Hibiscus tea is the infusion made from the calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, a herbal tea drink consumed both hot and cold by people around the world. It is also referred to as roselle (another common name for the hibiscus flower), flor de Jamaica in Latin America, karkady in the Middle East, bissap in West Africa, sorrel in Jamaica, and red sorrel in the wider Caribbean, and other names in other regions. Hibiscus tea has a tart, cranberry-like flavor, and sugar is often added to sweeten the beverage. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.
Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid, maleic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinidin, that give it its characteristic deep red colour.
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A study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension has shown that drinking hibiscus tea can reduce high blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. The study results showed the average systolic blood pressure for those drinking hibiscus tea decreased from 134.8 mmHg (17.97 kPa) at the beginning of the study to 112.7 mmHg (15.03 kPa) at the end of the study, one month later. This is consistent with its supposed role as a diuretic.
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