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Hibiscus Tea

This article does not replace the advice of a medical professional.

Hibiscus tea is a beautiful crimson colored tea. The sepals (the outer parts of a plant bud that form a flower) of the roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower create the unique extract. The hibiscus flower blooms throughout the year and provides an herbal tea that can be prepared hot, or cold with ice. The tea is often preferred for its slightly bitter yet tart, cranberry-like taste. The beverage is so popular that its consumption spans the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Not only is the hibiscus brew used for an enjoyable tea-time experience, it is widely regarded as having several notable health benefits. Since hibiscus tea is low in calories and acts as a diuretic to increase urine output, it is an effective aid in weight loss and helps remove excess fluids in the body, ultimately treating any signs of fluid retention as well. The journal Food and Function 2014 published a 12-week study where researchers concluded hibiscus extract could minimize abdominal fat and reduce obesity. The diuretic aspect also helps treat constipation by acting as a gentle laxative, and the anti-spasmodic effect of hibiscus tea reduces symptoms related to indigestion from stomach irritation.

According to medical websites like WebMD, the hibiscus extract works mainly through its fruit acids; other chemicals in the tea are thought to treat blood pressure and decrease spasms in the uterus and intestines. Additionally, these chemicals work like antibiotics to kill bacteria and worms, helping the immune system to remain healthy overall. The high dose of vitamin C in hibiscus tea helps to fight colds and the flu, as well as helps prevent both from occurring. Because the hibiscus extract aids in lowering body temperature, the tea can even benefit those suffering from a fever. Although the health benefits of hibiscus tea are many, it is best to consult your healthcare provider before consuming the herbal tea.

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