Hibiscus Tea For Weight Loss: How It Works & How To Use

Tatiana Zanin
About the author: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
May 2021

Drinking hibiscus tea daily is a great way to help weight loss, as this plant contains anthocyanins, phenolic compounds and flavonoids that can help to:

  • Regulate the genes involved in lipid metabolism, boosting fat elimination; 
  • Mitigate adipocyte hypertrophy, reducing the size of fat cells.

However, this plant doesn't appear to affect the appetite, so, people with bigger appetites and lower weight loss results should use hibiscus with another plant that helps to reduce appetite, like Caralluma fimbriata or fenugreek.

The most correct way to use hibiscus and get the best results is to take it in the form of capsules, because that's the only way to guarantee an accurate dose. However, you can also prepare tea from the plant, using the species Hibiscus sabdariffa, which can be found in some supermarkets, pharmacies or drugstores.

Hibiscus, unlike green tea, has a more pleasant flavor but is also rich in antioxidants that prevent heart disease and premature aging. So, it is a great option for those who don't like to drink green tea.

How to make hibiscus tea

To make hibiscus tea and maintain the flower's properties, the water must be brought to a boil and then removed from heat. Add the hibiscus flowers, cover the pot, and let stand for 10 minutes before straining and drinking.

The correct proportion of hibiscus and water is:

  • 2 tablespoons of dry hibiscus or 2 hibiscus tea bags; 
  • 1 liter of water just beginning to boil

You should drink 3 to 4 cups of this tea daily, half an hour before your main meals. The tea should be drunk without sugar to get the expected effect and better weight loss results when combined with a balanced diet and physical exercise.

How to use hibiscus in juice recipes

In addition to hot tea and iced tea, hibiscus can also be added to fruit or vegetable juices. To prepare the juices, instead of water, use iced hibiscus tea and mix with fruits or vegetables in the blender. Good ideas for fruit are passion fruit, pineapple or strawberry. 

When not to drink hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea is contraindicated in cases of pregnancy, for women during PMS, because it can worsen their symptoms, and people with low blood pressure. Hibiscus tea can also cause hormonal changes and reduce fertility, so it is contraindicated for women trying to conceive.

Excessive consumption of hibiscus tea can also cause intoxication of the body, changes in blood pressure and muscle weakness, so the maximum daily dose should be 2 to 3 grams or about 6 cups of tea.

How to lose weight fast

Hibiscus is a good way to try to speed up the weight loss process, but you should also eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid everything that contains sugars and fat as much as possible. Going for walks is also very important, so anyone who doesn't practice any type of physical activity should look for some type of physical exercise to do, at least 3 times a week.

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  • Jeffery T.D. Richardson M. L. A review of the effectiveness of hibiscus for treatment of metabolic syndrome. J Ethnopharmacol. 270. 113762; 2021
  • IZQUIERDO-VEGA, Jeannett A.; et al. Organic Acids from Roselle ( Hibiscus sabdariffa L.)-A Brief Review of Its Pharmacological Effects. Biomedicines. 8. 100; 1-16, 2020
Show more references
  • COSTA Eronita. Nutrição & Fitoterapia. 2º. Brasil: Vozes Ltda, 2011.
  • SERNA Ana; MARHUENDA Javier et al. Effectiveness of a Polyphenolic Extract (LippiaCitriodora and Hibiscus Sabdariffa) on AppetiteRegulation in Overweight and Obese Grade IPopulation: A 8 weeks Randomized, Double-Blind,Cross-Over, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Research Square. 1-33, 2020
About the author:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal