Hibiscus: what are the health benefits?
Does that tea with hibiscus or that manipulated capsule work?
Belonging to the Malvaceae family and originating in tropical Africa, hibiscus is also known as Rose of Jamaica, Rose of Abyssinia or Karkade, and is cultivated in the areas of Central and South America and Southeast Asia, mainly.
In the world there are more than 300 species and the most known and used is Hibiscus sabdariffa, being also one of the most studied.
This species of flower has in its composition high concentrations of L-ascorbic acid, arachidic acid, citric acid, stearic acid and malic acid, as well as pectin, phytosterols, polyphenols and flavonoids.
Hibiscus consumption may confer health benefits that include hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic and antihypertensive effects, most likely from polyphenols and flavonoids, although the mechanisms of action are not yet fully elucidated.
It is known up to now that the actions of these compounds occur primarily at the vascular level and in the reduction of oxygen free radicals.
NOTE #1: The hibiscus is very good! Howeverthere is no established dose for the reported effects.
The antihypertensive effect of hibiscus has gained consistency in recent years as a complementary treatment to the medications for arterial hypertension, being necessary to establish the possible drug interactions of this plant and the adequate dose to reach the potential effects.
Comparative studies between hibiscus and antihypertensive medications have shown good results for the hibiscus alone in the expected final effect. The most promising outcomes so far show that it is possible to include this plant in the daily basis for the prevention of hypertension, especially when there is a family history, and in the treatment of mild and moderate levels of the disease.
In obesity, hibiscus can be used in prevention rather than directly in treatment, since the compounds act in the stage of adipocyte differentiation. That is: there may be benefits in the consumption during the treatment not directly in the weight, but in other parameters. In animals, loss of body fat, not proven in humans, has been observed.
NOTE #2: Hibiscus does not contribute directly to the weight loss process.
It is always important to emphasize that by including foods and plants for health benefits and especially when there is a history of chronic diseases, it is essential to seek qualified professional support from a physician and/or nutritionist for safe use.
Guardiola S, Macha N. Potencial terapéutico del Hibiscus sabdariffa:una revisión de las evidencias cientíﬁcas. Endocrinol Nutr. 2014; 61(5): 247-295
Serban C, Sahebkar A, Ursoniu S, Andrica F, Banach M. Effects of sour tea (hibiscus sabdariffa L.) on arterial hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Hipertens. 2015; 33:1119-1127.
Da-Costa-Rocha I, Bonnlaender B, Sievers H, Pischel I, Heinrich M.Hibiscus sabdariffa L. - a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Food Chem. 2014;165:424-43.