Herbal teas have been consumed for a very long period of time. Various herbs have been used in the brewing of the tea. With the revival of these herbal tea types, we see that the Hibiscus tea is slowly growing into a popular beverage among people who prefer natural methods of healing compared to allopathic medicines. It has the flavor of a cranberry, tart like. The hibiscus plant is a tropical and subtropical plant with bright red flowers.
Consuming hibiscus tea is claimed to be very beneficial for health. Drinking this tea leads to weight loss, strengthens of the immunity system, and reduces dandruff and acne problems. It also speeds up metabolism and reduces risks of cancer. As the hibiscus tea in infused with various antioxidants, minerals and is rich in Vitamin C, it helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.
However, it is not without its potential side effects. When consumed without supervision and excessively, it leads to the following side effects in people
1. Lowering Blood Pressure:
A study was done by Diane Mckay of the Tufts University which shows that if you drink this tea daily it will drop your blood pressure by 7.2 points on an average. Thus if you are taking medications for hypertension or low blood pressure it can adversely affect your health. The tea tends to amplify the medication that was already being taken. It is thus advisable that you avoid drinking this tea without consulting your doctor so that there is no deterioration in your health.
2. Not Safe For Patients Undergoing Surgery:
As this herbal tea tends to affect the blood sugar levels, it can be difficult to control the blood sugar levels during and after a surgery. It is advisable to stop taking this herb at least 2 to 3 weeks before and after a surgery.
3. Increasing The Risk Of Heart Disease:
A study was done at the University of Pennsylvania, at their Byastr Centre for Natural Health, which showed that hibiscus tends to expand our blood vessels. This is very harmful as when this happens it increases the risks of heart diseases. It is preferable that people with a heart condition should stay away from the tea. In case you still wish to consume it, consult your doctor before doing so as you would not want to complicate your conditions.
4. Influences The Estrogen Levels In The Body:
This is a word of caution for all expecting mothers that hibiscus tea tends to interfere with the estrogen levels in the female body. Estrogen is one of the two sex hormones present in women. This hormone influences reproduction. Researches done at the Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology shows that excessive consumption of this tea negatively affects the estrogen levels.
5. Affects Pregnancy:
As this tea tends to affect the estrogen levels it affects the pregnancies as well. It has a direct affect on the reproductive ability of women. This herb increases the uterine blood flow, leading to chances of a miscarriage. It is thus advisable for women who are pregnant or who plan to have children, that you must consult your doctor before drinking this tea.
6. Allergic Reactions:
Drinking hibiscus tea has been the cause of allergic reaction in many people. The allergic reactions that have been generally noticed are like hay fever, sinus, or red and itchy eyes. This problem has not been observed in everyone who consumes this tea but it is not an uncommon complaint. So, you must consult your dietitian before indulging in the pleasure of the hibiscus tea.
7. Increases The Risks Of Cancer:
Hibiscus largely affects the cancer cells of our brain and skin. Meaning that consumption of this tea could reduce the cancer cells. A research done in coordination between National Cancer Institute and research of medicinal plants done at the New York Botanical Gardens show such results. This is not however a clinically proven fact. Hence those already taking medication for cancer should consult your doctors before drinking this tea as it could have an adverse effect on you.
8. Hallucination Effect:
Seeing strange flying turtles in the middle of the day may not be a desired site for any sane person. This may not be the case for everyone who drinks this tea but many people have complained of such side effects. However one must know that this is not caused by red hibiscus. So if you are drinking this tea ensure that it is made of the correct variety and in case you r still seeing strange sights, do not forget to talk to your doctor.
9. Affects Antiviral Medication:
It is preferable to stop drinking this tea if you are on antiviral medication. This herbal tea tends to reduce the effect of such medications.
10. Retards The Performance Of Chloroquinine:
This is a drug taken to fight malaria. The effectiveness of this drug is greatly reduced when hibiscus tea is consumed with it.
11. Makes Us Lazy:
As this herbal tea has the property of relaxing the muscles of the body it tends to make us lazy and causes drowsiness. It is thus advisable that you avoid this tea if you have a lot of work to do and a long day planned ahead.
12. Medicine Interaction:
If you are taking medications for pain relief this tea could heighten the side effects of such medicines. In such cases it is preferable that you check with your doctor if you wish to continue drinking this tea. Hibiscus tea also interacts with medications taken for the central nervous system such as anti-depressants, sedatives andanti-convulsive drugs. It can also potentially reverse the effects of cancer medications.
By now you are all well aware of the side effects of this tea. Just like any other goodie this too comes with some health effects, hence the caution. Do not be too worried and stop drinking your favorite beverage. A few benefits of the hibiscus tea has been enumerated at the beginning of this article.
There are other varieties of herbs that reap the same benefits as that of the hibiscus tea. The rose-hip is one such variety of herbs that can be used as a substitute. It has a high citrus content and can be used as an alternative to any vitamin c supplement. Chamomile, Peppermint, Rooibos are the other herbal tea that you can turn to. One just needs to be exercise caution, and not take an overdose of anything, and of course, consult the doctor before taking a sip of this rather healthy hibiscus tea.