Tea made from the hibiscus flower can reduce blood pressure in those with heart disease
Three cups of hibiscus tea a day are enough to reduce the blood pressure of people at risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, a study has found.
The tea is made with extracts from the hibiscus sabdariffa flower, which contains antioxidants that help to rid the body of harmful free radicals.
The research carried out by nutrition scientist Diane McKay and presented to the American Heart Association‘s annual conference showed that hibiscus tea reduced blood pressure by an average of 7.2%. A placebo group recorded a 1.3% drop.
Studies have long linked antioxidants to many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.
Health campaigners cautiously welcomed the research. A spokesman for the Blood Pressure Association told the Daily Express: ‘This is an interesting but small study, and more work would need to be done to gauge whether drinking hibiscus tea can actually sustain a lowering in blood pressure.’
High blood pressure afflicts more than 16 million people in Britain or one in three of the population. It also increases risks of heart disease by three fold and causes 60% of strokes.