What is hibiscus tea?

Hibiscus tea is a herbal tea, made up of dried hibiscus flowers (Hibiscus sabdariffa). It has an intense red color and tart flavor, that’s close to cranberry juice. Hibiscus tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold and has been extensively used in Indian and South Asian traditional medicine and cuisine for centuries. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science, hibiscus is valued for its health benefits, making it a popular choice among herbal tea lovers.

Health benefits of hibiscus tea:

Hibiscus tea is known for its numerous health benefits, supported by both traditional use and modern scientific research. Some of the health benefits of hibiscus tea are:

1) Detoxifies Body: Hibiscus tea contains strong antioxidants (such as anthocyanins) that help to neutralize free radicals and reduce toxins from the body. This effective body detoxification helps lower the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

2) Controls Blood Pressure: Several research studies have shown that hibiscus tea helps to reduce high blood pressure. This makes it beneficial for people with hypertension or those at risk of developing high blood pressure.

3) Reduces Cholesterol: Consuming hibiscus tea can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by improving higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood. This helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

4) Reduces Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory effects of hibiscus tea can help alleviate inflammation in the body, which is linked to various chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.

5) Supports Weight Loss: Some research suggests that regular consumption of hibiscus tea can support weight loss by reducing the absorption of starch and glucose, leading to lower body fat and improved metabolic health.

6) Cleanse Liver: Hibiscus tea has been found to enhance liver health by increasing the production of detoxifying enzymes and reducing liver damage. This supports liver cleansing.

7) Boosts Immunity: The natural antibacterial and antiviral properties of hibiscus can help in fighting infections and boost the immune system.

8) Improves Digestion: Hibiscus tea can act as a natural diuretic and mild laxative, promoting healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. This helps prevent constipation.

9) Regulates Blood Sugar Levels: Hibiscus tea can help lower blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for managing diabetes or prediabetes.

10) Supports Healthy Skin: The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of hibiscus tea can contribute to healthier skin, reducing the signs of aging and protecting against skin damage.

11) Eases Menstrual Pain: Traditionally, hibiscus tea has been used to relieve menstrual cramps and discomfort, likely due to its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.

12) Reduces Anxiety & Depression: Some compounds in hibiscus tea are believed to have mood-enhancing effects, potentially reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Are there any side effects of hibiscus tea?

Pregnant women should avoid hibiscus tea as it can lower blood pressure, potentially causing hypotension. Also, excessive consumption can result in liver toxicity and digestive issues. Experts advise to not over-consume tea as for some individuals it can even interact with medications for blood pressure and diabetes and may inhibit non-heme iron absorption.

    How to prepare hibiscus tea?


    1. 1-2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
    2. 4 cups water
    3. Sweetener (optional, e.g., honey or sugar)
    4. Flavorings (optional, e.g., mint, lemon, or ginger)


    1. In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
    2. Remove the pot from heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers.
    3. Depending on the strength you want, steep the flowers for five to ten minutes.
    4. Remove the hibiscus flowers from the tea by straining them.
    5. Add sweetener if desired. You can also add flavorings like mint, lemon, or ginger for extra taste.
    6. Serve hot or let it cool and serve over ice for a refreshing cold beverage.

    Some Tips for Brewing the Best Hibiscus Tea:

    1. Opt for organic dried hibiscus flowers to avoid pesticides and ensure a pure taste. Fresh flowers will yield a more vibrant and flavorful tea.
    2. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Too short a steeping time might result in a weak flavor, while too long can make the tea overly tart or bitter.
    3. Hibiscus tea is versatile and can be enjoyed hot or iced. For iced tea, allow it to cool and then refrigerate or pour over ice.
    4. Always store dried hibiscus flowers in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to maintain their freshness and potency.


      While hibiscus tea is not a cure-all, its numerous health benefits and natural origins make it a valuable addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Its versatility in preparation—enjoyed hot or cold, with optional flavor enhancements makes it a delightful addition to your diet. When consumed in moderation, hibiscus tea is a safe, beneficial, and refreshing choice for both the seasons- winters and summers.