5 Hibiscus Tea Benefits For Periods

Last updated 02.28.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 12 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Herbal teas have become immensely popular of late. However, it isn’t a recent thing. The first mention of it, which is on record, goes back to around 300 BC in China. In recent times, it has been observed that around 12% of individuals drink herbal teas frequently. In contrast, approximately 25.7% of people are occasional drinkers. While chamomile tea is the United States’ most popular tea, hibiscus tea, our topic of discussion here, is also not behind.

The hibiscus plant, primarily grown in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions, is prized for its appealing, colorful flowers. That’s from where the tea originated. The hibiscus petals and calyx go into the making of the tea.

I was once going through the findings of a 2010 study that stated the effectiveness of hibiscus tea in lowering blood pressure, especially in those with elevated levels. Besides the many benefits of hibiscus teas, one of them worth mentioning is its role in lessening menstrual pain. A friend would have awful cramps during her menses, to the extent that she would find it difficult to carry out her activities of daily living. Besides medicine therapy, she tried several home remedies. One of which included consuming hibiscus tea upon the advice of her kin. She mentioned feeling much better after sipping on a warm cup of this tea.

Did you know that approximately 80% of women go through immense menstrual pain at some point in their life? Are you one of them? Do you trust the boons of herbal remedies in improving your menstrual pain and overall health? Are you wondering if hibiscus tea would help? Then, do read this article. I have covered important aspects of the benefits of hibiscus tea for periods.

I have also mentioned how hibiscus tea helps boost your overall well-being. You will also get important information about the ways to prepare the tea.

5 Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea for Period Cramps and Overall Menstrual Health

When it comes to relieving menstrual cramps, which are disturbing and discomforting, fennel tea, green tea, and ginger tea top the list; in this context, the role of hibiscus tea (made from the dried petals) in easing menstrual cramps and pain needs to be mentioned. Have you decided on incorporating hibiscus tea to improve your menstrual health? Here are the potential health benefits it provides.

Helps to Relieve Menstrual Pain

The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of hibiscus tea effectively help to lessen menstrual cramps and pain that may occur in women during their menstrual cycle due to heavy bleeding. The primary function of an analgesic is to relax the surrounding muscles of the uterus and bladder. In this way, it helps to minimize inflammation and pain. Indeed, hibiscus may not function the same way as a pain-relieving medication does. But it does provide some relief.

Studies have also shown the role of hibiscus tea in alleviating menstrual cramps all because of its analgesic properties. My friend would drink warm hibiscus tea during painful periods and mentioned feeling better.

If you are experiencing dysmenorrhea too often, which disrupts your daily life, you mustn’t rely on herbal or other home remedies for menstrual relief. Seeking medical help at the earliest is the need of the hour.

Works As A Powerful Antioxidant

Antioxidants may seem a big term to you. Right? Let me provide a simpler explanation. They are molecules that are functional in fighting against free radicals in the body. If you are curious to know what free radicals are, they are reactive species and the root cause of several health problems like cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions, and cancer.

Antioxidants play a significant role in the proper functioning of the female reproductive system. During an online discussion, a doctor once elaborated on hibiscus tea’s antioxidant properties. She said the antioxidants, like anthocyanins, present in hibiscus tea account for its vibrant red coloration.

So, when you have a tea rich in antioxidants during menopause, it helps reduce symptoms of menopause and boosts your overall health. When you have painful periods, associated symptoms like stress, bloating, nausea, and so on are likely to aggravate. So, when your body has adequate antioxidants, it helps you fight against anxiety and other PMS symptoms like bloating, headache, sleeplessness, fatigue, etc.

Hibiscus tea isn’t the only way to raise your antioxidants, though. You should manage your diet well and include legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

It is An Effective Diuretic

Whenever I had my periods, I would feel bloated a day or two before. I am sure many of you feel the same way. The fluctuating estrogen levels before your period are mainly responsible for bloating and water retention.

Studies have highlighted the diuretic properties of hibiscus tea in facilitating the body to eliminate excess body fluids, making it a valuable ally for women. You may have primarily heard of peppermint and ginger teas, which provide relief from bloating. However, if you wish for a tea that has fragrance and also relieves you from bloating, give hibiscus tea a try.

As a Mood Booster

The chemical serotonin is responsible for controlling your mood. In your periods, if there is a drop in the serotonin levels, it could trigger mood swings, mental fatigue, and depression. It’s not that everyone will experience a fall in their serotonin levels. In some, the levels of serotonin remain pretty steady throughout. Chamomile and ginger tea are great mood boosters.

Hibiscus tea also significantly helps regulate your mood, making you feel better during your periods. Studies have highlighted the anti-depressant properties of the flavonoids hibiscus tea contains. While discussing its benefits online, a lady said how a cup of hibiscus tea made her feel better, mainly on low-mood days during her periods.

No matter how you use this tropical flower, as an herbal infusion or extract it as a juice, its role in improving mood has always been worth mentioning. A study conducted on 32 adults who drank around 250 ml of hibiscus juice each day for a week showed that the participants experienced an improvement in their mood and even experienced lesser incidences of fear. The overall outcome was a relaxed feeling.

Helps In Hormonal Balance

Did you know that your periods result from the complex connection of different hormones? You have irregular periods when there is an imbalance in one or many of these hormones. Hibiscus tea can help balance hormone levels. If you often experience irregular periods, try hibiscus tea and see its benefits. However, that’s not the only thing to do. If you have a recurring problem with the duration of your menses, a doctor’s consultation is the need of the hour.

5 Other Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

If you have chosen to have hibiscus tea to ease your period cramps, you should know the other multitude of health benefits hibiscus tea offers.

Helps to Lower Blood Pressure

Some studies have shown the positive effect of hibiscus tea in lessening systolic blood pressure. However, another study conducted in 2015 points to the effectiveness of hibiscus tea in minimizing systolic and diastolic pressure. More studies are needed to validate this. If you are on blood pressure medications, you must consult the doctor before drinking hibiscus tea to avoid adverse reactions.

Lessens Cholesterol Level

There are mixed results about the role of hibiscus tea in lowering cholesterol levels – a blend of the good and the bad. A 2011 study of around 90 people who drank either black or hibiscus tea twice daily for approximately 15 days at a stretch showed no change in their bad (LDL) cholesterol levels. However, there was a significant rise in their good cholesterol levels (HDL). Another 2013 study mentioned hibiscus tea had no role in reducing cholesterol levels.

Contrastingly, a 2014 study had a different story to tell. It showed that hibiscus tea or any other hibiscus extract increased and decreased the good and bad cholesterol. From what we get above, it is understood that more study is needed to validate the role of hibiscus tea in managing cholesterol levels.

For Heart and Nerve Disorders

Due to its ability to positively impact blood pressure and cholesterol levels, hibiscus tea will also benefit your heart. However, if you are on any medication for your heart health, it is safe to consult the doctor before having this tea. When it comes to the nerves, I have already mentioned how hibiscus helps in relieving stress. Its soothing effect makes it beneficial in calming the nerves and maintaining your nervous system.

Helps to Lose Weight

Studies have shown the weight management ability of hibiscus tea. A report revealed the ability of hibiscus tea to lower BMI (body mass index), body fat, body weight, and hip-weight ratio. More research is needed to elaborate on hibiscus tea’s role in weight loss.

However, if herbal remedies are your thing, and you are looking for an aromatic tea for weight management, you may try hibiscus tea. If you do not add artificial sweeteners, the effect will increase. I have always preferred green and oolong teas to burn the extra calories.

However, you must also work towards exercising well and maintaining a healthy diet to succeed in your weight loss efforts.

Nourishes Skin

When looking for a perfect tea for glowing skin, hibiscus tea isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. My choice would be peppermint tea, jasmine tea, and green tea. But hibiscus tea has also made its way into the list of teas pivotal in maintaining healthy skin.

A herbalist once said hibiscus is rich in Vitamin C, which helps it make collagen. When your skin gets adequate amounts of collagen, it appears supple, elastic, and hydrated. So, you could drink hibiscus tea to prevent your skin from drying out. You could also apply hibiscus pulp and tea as a topical aid for an added glow.

How do you use hibiscus tea for menstrual problems and overall health?

We have discussed the several health benefits of hibiscus tea. Now, let us learn how to use and have hibiscus tea to improve your health. Regarding the consumption of hibiscus tea, it depends on your choice. You could enjoy hibiscus tea as a warm herbal infusion or as a refreshing drink. Let’s check out the ways to prepare hibiscus tea.

Hot Hibiscus Tea

If you wish to prepare a warm cup of hibiscus tea, here is what you have to do:

Ingredients:

  • Dried hibiscus petals/ hibiscus powder (2 tablespoons/8 ounce cup) or hibiscus tea bag
  • Water (2 cups)
  • Sweeteners like honey or jaggery (optional)

Method

  • Boil the water in a saucepan.
  • Add the dried petals.
  • Heat at low and simmer the petals for approximately 15 minutes
  • Strain the tea into the teapot or cup, and discard the petals.
  • You could add some lemon or cinnamon for flavor or even sweeten your tea with jaggery or honey if you wish.

You can steep it as per your choice. For a stronger color and flavor, you could steep it for longer. However, overstepping could lead to a bitter taste.

Cool Hibiscus Tea

For a cooler herbal infusion, here is what you can do:

Ingredients

  • Dried hibiscus flower (¼ cup)
  • Cold filtered water (4 cups)
  • Ice
  • Sweeteners (of choice like maple syrup, jaggery, honey)
  • Fresh mint (a bunch)/ raspberries (¼ cup) for garnish

Method

  • Put the flowers in the jar.
  • Add water
  • Stir and chill for 20 minutes till it turns bright red. You may steep overnight if you are looking for a more intense flavor and color.
  • Strain the tea and eliminate the flowers.
  • Pour the tea into ice-filled glasses

Hibiscus Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is excellent for easing menstrual cramps and managing other health issues. If you wish for a delightful blend of hibiscus and ginger tea, here is how to make it.

Ingredients

  • Dried flowers (1/4th cup)
  • Ginger (Thinly sliced)
  • Boiling water (6-8 cups)
  • Honey (a tablespoon/ optional)

Method

  • Put the ginger and hibiscus flowers in a measuring pot.
  • Steep for five minutes or longer for a more potent infusion.
  • Strain the infusion, and add honey for taste.
  • You can serve it hot or pour ice over the infusion for a cold treat.

If you wish for a hibiscus blend, mix this herb with lemongrass and mint, which is refreshing.

FAQs

What side effects do hibiscus tea have?

Hibiscus tea is popular due to its potential to support your health in various ways. However, with the boons comes the banes as well. You shouldn’t have the tea if you are allergic to the flowers. Hibiscus tea may even interact with certain medications like those taken for sugar and high blood pressure.

The tea is also said to come in the way of birth control medicines. So, if you take any of the medications mentioned above, seeking a doctor’s help is needed. Studies have also deduced that consuming hibiscus extract in high dosages can result in liver damage.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women have hibiscus tea?

Though it helps in your menstruation cycle, hibiscus tea isn’t a preferred option for pregnant women. They have phytoestrogens. You might be wondering what they are. Right? Phytoestrogens are substances present in some plants, mimicking the human hormone estrogen.

If pregnant, I suggest you not consume hibiscus tea before consulting the doctor. It could result in preterm labor. So you have to be careful. It is also essential for breastfeeding women to avoid hibiscus tea.

Why is hibiscus tea called sour tea?

Hibiscus tea is called sour tea because of the citric acid present in it. This also results in its fruity, tart taste, as in raw hibiscus flowers.

Conclusion

Drinking hibiscus tea not only helps with your menstrual problems, mainly because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It comes with numerous health benefits as well. You will get hibiscus in single tea bags, ready-to-drink teas, loose flower petals, powder, and liquid extract.

If you do not have any underlying health conditions or aren’t on any medications, you can drink hibiscus tea regularly in moderate amounts. When you have the tea correctly and in an appropriate dosage, it will help you manage various health conditions.

This article helps you understand the benefits that hibiscus tea offers. Has hibiscus influenced your health routine? You can leave a comment about your experience.

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.