What Is Hibiscus Tea Good For and Steps To Make It Properly

Jill Caren

Hibiscus tea is a tasty and refreshing drink that can be served hot or cold. We’ve looked into some studies to see why hibiscus tea …

Categories Herbal Tea

Hibiscus tea is a tasty and refreshing drink that can be served hot or cold. We’ve looked into some studies to see why hibiscus tea is good for you!

In this article, you can learn more about the benefits of hibiscus tea, the potential side effects, how much to drink, and how to make hibiscus tea properly!

What is hibiscus tea?

Hibiscus tea is a herbal beverage that is made by steeping dried hibiscus flowers in water. This tea has a sour flavor and a ruby red or deep magenta color.

Hibiscus sabdariffa is the most commonly used species to make hibiscus tea. There are several hundred species of hibiscus varying by the location and climate they grow in but Hibiscus sabdariffa is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus is a large five-petal flower that is native to subtropical and tropical regions all over the world. The lovely hibiscus blossoms are usually white, but the hibiscus buds, or calyces, are a deep red color. These buds are picked and dried to make hibiscus tea.

Always use food-grade hibiscus to avoid pesticide contamination. Hibiscus from flower shops should never be used because they contain a lot of chemicals.

Sour tea, red sorrel, agua de Jamaica, roselle, and karkade are some of the other names for hibiscus tea.

Dried hibiscus for tea
Dry hibiscus herbal tea


Hibiscus tea has been consumed for hundreds of years in Egypt and Sudan, where it is known as “Karkade.” Tea was served cold in ancient Egypt and was primarily used by Pharaohs to keep cool in the desert heat.

Hibiscus tea is still a popular beverage throughout Africa, particularly in northern and western African countries such as Nigeria. Traditional Egyptian and Sudanese weddings still include a hibiscus tea toast.

In 1576, the botanist Matthias de l’Obel was the first to publish his notes on the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant, and later scientific journals confirmed the hibiscus flower’s use as a popular ingredient in food and drink in many African countries.

Farmers began cultivating the plant in Guatemala, Mexico, Australia, Hawaii, Florida, and the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Today, hibiscus tea is popular all over the world, and no matter where you go, you’re likely to discover a new way to enjoy this delicious red tropical tea.

Flavor profile

Hibiscus tea has fruity, sweet, sour, and astringent notes in its flavor profile. Because of its tart yet sweet flavor, this tea is frequently compared to cranberries. The tea is most commonly brewed hot, but it also tastes great iced.

What is hibiscus tea good for?

May help lower blood pressure

One of the most notable and well-known benefits of hibiscus tea is that it may lower blood pressure.

Studies on hibiscus tea and blood pressure are some of the only ones done with human subjects.

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, drinking hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in people at risk of high blood pressure as well as those with mildly high blood pressure.

For six weeks, 65 people in this study drank three 8-ounce servings of hibiscus tea or a placebo beverage. Those who drank the hibiscus tea had lower systolic blood pressure than those who drank the placebo beverage.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis of studies published in the Journal of Hypertension discovered that hibiscus tea reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7.58 mmHg and 3.53 mmHg, respectively. More research is required to confirm the findings.

Although hibiscus tea is a natural and safe way to lower blood pressure, it can be dangerous for people who already have low blood pressure.

This applies to those who are already taking blood pressure medication; avoid hibiscus tea! You don’t want your blood pressure to drop too low, as this could lead to other complications.

Packed with vitamins and antioxidant

Hibiscus tea is high in antioxidants, which improve overall health. These antioxidants help to protect the body from free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress.

Not only do free radicals contribute significantly to the aging process (particularly when it comes to the skin), but they are also linked to a variety of health conditions and diseases. Drinking hibiscus tea can help protect healthy cells from free radical damage.

Hibiscus contains a type of antioxidant known as anthocyanin.

This type of antioxidant can also be found in berries. It’s what gives them their lovely red color, and it’s been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases.

In addition, hibiscus tea contains vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, which is an antioxidant.

Vitamin C is well known for its ability to protect against the common cold and flu. Even during flu season, the effect of sour tea can help boost immunity and keep you healthy.

May lower cholesterol

In addition to lowering blood pressure, some research suggests that hibiscus tea may help lower blood fat levels.

A 2011 study compared the effects of consuming hibiscus versus black tea on cholesterol levels.

For 15 days, 90 people with high blood pressure drank either hibiscus or black tea twice a day. After 30 days, neither group’s LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels had changed significantly. Both groups, however, experienced significant increases in total and HDL (or “good”) cholesterol levels.

However, other studies on the effects of hibiscus tea on blood cholesterol have produced conflicting results.

A meta-analysis of six studies involving 474 participants concluded that hibiscus tea had no effect on blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

To determine the potential effects of hibiscus tea on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the general population, more large-scale studies examining its effects on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels are required.

May aid in weight loss

While body weight is a complex issue and dealing with unhealthy obesity necessitates a regular exercise regimen and lifestyle changes, hibiscus tea is thought to be a contender in assisting with body fat.

It may aid in weight loss by reducing hunger. Hibiscus tea is also a sweet alternative to sugary drinks, which can cause weight gain. Switching from sugary drinks and snacks to hibiscus tea is an excellent way to aid in your weight loss efforts.

A randomized controlled trial published in Food & Function found that hibiscus extract aided in metabolism regulation.

In this study, 36 overweight participants were given either hibiscus extract or a placebo. Hibiscus extract reduced body weight, body fat, BMI, and hip-to-waist ratio after 12 weeks.

We should point out that hibiscus extract was used in this and other studies, which is far more concentrated than hibiscus tea. As a result, additional research is required to confirm the weight loss effects of hibiscus tea.

Contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties

Hibiscus tea has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can aid in overall health. Hibiscus tea can help to fight disease and illness by inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

Hibiscus has been used for hundreds of years for this purpose in Sudanese folk medicine, and recent studies support its use for antimicrobial and antibacterial purposes.

According to one test-tube study, hibiscus extract inhibited the activity of E.Coli, a strain of bacteria that can cause cramping, gas, and diarrhea.

However, no human studies on the antibacterial effects of hibiscus tea have been conducted, so it is unclear how these findings may apply to humans.

Risks and potential side effects of drinking hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea is generally safe to consume in moderation. There are still a few potential side effects to consider before drinking hibiscus tea.

Pregnant women

For pregnant or nursing women, hibiscus tea may have negative side effects.

Pregnant women should never drink hibiscus tea or consume hibiscus products because they can induce menstruation.

While this may be beneficial to women who have irregular periods – though this has never been studied – it also means that pregnant women who drink hibiscus tea may go into premature labor.

It is unclear whether hibiscus tea is safe for nursing mothers, who should avoid drinking it until they stop nursing. If you’re pregnant, keep in mind that hibiscus may be listed on a label as “rose of Sharon” or “althea.”

Interactions with medications

Blood pressure medications and hibiscus tea may interact. People who have low blood pressure should avoid drinking hibiscus tea because blood pressure levels may become too low and cause dizziness or fainting.

In addition, hibiscus may lower blood sugar. Consult your doctor before drinking hibiscus tea if you are on medication for Type 2 diabetes or another blood sugar disorder.


This article is only intended to be educational. It is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Different herbs and teas may have different effects on different people due to their individual differences. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own.

How much hibiscus tea can you drink?

One cup of hibiscus tea should be enough to reap the above-mentioned health benefits.

Because there hasn’t been enough research done on hibiscus tea, it’s best to limit your consumption to no more than 2-3 cups per day.

How to brew hibiscus tea properly

It is simple to make hibiscus tea. You can use fresh flowers, dried hibiscus, or tea bags if you prefer easy cleanup.

We recommend using loose hibiscus tea because it is of higher quality and you can see the flower petals. Hibiscus tea bags are of lower quality because they are filled with crushed flower petals.

When using dried hibiscus flowers, keep in mind that they will stain. If you are not careful, it will stain your clothes, countertops, and containers. Keep this in mind when you’re making hibiscus tea.

Making hibiscus tea with dried hibiscus

Hot hibiscus tea
Hot hibiscus tea with dried hibiscus


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried hibiscus
  • 1 cup of water plus more to warm the teapot


Boil water – If you use an electric kettle with temperature settings to boil water, set it to 208 F (98 C). Boil a little more water than you need so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. If possible, use filtered water.

Warm up the teapot – All tea professionals recommend warming the teapot as an extra step. This is important because the water temperature will not drop significantly as the tea steeps. Pour some hot water into a teapot and swirl it around to accomplish this. The water should be discarded.

Pour hot water over the dried hibiscus in the teapot. – Steep for 5 minutes, covered. To make a stronger cup of hibiscus tea, increase the steeping time by a few minutes or add another 1/2 teaspoon of hibiscus.

Strain the hibiscus solids and pour hot tea into a teacup. – Hibiscus tea can be served with or without sugar. To sweeten your tea, you can use any type of sweetener, from sugar to date syrup. If you’ve never had hibiscus tea before, drink it without sweetener the first time to get a sense of how it tastes.

Making cold brew iced hibiscus tea

Cold hibiscus tea
Iced hibiscus tea


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried hibiscus
  • 1 cup (8 oz) water ( recommended filtered water)


Put the dried hibiscus in a pitcher or glass container. – Pour in the cold or room temperature water.

Refrigerate the pitcher for at least 6 hours, covered. Stir to ensure that the hibiscus is dampened by the water and not sitting dry on the water’s surface. When the tea is done, it will turn a lovely deep dark red.

Strain tea. Discard dried hibiscus. – Because cold-brewed tea is already chilled, adding ice is optional. You can sweeten it with honey, agave, or any other sweetener you prefer. Many people like to add a squeeze of lime to make it more refreshing.

Final thoughts on the benefits and potential side effects of hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea is a healthy beverage that may help lower high blood pressure, is high in vitamins and antioxidants, and may aid in weight loss and cholesterol reduction, according to some available research.

Despite the fact that one cup of hibiscus tea per day is beneficial to health, there are some people who should avoid this delicious red drink.

Hibiscus tea is not recommended for pregnant women. Hibiscus tea should also be avoided by people who have low blood pressure or diabetes.

If you are taking any medications, always check with your doctor before adding this herbal tea to your list of favorite beverages.

It is very simple to make at home. Hibiscus tea can be made with fresh leaves, dried hibiscus (recommended), or tea bags.

The best part about this herbal tea is that it tastes great both hot and cold. Because it is so refreshing, many people prefer to drink it cold with ice.

Now that you’ve learned more about the benefits of hibiscus tea, it’s time to make a hot or cold delicious cup of this popular beverage and enjoy your perfect cup of hibiscus tea!