When I met my wife, 12 years ago, she had this very cute habit of wearing a flower in her hair. Not being a green thumb at all, I had no idea what type of flower it was; I just knew it looked nice. Now, here I am over a decade later, working for the Rogers Family Company and this little flower is back in my life and making me better for it, once again. 🙂
SO WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH HIBISCUS?
Hibiscus, as a drink, is a deep red, delicious and refreshing drink. But guess what? It can also improve your health, more specifically your cardiovascular health.
ORIGIN OF THE PLANT
Originally from Angola, hibiscus is now cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions, especially in Sudan, Egypt, Thailand, Mexico, and China.
HOW IT KEEPS YOU HEALTHY
Researchers have been hard at work running studies in an effort to determine the health benefits of hibiscus. Lucky for us, right? Below are some of the results as collected by Gaia Herbs.
1. Cholesterol maintenance
- In 2007, a one-month clinical trial tested the effects of hibiscus extract on cholesterol levels. Participants experienced a cholesterol maintenance effect. The optimum dose was 1,000 mg taken 3x daily.
- A larger trial, in 222 adults, was published on hibiscus in 2010. The subjects — about a third of whom had metabolic challenges — were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a healthy diet, hibiscus, or a healthy diet plus hibiscus. Those with metabolic challenges experienced several benefits from hibiscus, including cholesterol maintenance. Similar effects on supporting normal blood sugar were also noted.
2. Blood pressure maintenance
- In 2007, a randomized, controlled, double-blind study researched hibiscus’s blood pressure maintenance capacity. Participants received either a dried powdered hibiscus extract, containing a total of 250 mg anthocyanins, or an alternate intervention. Hibiscus extract was able to maintain blood pressure levels already within a healthy range, but importantly, it did not alter blood potassium levels, nor did it affect salt-water balance.
- A trial comparing hibiscus to black tea among people seeking to support healthy blood sugar levels was published in 2009. Subjects were randomly assigned to drink one cup of hibiscus tea or black tea two times per day for one month. Hibiscus tea demonstrated a maintenance effect on systolic (but not diastolic) blood pressure, while black tea did not.
If you are on the hunt for a heart healthy drink, look no further:
For the original article: http://www.gaiaherbs.com/articles/detail/42/The-Surprising-Health-Benefits-of-Hibiscus.