Sunday, July 11, 2010
The Hibiscus (H. Sabdariffa), one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, is now being sought after by researchers, to help control blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
A research term from the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan found that Hibiscus flowers can help in regulating blood pressure, and cholesterol, while increasing circulation. Also, the high levels of Vitamin C in Hibiscus help ward off colds and chest congestions.
The study, which has been published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, states that Hibiscus flowers contain high antioxidants that significantly reduce the dangerous build up of fats inside arteries.
A member of British Heart Health Foundation, Dr. Grifith, in his study revealed that the naturally occurring flavonoids found in red wine, fruit, tea and Hibiscus has sufficient potent antioxidant properties that reduce the oxidation of harmful type of cholesterol, LDL.
On a study conducted to examine the benefits of Hibiscus tea on Essential Hypertension, the researchers prepared hibiscus tea adding a tablespoon of dried hibiscus tea in a quart of boiling water to achieve the lowering effect of blood pressure.
A study carried out in 2004, published in the journal Phytomedicine, states that people suffering from hypertension can actually lower their blood pressure levels by regularly drinking hibiscus tea. The study included 70 people, half of whom drank 16 ounces of hibiscus tea before breakfast daily or ingested 25mg of antihypertensive medication (captopril) twice a day. After one month, the diastolic blood pressure of hibiscus tea drinkers were reduced by at least 10 points in 79 percent of the participants, and the blood pressure in the medicated was reduced at least ten points in 84 percent of participants. The results being, more or less similar, suggests that this herbal tea is as potent as few blood pressure medications.
Hence, it has been concluded that besides lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol, this hibiscus beverage has numerous characteristics that makes it all the more valuable than conventional teas.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of holistic health, and Founder - Director, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, recommends hibiscus as the most promising herb for treating high blood pressure.
Dr. Weil points out that during two controlled clinical trials, which included people with high blood pressure, who went off their medication, were given two teaspoons (6gms) Hibiscus sabdariffa infused in 250ml water, or black tea thrice a day. After 12 days, the hibiscus group reported considerable drop in this blood pressure levels than the black tea group.
Picture by Chaitanya A K Photography