Useful properties of hibiscus

Originally from Angola, hibiscus is grown in the subtropical regions of the world, especially in Sudan, Egypt, Thailand, Mexico and China. In Egypt and Sudan, hibiscus is used to maintain normal body temperature, heart health, and fluid balance. North Africans have long used hibiscus flowers to treat throat problems, as well as topical applications for skin beauty. In Europe, this plant is also popular for respiratory problems, in some cases for constipation. Hibiscus is widely used in combination with lemon balm and St. John’s wort for anxiety and sleep problems. Approximately 15-30% of hibiscus flowers are composed of plant acids, including citric, malic, tartaric acid, as well as hibiscus acid, unique to this plant. The main chemical constituents of hibiscus include alkaloids, anthocyanins and quercetin. In recent years, scientific interest in hibiscus has increased due to its effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. According to a study published in July 2004, participants who took an infusion of 10 grams of dried hibiscus for 4 weeks found a reduction in blood pressure. The results of this experiment are comparable to the results of participants taking medications such as captopril. Patients with type 2 diabetes drank hibiscus tea twice a day for a month, as a result of which they noted a decrease in systolic blood pressure, but no change in diastolic pressure was noticed. Hibiscus contains flavonoids and anthocyanins, which have antioxidant properties and support heart health. Traditionally used to treat coughs and increase appetite, hibiscus tea also has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

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