Hibiscus Tea may mildly lower blood pressure, study finds!
Hibiscus tea may modestly lower blood pressure in individuals in the pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive stages, researchers found.
In a report at an American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in Boston, Diane L. McKay, PhD, of Tufts University said that hibiscus tea was found to have reduced systolic blood pressure by 7.2 mm Hg, on average, over six weeks of daily intake.
The reduction supposedly brought out by the hibiscus tea was a significant reduction compared with the 1.3-mm Hg decline with a placebo ( P <0.03).
Hibiscus is an herb that is most commonly in making teas, Dr. McKay said. Hibiscus has a fruity, tart taste and red color. Among the components of hibiscus are anthocyanins, flavones, flavonols, and phenolic acids. It has been believed that these have shown to reduce atherosclerosis and blood pressure in studies performed on animals.
The participants to the study were 65 healthy men and women, with ages ranging from 30 to 70, who were classified as pre-hypertensive or mildly hypertensive (systolic 120 to 150 mm Hg, diastolic 95 mm Hg or lower) and not taking any blood pressure medications.
The patients took three 8-oz cups of hibiscus tea a day, brewed with one tea bag for six minutes, or a placebo containing artificial hibiscus flavor and color.
In the study, patients with blood pressure higher than 129 mm Hg had significantly greater benefits for systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure.
Even relatively small blood pressure changes like those seen in the study would likely have an impact on patient outcomes if maintained over time, the doctor further said.
Dr. McKay cited the findings of a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 that said that a 3 mm Hg decline in systolic pressure reduced the relative risk of stroke mortality by 8%, coronary artery disease mortality by 5%, and all-cause mortality by 4%.
The moderator of the press conference, Robert H. Eckel M.D., said that it appeared the magnitude of the anti-hypertensive effect of the hibiscus tea was similar to that of blood pressure-lowering medications. However, he said that as regards the question of whether this type of behavior can be sustained, is still open to speculation. But he said the idea of hibiscus tea as a nutraceutical is worthy of validation and further study.
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