Hibiscus is one of the most popular flowers that is used as a herbal tea, and given how many health benefits it has, one can understand why. Not only does this flower enhance the beauty of your garden, but it is also very potent at improving your immune system, cardiac health, and also promotes weight loss.
But does it affect your sleep in any way? Does it cause insomnia like regular tea? Or does it improves sleep? We'll explore these questions and more in this article.
Does Hibiscus Tea Cause Insomnia?
No, hibiscus tea does not cause insomnia. In fact, it does the exact opposite-- it helps you get better sleep. Hibiscus has many healthy components, one of which is Methanol. This compound exhibits both sedative and anxiolytic effects in animal studies. Additionally, hibiscus tea has been shown to have mild CNS-depressant activity as well as muscle relaxation properties. All of which directly and indirectly promote better sleep.
In fact, some studies have suggested that with just a few cups of hibiscus tea per day for a few days insomnia might be impacted significantly. This means long-term use will yield even better results.
Moreover, hibiscus tea is composed of hibiscus flowers (petals and sepals). Herbal teas usually don't contain regular tea proper (Camellia sinensis). Unlike Hibiscus, regular tea and coffee possess the capability to affect sleep to some extent because of the presence of caffeine.
Sleep and High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Sleep is very essential for the overall maintenance of our body. Our body regenerates and re-energizes when we sleep. Not sleeping enough puts us at a higher risk of developing many lifestyle and mental illnesses.
Insomnia is also a very important risk factor for hypertension. If you have hypertension along with insomnia, then your hypertension can worsen more quickly than those who sleep well.
Hibiscus tea is a great option for you too if you are hypertensive with insomnia as hibiscus is a well-known natural anti-hypertensive. In fact, some research has shown that hibiscus significantly reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It is shown that hibiscus is as effective as Captopril, an anti-hypertensive drug known to reduce high blood pressure.
Please note that this does not mean that you can quit taking your anti-hypertensive medications. But, a few cups of hibiscus tea along with lifestyle modification might help manage both insomnia and hypertension. If you have chronic insomnia, however, it is recommended that you get your blood pressure checked as both of them are linked with each other.
Side-Effects and Drug Interactions of Hibiscus Tea:
- Hibiscus tea interacts with hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic used to manage blood pressure. So if you have hypertension and are currently on hydrochlorothiazide, avoid hibiscus tea.
- Hibiscus has been shown to inhibit the effectiveness of acetaminophen and chloroquine. So you should avoid frequently drinking hibiscus tea with these medications.
- Hibiscus has natural contraceptive action, so if you are trying to conceive then this is not an ideal tea for you.
- A very high dose of hibiscus tea (>300mg/day) is linked with worsening of gout as well as liver toxicity. If you have advanced liver disease, avoid drinking this tea. If you have gout be sure to keep your intake at a moderate level.
- It is not safe for pregnant women to use hibiscus tea. So if you are pregnant, please avoid drinking this tea
Other Things That Might Help With Insomnia
Lavender is one of the most popular herbs that is used to induce sleep. Studies also support this widespread practice of using lavender for sleep. According to research, lavender is more efficient at inducing sleep than practicing sleep hygiene alone.
Sleep hygiene is a must if you have sleep issues, but adding lavender especially in the form of aromatherapy will enhance the result.
Chamomile is yet another very popular herb that helps with insomnia. Oral consumption of chamomile either in the form of tea or tablets is a great alternative to hibiscus tea for insomnia as well.
3. Magnolia Bark
Magnolia bark is a Chinese herb. It is derived from the bark of Magnolia Officinalis. Traditionally it has been used in Chinese medicine to treat asthma, anxiety, depression, etc. But recent studies have revealed that it is very potent at managing sleep disturbance as well.
You can add magnolia bark with your hibiscus tea well.
4. Valerian Root
A native of Asia and Europe, this herb has been used to induce sleep for centuries, and it is backed by science regarding its efficiency in promoting sleep. It reduces the time required to fall asleep as well as improves both quality and length of sleep.
Melatonin and Magnesium
Alternatively, you can also try melatonin and magnesium supplements to improve your sleep.
Melatonin is our natural sleep hormone. Studies have observed that melatonin supplements help patients with insomnia fall asleep quickly.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals of our body and it is also associated with promoting good sleep
What Are Some Other Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea?
1. It Is a Very Good Antioxidant and Has an Antibacterial Effect:
Apart from being good in inducing sleep and lowering blood pressure, hibiscus tea is also a very good source of antioxidants, rich in tannin and anthocyanin.
Antioxidants are compounds that help to neutralize the harmful free radicals that are produced in our body as a result of metabolism. Free-radicals are associated with many conditions like cancer, bone degeneration, and even premature aging. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants in our body is, therefore, very important to have a healthy body.
Also, hibiscus has antibacterial activity against many harmful food-borne bacteria like Salmonella and Staphylococcus.
2. Reduces Harmful Cholesterol and Helps in Managing Weight
Research has shown that drinking hibiscus tea regularly helps manage the lipid profile. The study comprising of 60 diabetic patients concluded that drinking hibiscus tea twice a day for 30 days significantly increases the HDL cholesterol. HDL is cardioprotective cholesterol and reduces the formation of atherosclerosis. It was also seen that it reduced the level of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL.
So if you wish to improve your overall cardiac health, this might be of help.
3. Helps Reducing Weight:
Hibiscus tea is also proven to help with preventing obesity, reducing abdominal fat, and serum free fatty acids.
So, if you are on a weight loss journey, hibiscus might be a good addition to your diet.
4. Good for Liver Health:
Not only does hibiscus tea prevent obesity and serum-free fatty acids, but it also prevents fat accumulation in the liver. Fatty liver is a sign of liver injury, and most commonly results from drinking too much alcohol. Studies have shown that Hibiscus tea helps prevent and improve liver status.
Therefore, if you are someone who reaches for a wine glass a bit too often, detoxing your liver with hibiscus tea would be somewhat helpful.
5. It's the Tea Every Woman Needs
Hibiscus tea exhibits a wide range of effects in women. Starting from the management of menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms, to even inducing periods. You can read more about the beneficial effects of hibiscus tea on women's health here.
But please note that it's not safe to use in pregnancy. So avoid its use if you are pregnant.
How to Prepare Hibiscus Tea:
Hibiscus tea is a tart, pink-red colored tea. If you have access to a hibiscus plant, you can use fresh flower petals. Steep it in hot water for 10-15 minutes. You can alternatively buy tea bags too. Please remember that not all hibiscus flowers are edible. The only edible species of hibiscus are H. sabdariffa and H. acetosella. Make sure which species of hibiscus you are plucking or buying.
You can mix hibiscus tea with other herbs for insomnia to get an added benefit. Add some sugar or honey to neutralize the tartness a little bit.
To get the maximum benefit, take 2-3 cups of hibiscus tea every day regularly.
If you have occasional sleep issues regular consumption of hibiscus tea might help. You can also mix the sleep-promoting herbs in your tea to get even enhanced results. However, if you have severe insomnia, please do consult your doctor a mixture of herbs will most likely not be sufficient. A medical professional is equipped with the diagnostic tools to get to the reason behind your insomnia.