Hibiscus or Rosella: nature's best kept secret

El Hibiscus Sabdariffa, also known as rosella, hibiscus flower or hibiscus, is an herb native to the Eastern Pacific tropics. It has been used for years in India and Malaysia, for medicinal and culinary purposes. Until recently, several of its supposed health properties had been questioned due to the absence of scientific evidence to support them. However, researchers are beginning to understand the mechanisms of action of this herb through which this herb displays its numerous health benefits.

One of the best-documented attributes of rosella is its ability to lower blood pressure. This effect is so powerful that a study conducted at Tufts University in 2010 concluded that individuals with moderate hypertension, but who were not taking any medication to control it, could reduce it by drinking just one cup of hibiscus tea daily.

In a more recent study, published in the scientific journal Phytomedicine, the antihypertensive effects of captopril (an antihypertensive medication) were compared with a drink prepared from rosella. Two experimental groups were evaluated; One of them had to drink a cup of hibiscus tea before breakfast, while the other group took 25 mg of captopril, twice a day. The results indicated that rosella was as effective as captopril since a 10-point decrease in baseline diastolic blood pressure was observed in 79% of participants who took hibiscus tea, compared to 81% of those who took hibiscus tea. captopril.

Rosella attributes

Diastolic blood pressure refers to the lowest value recorded in a blood pressure measurement. So far, of all the beneficial health properties, the antihypertensive effects of hibiscus are the most important and best documented.

A less studied, but nonetheless promising attribute of rosella concerns its blood glucose-regulating effects. It is also thought to lower blood levels of LDLc (“bad cholesterol”), making us less susceptible to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Some preliminary research suggests that hibiscus tea may aid in weight loss by slowing the absorption rate of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. Finally, this natural remedy has been used for a long time to treat chronic colds and sore throats. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it effective against minor diseases and relieves some inflammatory processes in the body.

In addition to its beneficial health effects, hibiscus is also known to be one of the foods richest in antioxidants. In a comparative study of more than 200 beverages, scientists found that hibiscus tea had the highest antioxidant content, receiving an overall score of 138. For reference, the next highest beverage was matcha green tea, with a score of 100, in the same experiment.

As we have emphasized at DIABETV, antioxidants are very important because they protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and, when cellular damage occurs, it is thought that many serious diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer's and diabetes are more likely to develop.

Perhaps the distinctive characteristic of hibiscus tea is that it exerts its numerous health benefits, without any known negative side effects. We highly recommend that our readers consume rosella tea daily, regardless of whether they suffer from diabetes or not. Its nutritional value is extraordinary and it is worth being called a “superfood”.