The effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on essential hypertension

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Jun;65(3):231-6. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00157-3.


Considering the high prevalence of hypertension, its debilitating end organ damage, and the side effects of chemical drugs used for its treatment, we conducted this experimental study to evaluate the effect of sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa) on essential hypertension. For this purpose, 31 and 23 patients with moderate essential hypertension were randomly assigned to an experimental and control group, respectively. Patients with secondary hypertension or those consuming more than two drugs were excluded from the study. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured before and 15 days after the intervention. In the experimental group, 45% of the patients were male and 55% were female, and the mean age was 52.6 +/- 7.9 years. In the control group, 30% of the patients were male, 70% were female, and the mean age of the patients was 51.5 +/- 10.1 years. Statistical findings showed an 11.2% lowering of the systolic blood pressure and a 10.7% decrease of diastolic pressure in the experimental group 12 days after beginning the treatment, as compared with the first day. The difference between the systolic blood pressures of the two groups was significant, as was the difference of the diastolic pressures of the two groups. Three days after stopping the treatment, systolic blood pressure was elevated by 7.9%, and diastolic pressure was elevated by 5.6% in the experimental and control groups. This difference between the two groups was also significant. This study proves the public belief and the results of in vitro studies concerning the effects of sour tea on lowering high blood pressure. More extensive studies on this subject are needed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tea*


  • Tea