It is thought that the antioxidant chemicals, such as flavonoids, polyphenolics and anthocyanins, contained in the flower play a large role in preventing the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (the “bad cholesterol”). This oxidation is what contributes to atherosclerosis, the build up of a waxy plaque on the walls of arteries. http://www.kingtutshop.com/Egyptian-Herb/hibiscus.htm
Antioxidant Actions of Dried Flower Extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. On Sodium Arsenite – Induced Oxidative Stress in Rats Full Study) http://www.pjbs.org/pjnonline/fin286.pdf
According to a study performed by Shan Medical University’s Institute of Biochemistry in Taiwan, extract from the hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa) lowers both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
These results were published in the September 15th issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Chau-Jong Wang and his colleagues suspect that the high antioxidant content contained in the hibiscus extract contributes to the lowered LDL levels noted in the experiment. For the experiment, Wang and colleagues divided rats up into three groups, according to the atherosclerosis-inducing diet they were to be placed on.
One group was placed on a high cholesterol diet, while the second group was placed on a high fructose diet. High glucose levels are thought to increase triglyceride levels, contributing to the fact of why diabetics are more susceptible to higher cholesterol levels and heart disease. Some groups containing each diet were supplemented with hibiscus extract to see whether or not it had any affect on their cholesterol levels. According to the results, both groups saw a surprising decrease in low density lipoproteins upon the administration of hibiscus flower extract.
Additionally, the rats consuming a high fructose diet also saw a decrease in triglyceride levels. It is thought that the antioxidant chemicals, such as flavonoids, polyphenolics and anthocyanins, contained in the flower play a large role in preventing the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (the “bad cholesterol”). This oxidation is what contributes to atherosclerosis, the build up of a waxy plaque on the walls of arteries.
Does the news that hibiscus flower extract actually has some therapeutic value surprise scientists? Not really. Hibiscus flower extract has been used in many folk remedies for liver disorders and high blood pressure. However, this is the first piece of research that establishes the healthy benefits of consuming hibiscus flower extract. http://cholesterol.about.com/od/herbalmedicine/a/hibiscus.htm
The Effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Tisane on Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive and Mildly Hypertensive Men and Women (Using tea)
Authors Mckay, Diane and Jeffrey Blumberg
* These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.