Can Drinking Tea Lower your Blood Pressure?
Studies indicate that regular consumption of green or black tea can lower the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) by almost 50%. Researchers found that the longer the person had been drinking tea daily, the bigger the benefit to blood pressure in both males and females. Yes, drinking tea can lower your blood pressure and lead to greater cardiovascular health.
In addition, hibiscus tea also has shown to be highly effective in reducing blood pressure. In one study, it was concluded that when hibiscus tea was consumed in appropriate amounts, blood pressure was effectively reduced in patients with stage 1 hypertension. While traditional medicine can have negative side effects, hibiscus tea offers an alternative that is effective with considerably less adverse effects.
True teas as well as some herbal teas have long been regarded as a healthy beverage. From ancient times, tea has been used for medicinal purposes and even today much research proves to validate some of these claims. Now, is tea the heal-all, be-all of medical treatment? Absolutely not, and while it can help in improving your overall health, it should be stated that any health-related circumstances be discussed your licensed physician.
What is hypertension?
The most common form of heart disease is known as hypertension which is a condition where the force of blood against the artery walls is too high. Really, it’s just a fancy word for having high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects nearly half of all adults throughout the United States and it can be a precursor to stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Some data suggest that more than a billion people throughout the world suffer from high blood pressure.
How does drinking tea help reduce the risk of hypertension?
Researchers have discovered that tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant contain many different antioxidant polyphenol compounds. One of these compounds known as catechins has been shown to relax the involuntary muscles that line our blood vessels, therefore, leading to lower blood pressure. Polyphenols are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties which are believed to help lower blood pressure by reducing vascular inflammation.
So far, we have talked about all the sciencey stuff, but does the science translate to actual results? In other words, do those who drink tea regularly actually have lower blood pressure? That’s what we really want to know.
Many studies have been conducted over the years and researchers have observed the tea-drinking habits of several people and compared their blood pressure levels to the blood pressures levels of non-tea-drinking people (no offense to non-tea drinkers).
One such study concluded that those who drank at least a half-cup of green or oolong tea a day for at least a year had a 46% lower risk of high blood pressure. For those who drank more than two and a half cups of tea a day the risk was reduced by as much as 65%.
What about hibiscus?
Hibiscus tea is also high in polyphenols and studies have indicated that hibiscus tea is also effective in lowering both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings in people with moderate to severe hypertension. In the studies we looked into, it is less clear as to why this effect occurs. Many believe it is for the same reasons as true teas, but hibiscus tea offers so many health benefits that it is unclear to pinpoint the exact cause.
While the science is a little less clear, the results speak for themselves. In one study, about 65 volunteers with moderate to high blood pressure were observed over a 6 week period. Half of the group were given a placebo while the other half were given 3 cups of hibiscus tea to drink daily. The results showed that those who consumed the hibiscus tea were able to lower their systolic blood pressure by 7.2 points while the placebo only dropped 1.3 points. Those with the worst blood pressure readings prior to the study saw the greatest decreases as much as 13.2 points.
So what does this all mean? It means that hibiscus tea, while being super delicious and nutrition, has shown to have inverse blood pressure affects. It helps you lower your moderate to sever blood pressure levels.
What about the caffeine in tea? Doesn’t caffeine increase blood pressure?
That’s right. Studies have shown that caffeine, even in healthy adults can create a temporary and often dramatic spike in blood pressure. Those who drink caffeine regularly tend to have higher blood pressure, but once a caffeine tolerance has been developed the caffeine doesn’t seem to have the same effect.
In addition, the caffeine amounts in tea are fairly low compared to coffee and of course energy drinks. The long-lasting benefits from the polyphenols within tea far outweigh any temporary increase in blood pressure due to caffeine.
Furthermore, hibiscus tea is a caffeine-free alternative that has many of the same, if not better, effects in lowering blood pressure. If you are worried about the negative effects of caffeine on your blood pressure, hibiscus tea might be your best bet.
If I want to begin drinking tea to lower my blood pressure, which tea should I drink?
We believe that the very best tea to drink in order to achieve any benefit is to drink the tea you most enjoy. Let’s face it, you only benefit if you consistently drink the tea and you’ll only consistently drink a tea if you like it.
True teas from the Camellia Sinensis plant have shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure and they include green, black, oolong, and white. There are many different offerings to choose from and finding the right tea may just be through trial and error. We recommend starting with the teas that sound like something you’ll enjoy.
If a tart and fruity herbal tea sounds more up your alley, than we recommend hibiscus tea which also lowers blood pressure, but without the caffeine. We also carry a variety of hibiscus tea options that we’re confident will fit your palate.
At Fusion Teas, we offer sample packs. This way if a tea ends up not being your favorite, you don’t end up with a bunch of tea you don’t like. Once you find your favorite, you can save by purchasing larger pouches and by joining our rewards program.
We know you care about your health and wellbeing and Fusion Teas is committed to helping you achieve that through tea. Below we have provided a list of heart-healthy teas that can get you started on your journey.