A tropical flower may hold the key to high blood pressure

Volume 13    |   Issue 26

If you know hibiscus only as a beautiful flower you can find in tropical locations, you probably don't realize how beneficial it can be for your health. No, I'm not talking about the benefits you'll experience from relaxing on a beach in Hawaii. I'm talking about what happens when you consume the hibiscus plant.

Yes, hibiscus is edible, although most people prefer to consume it in tea form. And this lightly sweet, brightly colored tea is not only fun to look at, it's full of polyphenols that can protect your health. A study recently published in the journal Food Chemistry investigated the phenolic acids found in this plant. The researchers found that hibiscus is loaded with antioxidants — so much so that they think phenolic acids can be extracted from the hibiscus plant and used as preservatives in other foods. Keep in mind that antioxidants help slow the aging process by blunting the production of free radicals that cause damage to our cells. So they can be great preservatives in general — not just “preservers” of our health!

What's more, polyphenols and antioxidants aren't all that hibiscus has to offer. A different study revealed that hibiscus extracts have antibacterial and anti-diabetic properties, they support kidney function, and they positively affect cholesterol levels. But perhaps my favorite benefit of hibiscus is that it can help lower your blood pressure.

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Researchers still aren't quite sure why it works, whether it's the antioxidants, the vaso-relaxant effects, or how it positively influences calcium channel modulation. The phenolic acids, organic acids, and anthocyanins it contains likely help as well. But regardless of the mechanism, which researchers are continuing to investigate, we know the outcome: lowered blood pressure.

So if you want to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, drinking hibiscus tea can help. But some people don't enjoy the taste or just prefer other beverages. Fortunately, you can enjoy the anti-hypertensive benefits of hibiscus without drinking tea. Simply take Advanced Blood Pressure Support . It contains not just hibiscus, but magnesium and a blend of 11 Chinese herbs that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to support healthy blood pressure. You may not be enjoying your hibiscus in paradise, but your blood pressure levels might make you think you are!

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