Tea has been enjoyed worldwide for centuries. As a major source of the antioxidants known as flavonoids, most teas are able to benefit heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and related issues, including blood clots, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.
Research supports the use of tea for high blood pressure, and even suggests there are a variety of traditional and herbal teas to lower blood pressure.
Traditional teas can be black, oolong, white, or green, and are made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are not made from the C. sinensis plant. Instead, they derive from any part of other plants, including the bark, flowers, buds, flowers, fruit, or roots.
What tea is good for high blood pressure, exactly? Some of the better teas that lower blood pressure reportedly include hibiscus, nettle, basil, garlic, and lemon.
We will also explore how tea helps regulate blood pressure, including the roles of caffeine and polyphenols. Let’s get started…
How Tea Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
How does tea help regulate blood pressure? It’s likely due to the presence of antioxidants called polyphenols in traditional teas and certain herbal teas. Polyphenols are thought to make up 30% to 35% of the fresh tea leaves. Caffeine is also a main ingredient found in traditional teas.
In this section, we will examine in depth how the caffeine and polyphenols in tea help lower blood pressure.
Role of Caffeine in Tea to Lower Blood Pressure
The simulant caffeine is found in traditional black, green, white, and oolong teas. The teas also contain small amounts of theophylline and theobromine, which are stimulants as well. Moreover, they belong to a class of organic compounds called xanthines, which are similar to caffeine.
Theobromine, also found in chocolate, is known to stimulate the heart; however, it also improves blood flow, dilates blood vessels, and has a mild diuretic effect. As a result, theobromine is able to reduce high blood pressure.
Role of Polyphenols in Regulating Blood Pressure
The main polyphenols in teas include theaflavins, catechins, flavonoids, and tannins. In particular, green tea and black tea contain the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), plus other catechins like epicatechin, epigallocatechin, and epicatechin gallate. Green tea also contains flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol.
What are the benefits of catechins in tea for high blood pressure? Catechins are able to maintain blood pressure balance through the regulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase gene subtype and promote the expression of heme oxygenase.
Research also shows that catechins can inhibit RNA expression in patients with high blood pressure.
The EGCG and epicatechin have particularly strong heart health-promoting, antihypertensive capabilities. The concentration of catechins in green tea is also thought to be much higher than that of black tea.
Studies show that EGCG significantly reduces blood pressure in hypertensive rats. EGCG stimulates nitric oxide production, and this suggests that it can improve symptoms of hypertension.
The tannins, flavonoids, and theaflavins in tea have also been reported to lower blood pressure. Quercetin is also able to reduce blood pressure and lower the severity of hypertension, according to human studies. Quercetin is able to improve heart health by reducing oxidative stress.
Best Teas to Help Manage Blood Pressure Levels
There are many types of tea to lower blood pressure. In this section, we’ll identify which are most effective, according to studies. Each tea may have a different effect on your blood pressure. What is the best blood pressure tea?
Here are nearly a dozen teas that lower blood pressure to keep in mind:
1. Black Tea
First, we have classic black tea. Research published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012 found that black tea can lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure by 2 mmHg to 3 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
This is thought to be due to the improvement in endothelial function, which has a beneficial effect on high blood pressure. The flavonoids and caffeine also have positive effects on blood pressure.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is another C. sinensis tea on this list with lots of heart health benefits, including the ability to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Research shows that long-term green tea consumption can significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In general, it is good to drink up to four cups of green tea daily.
3. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is another tea that has great influence on your blood pressure with regular consumption. Studies show that decaffeinated oolong tea will also reduce blood pressure. The researchers concluded that substances in oolong tea other than caffeine can play a major role in the regulation of blood pressure. Oolong tea can also reduce the risk of heart disease overall.
4. Hibiscus Tea
You can also use hibiscus tea for high blood pressure. It has been found to reduce blood pressure in animals and humans with hypertension. Some research used three glasses of hibiscus tea daily as the chosen dosage.
A study published in the Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice in 2015 found that hibiscus tea is more effective than a common blood pressure-lowering drug called hydrochlorothiazide.
5. Nettle Tea
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has been used for ages in medicine. Animal studies have suggested that nettle may reduce blood pressure. At the same time, stinging nettle can interact with high blood pressure drugs, such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, and ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors.
6. Basil Tea
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cardiovascular disease and risk factors such as high blood pressure.
The crude extract of basil is known to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This is because the eugenol in basil acts like a calcium channel blocker, and this effect can reduce blood pressure.
An animal study published in the journal Hypertension Research in 2010 suggests that basil is able to reduce high blood pressure. That being said, the antihypertensive effect is thought to be short term, with blood pressure returning to normal within a couple of minutes.
7. Lemon Tea
The auraptene in lemons has been found to have an antihypertensive effect on rats with high blood pressure. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2014 found that walking and eating lemons daily was linked to a reduction in blood pressure.
Lemons also contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are also able to regulate blood pressure.
8. Garlic Tea
Garlic (Allium sativum) is well known to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive people. The polysulfides in garlic are known for their blood pressure-lowering potential.
One systematic review and meta-analysis from 2008 suggested that garlic preparations are effective at reducing blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
9. Java Tea
Java tea is made from a common medicinal herb called Orthosiphon aristatus, which is native to Southeast Asia. The antioxidants in java tea are able to reduce high blood pressure and influence the pressure of blood through the blood vessels.
10. White Tea
White tea also comes from the C. sinensis plant, but it is less processed than other types, such as black or green tea. White tea has a more delicate and sweet taste than other teas.
A cup or two of white tea daily is able to alleviate inflammation, reduce blood pressure, and lower your risk of heart disease in general.
11. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) is a low-tannin, caffeine-free tea that has been used in South Africa and other countries for centuries. Rooibos tea is thought to benefit blood pressure by inhibiting ACE, which indirectly increases blood pressure by causing the contracting of blood vessels.
One 2010 study found that rooibos tea consumption led to the inhibition of ACE activity for 30 to 60 minutes. Rooibos also contains the flavonoid chrysoeriol, which improves blood circulation and reduces blood pressure.
12. Barley Tea
Barley (Hordeum vulgare) tea is a popular drink in China, Japan, and Korea. The magnesium, selenium, vitamin B1, and vitamin B3 in barley also help regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow.
The alkylpyrazines in barley tea will also improve blood circulation. Poor blood circulation can lead to blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.
13. Jasmine Tea
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) tea is any type flavored with jasmine flowers, which can be added to white, black, and oolong teas. The catechins in jasmine tea are able to inhibit LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and this can prevent heart disease. Since jasmine has a calming effect on a person’s mood, this could also lower blood pressure.
Final Thoughts on Tea for High Blood Pressure
A healthy diet plays a major part in decreasing high blood pressure, and tea consumption can be a big part of your diet and overall healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we reviewed the best tea for high blood pressure. The teas we featured for lowering blood pressure included black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, hibiscus tea, basil tea, nettle tea, lemon tea, garlic tea, java tea, rooibos tea, barley tea, and jasmine tea. The caffeine and polyphenols in many of these teas are responsible for the blood pressure reduction.
How do you make tea to lower blood pressure? Steeping green tea will take about three minutes; however, any longer and the tannins in this tea will make it bitter. Other teas will take up to five minutes or more to steep.
Article Sources (+)