What do you drink, Dr. Greger?


Dr. Greger ~ Are you still drinking that yummy Hibiscus Tea? (I did not see it in your “morning mix”!)

Kenton R. Mullins  / Originally Posted in A Better Breakfast


A half gallon a day Kenton! I no longer do the teabags, though, but the bulk dried hibiscus flowers themselves (why hibiscus? See Better Than Green Tea?). My current recipe is a handful of dried hibiscus petals in 8 cups of water with a penny sized chunk of fresh ginger root (see Plants vs. Pesticides), handful of fresh mint leaves (Antioxidants in a Pinch), teaspoon of amla (Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterol), and erythritol to taste (3 tablespoons for me–see A Harmless Artificial Sweetener)–all blended up in a high speed blender and then sipped throughout the day. I’m on the road right now and I sure miss my concoction!

Anyone have any suggestions for improving it even further (taste or nutrition-wise)?

UPDATE: Due to concerns about the manganese content, I’ve cut back to a quart a day of filtered.

image credit: Emily Barney / Flickr

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  • luveggies

    I keep ginger root in the freezer and use a Cuisipro fine rasp to grate a small amount directly into the water before i brew it over night. This rasp makes very quick work of grating ginger, regardless of what you’re using it in and is a more efficient way to get the ginger into the tea.

  • naveh masad

    do you have a research about Distilled water? Thank you so much about all this amazing site!!!

  • vegan2u

    Here is something you can try, in a Vitamix, input 1 whole Lemon, 1/4 cup of whole Hibiscus Flowers, 1/2 cup of Cranberries, 1/2 cup of Strawberries, 1/2 cup of Raspberries, 1 teaspoon Amla, 1 Young Coconut (Water & Meat), Watermelon to taste…no need for the processed sugar… I love life!

    • Robin Petersson

      Juice of one whole lemon, or the entire lemon?

      • vegan2u

        1 whole lemon with peel

    • foxfyr

      The list sounds pretty good;
      Adding a bit of ginger would be good as well,
      while omitting the coconut would improve it substantially.

      Please see:

      Is Coconut Oil Good For You?
      Coconut Milk Good For You?
      Does Coconut Oil Clog Arteries?

  • Neil

    I would include lemon zest and white tea for both flavor and nutrition. Especially with your demanding lecture schedule and interaction with sick people. This site is a genuine blessing; thank you.

  • Thea

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m looking for palatable ways to use that amla powder I bought. Maybe I can give this a try.

    Follow up question: If you are drinking so much of your above potion, do you still have room for green tea? It seems like green tea has so many benefits. But then maybe it is just a matter of hibiscus not being researched enough and it may be as powerful as green tea?? Just curious if you have any thoughts on green tea vs hibiscus. Thanks.

  • Kenton

    Your “potion” is nice & in line with whole-food nutrition / low sugar.
    I still consume coffee & Silver Needle in the AM. Are you done with the matcha mode?

  • mbglife

    I just called the Celestial Seasonings consumer line on their Red Zinger tea box. I asked if there is a difference in bioavailablilfity of the antioxidants when steeping at different temperature, specifically cold brew vs hot brew. The knowledgable young man I spoke with said that cold brew will taste and look the same as hot brew, but does NOT yield the same antioxidant amounts. He said green tea can be had around 110-120 degrees, but that this tea is optimized at around 160 degrees, and steeped for 4 to 5 mins, a bit longer if you like it stronger.

    • Thea

      mbglife: Interesting answer you got there. I wonder just how knowledgeable that young man was? More importantly, did he give you any studies to back up his claim?

      I’ll have to confess that I can’t tell from your post whether the young man was saying that hot brew gives more or less antioxidants. Either way, I think you will be interested in the following Dr. Greger video which shows the results of a study where cold-brew yielded dramatically more antioxidants than hot.


      Interesting, yes?

    • foxfyr

      You might also want to familiarize yourself with the recent evaluation of their products.


      ‘Dangerously high pesticide levels’ found in Celestial Seasonings teas


  • http://www.facebook.com/valerie.zinn.7 Valerie Zinn

    Does hibiscus tea interact with inhaled steroids?

  • TJ

    I am drinking alot of Cinnamon Apple spice herbal tea by Celestial Seasonings, first ingredient cinnamon, second ,hibiscus. Is this tea as good as the hibiscus Red Zinger teas nutritionally?

  • Robin

    Any idea if hibiscus tea inhibits iron absorption like other teas?

  • LizMD

    You should include in your videos about hibiscus tea (which I love and am happy to have heard about here) that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant should not drink it. It interferes with implantation.

    • Abigail

      Will you please link to some sources on this?

  • Mark


    Thank you very much for your many efforts in helping us to ferret out & separate the science from the belief in nutritional matters!

    Question 1:

    Have you had the opportunity to look into the anti-cancer research regarding papaya leaf ( & bark) by Nam Dang, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Florida?

    From the preliminary findings, it might seem prudent to add papaya leaf to the tea as well.

    Question 2:
    In addition, have you had the opportunity to peruse:

    Common Tea Formulations Modulate In Vitro Digestive Recovery of Green Tea Catechins, by Rodney J. Green, Angus S. Murphy, Burkhard Schulz, Bruce A. Watkins and Mario G. Ferruzzi

    which suggests that complementing green tea with either citrus juices or vitamin C likely increases the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb?


  • BPCveg

    Just got around to making your antioxidant fruit-punch. I liked it and plan to make it regularly.
    Where can you inexpensively buy these bulk dried hibiscus flowers? I just got a small pack from Whole Foods market for mucho dinero!

    • BonnieK

      I just found this place with the tea at $20/lb… I have no idea if that is good or not… I have never bought loose tea. Does that compare to what you paid at whole foods?

      • BonnieK
      • VegAtHeart

        Thank you so much for the tip.
        At Whole Foods, I paid $5.29 for a pack of 50g of Organic Dried Hibiscus Flowers. That translates to $48 a pounds so your web-company provides comparatively very good value. One difference, however, is that what I bought was pure hibiscus whereas the website that you suggested appears to be selling mixes with other ingredients like orange peel.

        • Emily

          Maybe this is no longer relevant to you, but FYI, Mountain Rose Herbs DOES sell just hibiscus flowers – at this time, it is $8 or $8.50 per pound (depending on whether you buy whole dried flowers or the other kind, which I assume is flower pieces). You can see it on this page (scroll down to hibiscus): https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/bulkherb/h.php

          • VegAtHeart

            Thank you so much Emily! That is super-helpful. Thankfully they also ship to Canada so I can use this service.

  • eli holmes

    I realize ideally we should drink hibiscus and green tea, and other teas throughout the day ideally. However, I’m fine with steeping several together, as in 3/4 green tea bags, 2/3 black tea bags, as well as hibiscus all together. Is this ok, first off brew them together? Also, can I use a small volume of water, say a have liter for this combination, or should I use 1 cup of water per tea bag? Finally, is it okay to drink all of that combination at once? literally equivalent to 9 to 12 tea bags at once?

    • w.andrada

      I am wondering too, if I could mix hibiscus flowers and green tea together.

  • Karla Ely

    I brew my own Kombucha tea; after the fermentation is complete, I remove the SCOBY and add 2 TBS of dried hibiscus flower (per gallon of tea) – pretty & yummy.. and I’m getting probiotics and enzymes in my tea.

  • Hal

    The good doc asked for ideas to make your daily (tea) concoction
    better. Try adding two or three ounces of high anti-oxidant organic
    juice like cherry, acai berry, etc., right into your drink! For lower
    income, this is also a way to slowly squeeze those more expensive among
    organic juices into your daily immunity building.

  • Sharon

    When Dr Gregor says he puts it all in a high speed blender, does that mean the hibiscus flowers too or water the hibiscus has been steeped in?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Yes, hibiscus flowers too!

      • Karen B

        I drink a lot of hibiscus tea, too, so I’m concerned about the manganese content. If you don’t whiz it up, including the flowers, this would lower the manganese content, wouldn’t it? Currently I use 4 of the Zinger tea bags, and a scoop of the dried hibiscus, in 1 gallon water.

  • Eddie

    I’ve read about tea being acidic to the body. How can I mitigate those effects?

  • Tammy

    Is hibiscus tea safe for someone trying to get pregnant? What tea is best for fertility? Thanks for all you do!

    • w.andrada

      no…it has an anti fertility effect especially the hibiscus sinensis according to research…

  • VeganSmile

    I follow your recipe Dr, but instead of erythritol I use cinnamon and a small amount of nutmeg. Erythritol is highly processed, so I can’t see how that can be healthy for you. The ones I have seen are not in natural “monk fruit” state, but in sugar-like granules. Its been put through some serious processing to get it to look like that. I also add a small amount of lemon balm and a tiny amount of all spice – but these last 2 are not added for taste so go easy!

  • David Colin

    I add one green teabag for every hibiscus teabag. It comes out like a nice fruity iced tea and ups the nutrition content quite a bit, since green tea has properties that hibiscus does not. :)

    • Val

      This is exactly what I do each morning! 2 cups hot (not boiling) water…1 teabag of organic green tea and 1 teabag of organic hibiscus tea…steep for about 30 minutes…strain into my glass bottle and bring to work. I really like hibiscus and green tea blended!

  • be

    hello Dr. Greger,

    thank you for your passion in sharing good nutrition with the world :)

    is it safe to cold brew (bulk hibiscus/jamaica) bought from local latino market, where contamination can occur( where customers touching with dirty hands, that might have touch raw meat or didn’t wash hand coming from toilet), if i boil the hibiscus, will it loose the nutritional value.

    please advice,

    thank you so much for all your kind effort, i learn so much from your videos and forwarding your site to friends, and it’s definitely made me a vegan, and helping my family eat better

  • Paul

    Dr. Greger, how can you get elderly people to eat turmeric?

    • Thea

      Paul: Wouldn’t the answer be: The same way you get anyone else to eat turmeric? I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I’m trying to figure out what you think is different about seniors consuming turmeric vs younger people.

      I know one senior citizen who bought the Capsule Machine and fills his own empty capsules with turmeric. He’s really happy with that option. And he is experimenting with adding ground black pepper and amla too. You can buy pills that have turmeric already in it, but they are expensive.

      Then I know another senior citizen who puts a bunch of turmeric in a giant spoon of humus each day. She is also thinking of trying to mix the turmeric with tomato based salsa.

      Hope those idea help.

  • http://www.tammyplunkett.com Tammy Plunkett

    Dr. Greger, I’m looking for evidence if coffee would have a negative affect on osteoarthritis. Since going plant based 8 months ago my husband has gone off all his blood pressure and stomach medication (doctor supervised) but the osteoarthritis is still lingering with the occasional bout of gout. He is doing the straight cherries and cherry juice for the gout, but we wonder if coffee is having an effect on his arthritis. Thanks for all you do!! Tammy