Lifestyle

5 surprising side effect of hibiscus tea

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Hibiscus is a large genus of flowering plants, growing primarily in tropical and subtropical regions, whose flowers are used for a wide range of medicinal purposes.


Flowers from the Hibiscus sabdariffa are generally consumed by brewing a medicinal tea or eaten in salads.

Like many herbal preparations, however, healing properties and potentially hazardous side effects are associated with the consumption of the plant. Certain precautions should be taken.

1. Effects on estrogen

Consuming hibiscus tea lowers estrogen levels, and those using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or taking birth control pills should avoid drinking the tea.

2. Pregnancy and fertility

Research on estrogen, pregnancy and fertility performed indicate the estrogenic qualities of the tea may interfere with healthy reproductive activity and affect childbearing and female fertility. Side effects from consuming hibiscus tea on fetuses are unclear.

3. Blood pressure

Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure, and has diuretic properties and mild effects on dilation of blood vessels. People with low blood pressure or those with hypertension who take blood-pressure-lowering medicines should avoid drinking the tea due to possible contradictory interactions between the tea and medications.

4. Cancer

There are some early indications that hibiscus has an effect on cancerous cells in the brain and skin. Although this is good news, those taking anticancer drugs or who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy should avoid the tea due to possible interactions between it and their medications.

5. Hallucinatory effects

Some people have experienced hallucinogenic effects from drinking hibiscus tea or a sensation of feeling intoxicated. Take care when driving or using machinery if you are unfamiliar with the side effects of this tea.