourself a cold glass of hibiscus iced tea.

Metabolic Health

If your metabolism is out of whack, hibiscus tea might be just the thing to help you regulate it. Studies have shown that hibiscus extract (a more concentrated form of hibiscus) can promote a healthy metabolism. Having a healthy metabolism can help save you from larger health concerns later on, so it’s important to supplement your metabolic health.

While hibiscus extract certainly has health benefits, hibiscus tea isn’t quite as concentrated as hibiscus extract. Because it’s weaker, there isn’t enough research on hibiscus tea to conclude whether or not it has the same effects on metabolism. 

Either way, the tart flavor of hibiscus tea is here to make you smile.

Helps Support Long-Term Health

Hibiscus tea has an enormous amount of polyphenols, which are compounds that can help prevent damage caused by the buildup of free radicals in the body. Who would have known that such a simple drink packs such a healthy punch?

We would like to note here that while hibiscus tea is also high in iron, which can help support your immune health, it’s no replacement for your yearly checkup. If you notice anything that resembles a potential health condition, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor — and then drink your favorite herbal tea.

Fight Bacteria

Bacteria exist everywhere: It’s on every surface, including your skin. Bad bacteria can cause a range of health issues, as well as stomach discomfort and general feelings of being unwell. 

Since bad bacteria is everywhere, it’s important to help your body fight it off. We all know that you’re supposed to wash your hands, but did you know that another way to help your body defend against bacteria might be drinking a cup of hibiscus tea?

Hibiscus extract can support your body as it fights off bad bacteria, thus saving you from potential stomach discomfort and the risk of developing other health-related conditions. Before you reach for your hibiscus tea bags, keep in mind that science has not proven that hibiscus tea is as effective as hibiscus extract for fighting off bacteria. There’s still a lot for us to learn about it.

Delicious and Easy to Make

Finally, hibiscus tea is absolutely delicious and incredibly easy to make. The tea itself has a tart flavor and tastes a little like cranberries. Even though the tea is made with flowers, it has a more fruity taste.

Because it is a bit of a sour tea, some tea drinkers prefer to sweeten hibiscus tea with honey or another sweetener. Some even like to cut the bitterness with lime juice. But, if you’re someone who likes a sharp tang, it might be better to taste its natural flavor.

To make hibiscus tea, all you have to do is pour boiling water over dried hibiscus flowers or dried hibiscus calyxes and steep for five minutes. If you don’t have the dried flowers on hand, you can just use hibiscus tea bags. Either way, it’ll taste just as delicious!

You can serve hibiscus tea hot if you’re a more traditional tea drinker, or you can serve it iced to cool off in the summer heat. The good news is that hibiscus tea is refreshing no matter which way you prepare it.

Is Hibiscus Safe?

Hibiscus is safe, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, high levels of hibiscus may cause blood pressure to drop, in addition to symptoms of head and neck tension, nausea, and ringing in the ear. 

Avoid hibiscus if you are allergic or sensitive to members of the Malvaceae plant family and take caution if you have low or high blood pressure. If you have any discomfort or any concerns about introducing hibiscus to your diet, call your doctor and discuss your options. 

Your doctor knows all the details about your medical history and potential interactions with medication, and they can help give you the best advice.

How to Enjoy Hibiscus Tea

If you’ve developed hibiscus cravings while reading this post, we’re right there with you. In fact, it’s one of our favorite teas this season! Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your next batch of hibiscus tea.

Enjoy it Hot

As we mentioned before, hibiscus tea is incredibly easy to make. All you have to do is take dried hibiscus and add a little bit of water. In just a few minutes, you have a delicious, uber-beneficial drink!

You can enjoy a hot cup of pure hibiscus tea, or you could enjoy hibiscus flavors and benefits in a blend. We recommend Tealyra's caffeine-free Healing Hibiscus Cocktail, which includes rose and ginger for maximum flavor and healthy benefits.

If you want a hibiscus blend but don’t love ginger, try Stash Tea's Wild Raspberry Hibiscus blend. This blend features hibiscus, raspberry, rose, lemongrass, and licorice root for a delicious treat. This is a blend that we are currently #obsessed with.

Ice, Ice Baby

If it’s super hot outside, chances are you don’t want a hot drink. If that’s the case, just brew a pot of hibiscus tea and set it in the refrigerator overnight. Come morning, you’ll have a delicious cold refresher that will go beautifully with a bowl of maple oatmeal.

We recommend our Tropical Punch Blend for iced hibiscus tea. This blend packs all the punch of pure hibiscus but zhuzhes it a little bit by adding pineapple, rose, and coconut. This tropical blend is a wonderful tea for anyone determined to celebrate summer early. 

If the Tropical Blend is too tart for your taste, try some Hibiscus Infused Honey. Hibiscus honey helps you keep that fruity flavor strong while adding just the right touch of sweetness. 

The result? A carefully calibrated drink you can use to wow your friends and family.

Make It Pretty

Whether you take it hot or iced, it’s fun to make your tea pretty. We’re talking about porcelain teacups, aesthetic picnic blankets, and a dreamy field. Hibiscus tea can set the scene for a truly gorgeous, Insta-worthy shot. 

If a luxury picnic isn’t your vibe, find something that is! No one ever said you can’t drink tea on a skate ramp or in a bookstore. The point is that drinking tea is an experience. Make it your own, and share it with the world!

Mix It Up

If tea isn’t your cup of, well, tea, try adding some flavors to it. You can enjoy tea in any style or form. Add tea to a glass of club soda or seltzer water, infuse it with a pinch of crushed mint or basil, or even add some milk to cut the flavor a bit. 

Hibiscus tea can add flavor to many different beverages; it doesn’t have to be the main drink. Experiment until you find something you like. Once you find a delicious combination of ingredients that works for you, you’ll get all of the benefits in a drink that you enjoy.

Take It To Go

Not everyone has time to steep a pot of tea whenever they want it. If you’re constantly on the go, you can still enjoy a cup of hibiscus tea by investing in a good travel mug and tea infuser. 

We recommend our Botanical Tea Mug, which comes with a tea infuser so that you can brew your tea on the go.

Topping It Off

Hibiscus tea comes from the hibiscus plant, and it does so many good things for you. It can fight free radicals, promote heart health, and even boost your metabolism. It’s safe and easy to make, and it’s an incredibly delicious way to support your body’s natural systems. 

There are quite a few ways you can enjoy your hibiscus tea, but ultimately you should find what works best for you! The most important thing is that you enjoy your tea. 

If you’d like to learn more about tea, check out our tea blog and follow us on social media for some more fun tea tips.

Best Hibiscus Tea

Enjoy exotic and unique flavors with our selection of the best-rated hibiscus teas from premium tea brands. Relax and sip these teas to keep yourself hydrated while enjoying the ample health benefits of hibiscus. Brewed as hot and cold, these hibiscus teas are a refreshing staple, especially during the hot seasons.

Three glasses of iced hibiscus tea with lemon slices and mint

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Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our tea subscriptions.

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About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate. 

Sources:

Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage? | Nutrition Facts 

Effect of hibiscus sabdariffa on blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension | PMC   

Hibiscus sabdariffa extract inhibits obesity and fat accumulation, and improves liver steatosis in humans | NIH   

Hibiscus | NIH 

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