A new study finds that drinking hibiscus tea helps lower blood pressure, a condition that nearly a third of all American adults suffer from.
The study by Diane McKay of Tufts University was funded by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and by the Celestial Seasonings company.
McKay’s test involved 65 people between 30 and 70 years of age with blood pressure levels deemed to present a higher risk of heart disease and other conditions. A separate group of 30 people with higher blood pressure levels also participated. Participants did not otherwise change their diets or activity patterns.
People with the highest blood pressure levels seemed to benefit the most from drinking the tea.
Participants drank three cups a day for six weeks. Those with the high levels saw their average systolic blood pressure rates fall by 13.2 points, while those with lower rates saw a more modest 7.2 point drop.
The results were presented at the American Heart Association’s recent annual conference.
In 2003, a separate study funded by the Agricultural Research Service found that black tea consumption also helps lower blood cholesterol levels.