Herbal Tea’s Health Benefits (Hibiscus tea may lower blood pressure)

Scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture recently conducted a review of herbal teas, citing interesting findings on the health benefits of chamomile, hibiscus or peppermint tea.

Diane McKay and Jeffery Blumberg (at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass) found evidence that chamomile tea has antimicrobial activity and antioxidant properties. They also found chamomile tea can prevent platelets that form blood clots from clumping together, noting the anti-platelet effect was significant. In animal feeding studies, chamomile was shown to possibly lower cholesterol as well as acting as a potent anti-inflammatory.

Based on a human clinical trial, the team also has reported that drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension or mild hypertension.

The researchers also found that peppermint tea shows significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and has potential as an allergy remedy. In the meta analysis published in the British Medical Journal (September, 2008), researchers also found that peppermint oil can ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

The scientists conclude that herbal tea’s health benefits are not just folklore. The review of data, especially showing the blood pressure lowering effects of hibiscus tea, supports the benefits of daily herbal tea consumption.

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