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Hibiscus Tea Is Found to Lower Blood Pressure
Family Practice News ^ | 1 January 2009 | BRUCE JANCIN

Posted on 01/24/2009 1:02:20 AM PST by neverdem

NEW ORLEANS — Quaffing three cups of hibiscus tea daily for 6 weeks resulted in a mean 7.2-mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure in mildly hypertensive or prehypertensive adults in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

“This suggests that regularly incorporating hibiscus tea into the diet may help control blood pressure in people at risk of developing hypertension,” Diane L. McKay, Ph.D., said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.

The public health implications of a blood pressure reduction of this magnitude, if extended to a large population, could be profound. According to the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Coordinating Committee, a mere 3-mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP) would reduce the relative risk of death due to stroke by 8%, due to coronary artery disease by 5%, and all-cause mortality by 4% (JAMA 2002;288: 1882-8), said Dr. McKay, of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston.

She reported on 65 prehypertensive or mildly hypertensive adults who took part in a 6-week double-blind study in which they consumed three 8-ounce cups of hibiscus tea daily or a placebo beverage similar in color and taste.

Mean SBP dropped by 7.2 mm Hg in the herbal tea group from a baseline of 129.4 mm Hg, compared with a 1.3-mm Hg decline in the control group. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) fell by a mean of 3.1 mm Hg from a baseline of 78. 9 mm Hg and mean arterial pressure dropped by 4.5 mm Hg from 95.7 mm Hg at enrollment, although neither of these changes achieved statistical significance.

However, the tea's antihypertensive effect increased with higher baseline blood pressure. In the half of subjects whose SBP exceeded 129 mm Hg, mean SBP reduction after 6 weeks of hibiscus tea consumption was 13.2 mm Hg, and the reductions of 6.4 mm Hg in DBP and 8.7 mm Hg in mean arterial pressure were also statistically significant.

The intervention had no side effects or downsides, said Dr. McKay.

Dr. Robert H. Eckel observed that the blood pressure reduction seen with hibiscus tea in this trial is equal to the typical effect of a single antihypertensive medication.

But although the notion of the tea as a nutraceutical for blood pressure lowering is intriguing, a larger confirmatory study with longer follow-up is needed, said Dr. Eckel, past president of the AHA and professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and program director of the adult general clinical research center at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Dr. McKay and coworkers conducted their randomized trial because earlier animal studies suggested Hibiscus sabdariffa L. has antihypertensive and antiatherosclerotic effects. Hibiscus contains flavinoids and phenolic acids which have potent antioxidant properties. The study was supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and by Celestial Seasonings.

To view a video interview of Dr. McKay, go to

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: bloodpressure; hibiscustea; htn; medicine
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To: neverdem


21 posted on 01/24/2009 8:23:34 AM PST by dubie
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To: Hetty_Fauxvert

We make a hibiscus drink on a regular basis. The flowers are bought at the market, boiled in water and strained. Add sugar and we have jamaica drink.

I don’t know if it’s related, but my BP is very low. The doc has to measure twice sometimes to make sure it’s not a erroneous reading.

22 posted on 01/24/2009 10:08:52 AM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: neverdem
Lower blood pressure????? I HATE TEA! lower blood pressure, how about...

1. Being completely financialy independant,

2. Possessing no genetic, serious illnesses,

3. Having a truthful, bright, vivacious, true, independant woman with you for the rest of your life,

4. performing moderate, constant exercise, and...

4. Having an endless source of excellent reading material.

OK...I've got number 4...kinda; and my local library fills the bill on number 5. #2 is shot...ah well.

I will never, ever get to number 1

...and number 3 does not least on this planet.

23 posted on 01/24/2009 10:23:21 AM PST by Logic n' Reason ("Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.")
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

That is excellent! It probably works much better in formula than by itself. The Chinese have centuries of experience developing formulas. On the other hand some of the best ones have remained unchanged for centuries. The main thing is they work and are safe.

24 posted on 01/24/2009 12:02:59 PM PST by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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To: TigersEye

I’m lucky! My Doc is a Master! Ran an herbal hospital outside Shanghai for many years before emigrating. I no longer have to take Metformin for Type 2, nor Atenolol for BP. Diet also played a large part. I managed to lose(loose!) 50 pounds. I no longer have to walk with a cane. And that bad knee was fixed by the herbs 5 years before I lost the extra weight, although I’m sure the weight “loose” helps in the looong run. But, ya gotta find a good, experienced herbalist, preferably from the Mainland, not Taiwan or Hong Kong.

25 posted on 01/24/2009 12:27:45 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing! I'm a doctor, and I won't touch that thing!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
You have been fortunate to find him. I have a friend trained in TCM who doesn't practice but he is very skilled in diagnoses and has simply been generous in sharing his knowledge with me.

There are some very good westerners trained in TCM. One of his friends trained in it then went on to become a western doctor and then went into pharmaceutical research at Johns Hopkins. A brilliant man who still uses TCM for family and friends before using anything else.

My friend has cured several people I know of from Type 2 diabetes using a simple formula and diet changes. Their doctors are always stunned but tests show them to be completely clear. As you must well know it requires discipline on the patient's part. But your results speak to the value of that.

26 posted on 01/24/2009 12:57:44 PM PST by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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To: TigersEye

Here’s an interesting story: My Wife’s Mom in Shanghai had a stroke. She was treated with herbs. The Doctor injected some sort of Ginseng extract into certain acupoints. She recovered. But what’s interesting is that she also regained her hearing!

27 posted on 01/24/2009 1:13:46 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing! I'm a doctor, and I won't touch that thing!)
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To: neverdem
I heard about the hibiscus tea/blood pressure link a couple weeks ago (probably on Fox), so I ordered some Celebration Herbals Hibiscus from Web Vitamins.

Last I knew, my blood pressure is ok, but thought I'd try some anyway.

It's good.

28 posted on 01/24/2009 1:16:06 PM PST by mombonn (God is looking for spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra
That is fantastic. Love to hear that. My buddy has told me about a formula to be taken soon after a stroke but, goof that I am, I have forgotten what it is. It has been enough years now that I can ask him again without feeling like such a dork.

He has also described a very unusual needling technique for epileptic seizures. He wouldn't perform it or even have the special needle required to perform it. I'm sure only a very small number of practitioners would. Your guy sounds like one although he may have his own preferred methods. Ask him about the "golden needle" technique if you have that kind of rapport.

29 posted on 01/24/2009 1:34:51 PM PST by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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