Attention tea lovers: not only is tea soothing, comforting, and delicious, but certain varieties may also help regulate blood pressure. Although high blood pressure is a serious health concern that affects millions of people worldwide, natural options may positively affect cardiovascular health. Since high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, taking action to regulate blood pressure is key for optimal, long-term health.
Should You Drink Tea To Lower Blood Pressure?
When you drink heart-healthy teas, such as chamomile or hibiscus, that is just one step towards a more holistic approach to managing blood pressure. According to research from 2019, active components in certain teas may relax blood vessels. Not only does this help improve how arteries function, but it also works to reduce inflammation and regulate certain processes that affect blood pressure. Continue reading to learn which teas may help you manage high blood pressure. Please note that the effects may vary from person to person, and whether or not the person eats a balanced diet and exercises regularly.
First on the list is hibiscus tea, which some people call sour tea or roselle. One study found that consuming three cups of hibiscus tea per day reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 7.2 mm Hg in people with mild hypertension. Researchers believe that hibiscus tea works to improve how endothelial cells lining the blood vessels function. That process may promote healthy blood flow, but the anthocyanins and polyphenols may also lead to a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
Green tea is another favorite among tea enthusiasts, especially if people look to receive a small caffeine boost. Green tea contains specific bioactive compounds called catechins, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been associated with various health benefits, including blood pressure reduction. A meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials revealed that drinking green tea contributed to modest but statistically significant decreases in blood pressure. Other research notes that the antioxidant-rich catechins help improve endothelial function and promote vascular relaxation.
If you prefer black tea to green tea for your caffeine hit, you’re in luck! Several studies indicate that drinking three cups of black tea per day may help lower blood pressure. Researchers attribute this benefit to the flavonoids in black tea, such as theaflavins and thearubigins. These compounds may help to inhibit certain enzymatic activity that causes blood vessel constriction.
Olive Leaf Tea
Made from the leaves of the olive tree, olive leaf tea has a gentle, herbal flavor. Olive leaf tea contains oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, which are two compounds that support blood pressure regulation by relaxing the blood vessels. A small 2017 study monitored 31 participants who consumed olive leaf tea for 28 weeks. They prepare the tea by steeping five grams of dried and ground leaves in 250 milliliters of hot water. They consumed this tea twice daily over the course of the study. Within four weeks, participants experienced significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
We cannot ignore chamomile tea, which is known for its mild, soothing, and calming properties. Many people drink chamomile tea to promote relaxation before bedtime. Researchers note that it contains compounds, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, and coumarins, that may help control blood pressure. In a randomized, controlled trial, participants drank chamomile tea for 12 weeks and experienced a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo. The researchers behind the study suggest that chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may contribute to this effect.
As a final note, these teas are not intended to treat high blood pressure. They are not medications and may not work for everyone. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle may enhance the benefits of these teas. Should you have questions about the teas if you take blood pressure medication, consult your healthcare professional.