Hibiscus is commonly consumed in the form of tea and is said to have a wealth of health benefits. But does this include making you poop? Here’s what I discovered.
According to Healamed.com, the fruit acids in hibiscus may work like a gentle laxative that can help reduce constipation, bloat, and painful gas. It also has antibacterial properties that keep your bowels healthy by preventing blockage. The polyphenols in hibiscus are also thought to stimulate the digestive system and prevent the incidence of stomach cancers.
Keep reading to learn how you can use hibiscus to treat your constipation woes, as well as how much to drink for the best benefits, and additional side effects of this plant.
How To Use Hibiscus To Treat Constipation
Preparing your very own hibiscus concoction from home is easier than ever before! While you can purchase hibiscus tea from your local store or online, I always recommend making your own from fresh hibiscus to enjoy the most benefits, especially when it comes to constipation problems. Here’s what to do:
- 1.5 teaspoons of loose hibiscus or 1 tea bag (loose hibiscus is preferable for maximum health benefits)
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) of water
Step 01. Simply boil the water to 208°F.
Step 02. Place the loose hibiscus into teapot and add some hot water.
Step 03. Cover the teapot and steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 04. Strain the hibiscus flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.
Step 05. Enjoy!
Now that you’ve made this delicious concoction, you’re probably wondering how much of it you can safely consume to enjoy the benefits. Keep reading to find out!
How Much Hibiscus Tea Is Safe To Drink For Constipation Relief?
There are no specific guidelines as to how to use hibiscus tea appropriately. Most capsule formulations are offered in 250 mg to 400 mg doses and are generally considered safe so long as you stick within this range. Similar to the method listed above, dried hibiscus flowers or powders can be used to make hibiscus tea and syrups.
Hibiscus tea can easily be made by following the above recipe, however, if you are using it for medicinal purposes (constipation, etc.) then limit yourself to no more than two to three cups per day to avoid any unwanted side effects.
Worried about what these potential side effects are? Then keep reading to find out!
4 Surprising Side Effects Of Hibiscus
While hibiscus is an excellent way to improve digestion and get things moving, there are certain things you need to bear in mind when using this flowering plant. Here they are below:
1. Blood Pressure
If you do have low blood pressure, then you should avoid drinking hibiscus tea. According to a study conducted by Diane McKay of Tufts University, people who drank hibiscus tea every day showed lowered blood pressure with a drop of 7.2 points.
Those who had a systolic reading of 129 or higher had a greater response to hibiscus tea. Their systolic pressure decreased by an average of 13.2 points, with their diastolic pressure dropping by an average of 6.4 points, and their average arterial pressure decreased by a mean of 8.7 points.
With that being said, if you suffer from high blood pressure, then hibiscus tea can help you naturally lower it!
2. Changes in Consciousness
While this may sound alarming, hibiscus tea can, for some, produce a hallucinogenic effect or can cause a similar sensation to intoxication! If you have never drunk hibiscus tea before, rather drink it in a safe environment where you know you don’t have to drive anywhere. This is due to the fact that hibiscus may leave you feeling sleepy or out of it, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
3. Estrogen Issues
If you have low estrogen or are on hormone replacement therapy or birth control, then it is recommended not to drink hibiscus. Some studies have shown that Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis may contain estrogen or affect it in some way. It’s better to avoid the risk!
4. Pregnancy and Breast-feeding Issues
Hibiscus is not encouraged during pregnancy and breastfeeding since the potential side effects on the baby or fetus are still unclear. There is also some anecdotal evidence that indicates that drinking larger quantities of hibiscus over time may affect fertility negatively.
Is All Hibiscus Safe To Consume?
Because dietary supplements are not strictly regulated in the United States, it is better to choose products that are made by a reputable manufacturer with an established brand.
If you are purchasing dried hibiscus flowers, only choose those that have been approved and certified as organic under the regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
As a rule of thumb, be very careful of imported remedies that are made with hibiscus. As much as they may claim to be “natural”, it is almost impossible to be sure whether they have been infected with pesticides, chemicals, or other harmful contaminants.
If you are buying hibiscus for its medicinal benefits, make sure that “Hibiscus sabdariffa” is clearly displayed on the label.
Does Hibiscus Tea Promote Weight Loss?
It is important to note that hibiscus is not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. With that being said, it could play a role thanks to its diuretic properties.
One study discovered that consuming hibiscus extract for a period of 12 weeks caused a lowered body weight, less abdominal fat, and a lowered BMI in those who were overweight or obese. However, the extract is more concentrated compared to the tea, so the results won’t be as strong with the tea.
As we now know, hibiscus also works as an anti-inflammatory, which keeps cortisol levels under control, thus lessening the storage of fat. Pretty interesting, right?
Is hibiscus good for hair growth?
Hibiscus flowers are naturally full of amino acids which provide the hair with the nutrients needed to help promote hair growth. The amino acids produce a special type of protein known as keratin, which helps to build hair. Keratin also makes the hair less prone to breakage and promotes the thickness of the hair and makes it more manageable.
Is hibiscus tea good for skin?
Hibiscus tea is said to help with age spots, as well as an all-round younger, fresher, and smoother appearing complexion! The natural acids found in hibiscus assists by purifying the skin and breaking down dead skin cells and increasing cell turnover. That being said, hibiscus may even be beneficial in controlling breakouts of acne.