Better than Green Tea?

Better than Green Tea?
4.55 (91.08%) 83 votes

The antioxidant content of a number of popular beverages is compared: black tea, coffee, Coke, espresso, grape juice, green tea, hibiscus (Jamaica flower) tea, milk, Pepsi, Red Bull, red tea, red wine, and white wine. Which beats out even powdered (matcha) green tea?


This new data on the antioxidant content of thousands of foods revolutionized the way my family eats. For example, you’ve known me as a veritable green tea fanatic—not because I particularly like it, but because that’s what the science said was the best thing to drink. But that was before 283 beverages were tested. I don’t think I could even name 283 beverages. They tested everything from Red Bull, to crowberry liquor.

Let me pull out a few. Water has zero antioxidants, as does Red Bull. At this scale, Pepsi, Coke, and cow’s milk get a 1; glass of white wine; a cup of red tea; black tea, green tea, red wine—seven times the antioxidant power of white, but neither as good as grape juice. Here’s a shot of espresso, a cup of coffee, and matcha tea—tea made out of powdered green tea leaves, which is what I’ve been drinking.

But what is this? What beverage could possibly be better than actually eating green tea leaves? Matcha has met its match. In terms of antioxidant power, the healthiest thing to drink on the planet Earth may be hibiscus tea! So, like Red Zinger blows everything else out of the water.

Here’s my latest recipe. Half-gallon of water—8 cups; 4 bags of tea in which hibiscus is the first ingredient (I like Wild Berry Zinger), the juice of one lemon, and 3 tablespoons of erythritol, or you could blend in some dates. I just put it in the fridge overnight. No need to heat it; it can just cold brew. In the morning, take out the tea bags, shake it up, and drink it throughout the day, every day, all day long. 

And, as always, extra credit for green foam: pour a cup of tea into a blender with a bunch of fresh mint leaves, blend on high, and then pour it back. So you have dark green leafies blended into what may be the highest antioxidant beverage in the world, and it tastes like fruit punch. Your kids will love it!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Custom tea photography thanks to Alicia! Other images thanks to TheCrimsonMonkey, mycola, temmuzcan via istockphoto; FotoJagodka via shutterstock; Renee Comet at the National Cancer Institute; André Karwath aka Aka, KENPEI, Ultratomio, MASA, Sissi Lin, Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons; Julius Schorzman via; Leandroid, 抹茶とお菓子 via flickr; Dr. Williams via foodsforlonglife and Katie from Images have been modified.

This new data on the antioxidant content of thousands of foods revolutionized the way my family eats. For example, you’ve known me as a veritable green tea fanatic—not because I particularly like it, but because that’s what the science said was the best thing to drink. But that was before 283 beverages were tested. I don’t think I could even name 283 beverages. They tested everything from Red Bull, to crowberry liquor.

Let me pull out a few. Water has zero antioxidants, as does Red Bull. At this scale, Pepsi, Coke, and cow’s milk get a 1; glass of white wine; a cup of red tea; black tea, green tea, red wine—seven times the antioxidant power of white, but neither as good as grape juice. Here’s a shot of espresso, a cup of coffee, and matcha tea—tea made out of powdered green tea leaves, which is what I’ve been drinking.

But what is this? What beverage could possibly be better than actually eating green tea leaves? Matcha has met its match. In terms of antioxidant power, the healthiest thing to drink on the planet Earth may be hibiscus tea! So, like Red Zinger blows everything else out of the water.

Here’s my latest recipe. Half-gallon of water—8 cups; 4 bags of tea in which hibiscus is the first ingredient (I like Wild Berry Zinger), the juice of one lemon, and 3 tablespoons of erythritol, or you could blend in some dates. I just put it in the fridge overnight. No need to heat it; it can just cold brew. In the morning, take out the tea bags, shake it up, and drink it throughout the day, every day, all day long. 

And, as always, extra credit for green foam: pour a cup of tea into a blender with a bunch of fresh mint leaves, blend on high, and then pour it back. So you have dark green leafies blended into what may be the highest antioxidant beverage in the world, and it tastes like fruit punch. Your kids will love it!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Custom tea photography thanks to Alicia! Other images thanks to TheCrimsonMonkey, mycola, temmuzcan via istockphoto; FotoJagodka via shutterstock; Renee Comet at the National Cancer Institute; André Karwath aka Aka, KENPEI, Ultratomio, MASA, Sissi Lin, Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons; Julius Schorzman via; Leandroid, 抹茶とお菓子 via flickr; Dr. Williams via foodsforlonglife and Katie from Images have been modified.

Doctor's Note

Note that the impressive manganese content of hibiscus tea may exceed recommended limits at high intakes, though, so we probably shouldn’t drink more than those four tea bags a day’s worth.

The sweetener I use is erythritol, detailed in Erythritol May Be a Sweet Antioxidant.

Check out my other videos on beverages and don’t miss all my videos on ranking foods

For all our videos on the latest research on green tea, visit our Green Tea topic page.

For more context see my blog posts: Hibiscus tea: flower powerAçaí to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankingsAmla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterolIs Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Top 10 Most Popular Videos of the YearTreating PMS with SaffronHibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage? and Which Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

281 responses to “Better than Green Tea?

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    1. If you can convince my wife, you are my idol! You can only guess what we have been drinking for the last two weeks! I’m surprised she want’s me to live that long ;-}
      And the next American Idol is. . . and the Master, Michael Greger.

    2. I have 2 very important questions about the video on drinking hibiscus tea..
      1. this tea is known for lowering blood pressure. if a person does not have high blood pressure, or has LOW blood pressure, will drinking hibiscus lower it even more, which could be dangerous?
      In other words, is it safe to drink this tea if you have low blood pressure?
      2. The video suggests placing the tea bags in the water overnight without using any heat. So my question is this.. Does just soaking the hibiscus tea bags in water without heating, produce the same, more or less amount of antioxidants as making tea the regular way with heated water? What about green tea… would the same answer apply?
      thank you and thanks for the excellent video.

        1. thank you so much for that Barbara. I did not know there was an existing video about it. I don’t understand why this news is not making headlines in health articles… from now on, it’s cold steep for me!

        2. On of the comments under the video points out that in the cold vs hot brewing study, there were actually many more aspects than shown in the video and that in some cases, hot brewing came out better and vise versa. White tended to be best cold brewed. Sounds like both are really good and variety may be best or whichever someone prefers. Someone else linked the whole study under that comment.

      1. I found your question on drinking hibiscus and the low bloood pressure but cannot find the answer of Dr. Michael Greger. Can you please share with me his reply. Thanks

        1. I don’t believe I ever heard from Dr. Greger about my question of drinking Hibiscus tea if you have low blood pressure. He is so busy he rarely answers people anymore. I believe he has people that do that for him.

          1. From everything I’ve gathered, I would feel safe in assuming (not advising, but assuming for myself alone) that it would not dangerously lower blood pressure. It seems with plants, unlike with drugs, the positive effects never seem to go off the rails into the danger zone. Like with certain plants promoting healthy thinning of the blood without interacting with essential blood clotting whereas drugs can do so and create risk for bleeding.
            If you have the means to test your blood pressure immediately after consumption, you could test it out for yourself.

            Also, rereading some of the comments, since the last time I posted I experimented with hot brewing the hibiscus tea and cold brewing. I’m not sure what impact the temperature might have on the antioxidants, but as far as extraction goes, I find that cold brewing works just as well to get it extracted into the water. I actually put my hibiscus tea bags in glass bottles and it can be fun to watch them turn the water pink/red… it’s very pretty, the tea bags kind of “bleed” and all the color streams out until it’s a fruit punch shade of red.

    3. new idea

      I just made green tea with hibiscus leaves, guess i am getting the best of both worlds

      and wouldn’t the acidity improve the absorption of the green tea antioxidants?

      1. I was thinking the same thing about the acidity! I think you’re right. Hibiscus is very acidic, maybe more than lemon? I’m not sure. But I actually brew mine with white tea and I imagine the acidic hibiscus improves antioxidant bioavailablilty a great deal. Plus it tastes amazing. I’ve used Celebration Herbals tropical hibiscus blend and cold brewed a couple tea bags with a Numi White Rose bag (white tea with rose buds… amazing!) and it is glorious! I Also like blending my hibiscus with chamomile tea.

        I have way too much fun making tea blends I think…

        1. I’ve been reading your replies to people’s questions and just wanted to thank you for your wonderful upbeat reminders! They help me learn, and get me excited about tweaking my own recipes for more health and happiness, both of which I wish to you!!! <3

    4. I would like to add hibiscus tea to my diet, but I am afraid it would hurt my performance.

      As an athlete investing 15h+ in hard endurance training per week.
      Would such an strong antioxidant blunt my performance gains?

      There has been one study in which high vitamin c dosage is killing exercise gains.
      Would the same be the case for such a strong antioxidant like hibiscus?

      1. escapevelocity, no it would absolutely not! It would likely improve it! Same with vitamin C, but from whole plant FOODS. It’s the supplements that blunt one of the gains one gets from exercise. If anything, your training would make you utilize the antioxidants better! So the more antioxidants the better, but not in supplement form. Check out Dr. Greger’s video on it here:

    5. Dr. Greger, on page 72 of the antioxidant food table, noted is beef hot dogs from Oscar Meyer with an antioxidant content of 0.47. On page 122 is broccoli (from USA) with an antioxidant content of only 0.25 . IN this instance the animal based food won the antioxidant contest. There are many other examples of plant – based foods on that chart with low anti-oxidant content, but of course, there are some with high antioxidant content. Knowing that many of the plant – based foods tested have low anti-oxidant content, why do you continue to emphasize the “rich” antioxidant of plant-based food when there are many that have as low an antioxidant content as the example I provided above (broccoli) and whose antioxidant content could be in the same ball park (low levels) as in animal based food? Is there something about antioxidants in plant-based foods that makes it more worthwhile to obtain antioxidants from plants rather than animal sources?

      If someone has committed to a whole, plant-based diet and is thinking that he/she is doing something good for him/herself, based on the results shown on that chart, this optimism about content of antioxidants in plant-based foods is not necessarily justified by reality. Many of the plant based foods tested have low antioxidant content.

      1. Hi. It is true that some plants do not content high levels of antioxidants. In the case of broccoli for instance, yes, the antioxidant content is low, however broccoli’s cancer protective nutrients such as sulforaphane and Indole-3-Carbinol make up for the antioxidant deficit many times over. These type of nutrients are not generally seen in animal based foods.
        One other thought would be again to admit that while some plants have low antioxidant content, it is still the world of plants that reigns absolute over the antioxidant champions, look at acai berries at almost 75,000 antioxidant units, followed by goji, artichoke, apple, cranberries, etc, not to mention the herbs such as marjoram and oregano. In addition, just like broccoli, these plants provide multiple other health benefits and little or no health risk factors.
        Please see an excellent collection of videos at, also
        I hope this helps, have a great day.

      2. Ggabbur,

        I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks for your question. You raise some good points.

        However, Daniela hit the nail on the head. There are many many many benefits to plants aside from antioxidant properties. Additionally, the article that Dr. Greger is basing these numbers on says that the majority of the animal food products tested were low in antioxidants. While there may also be some vegetables that test low in antioxidants, overall they contain far greater antioxidant properties, with no animal protein, saturated fat, or cholesterol. Since food is a package deal, it’s best to eat the best foods possible, with little to no “negative” nutritional value.

  1. Do you add the lemon to the hibiscus tea as a matter of personal taste or to boost antioxidant effectiveness as in the case of green and white tea (as you’ve noted in the past)?
    I’ve taken to using Red Zinger instead of water as the base of my blended cranberry drink–yummy!
    I use dried mint leaves in these drinks rather than fresh mint leaves. Is there an appreciable difference nutritionally?

    1. Great idea about the cranberry drink dgmusselman! I’m following your lead and doing the same thing with my Pink juice with green foam recipe. Looks like dried mint has only about 1% of the antioxidant power of fresh by weight, but of course fresh is about 90% water so there is a 10-fold concentration. So it’s probably about 1/10th as good based on antioxidant content.

      1. As someone who is sitting a lot, I use green tea to improve endothelial function. You have a video on green tea/black tea doing this, but what about hibiscus tea?

          1. I do work at a desk, but also have lots of entertainments that require me sitting (music, movies, reading – HATE to do these standing!). I take fairly frequent breaks to walk around, but I’d like to have a back up plan with tea or a supplement.

            1. So the music goes in your phone with earbuds, the reading in ebooks while you’re in bed, the movies in a tablet, all so you can either be walking around in the house or out the door. I’ve had to do all three of these. I suspect the teas won’t make up for the compression on your leg veins while sitting. I put my desk up on blocks and made a nice board at a slant like a music stand for it. I’m in much better shape with slimmed ankles. I’ve given away all my chairs. You can make baby steps in the direction of sitting. Chairs are traps.

            2. Etienne-Emile (btw, that really is a beautiful name!), Dr. Greger has another video on here about how effective turmeric is for this and it can get the blood flowing as well as being active, of course he doesn’t suggest replacing exercise with turmeric. I think you only need about a 1/4th teaspoon, but be sure to take some black pepper with it as you get a thousand fold more curcumin when turmeric is taken with black pepper (I believe you may only need 1/8th tsp of black pepper to get the effect but I could be wrong). And for the circulation, I would take turmeric raw (root or dried spice) as opposed to cooking it in a recipe which has amazing DNA protection benefits but cooking does destroy some of the antioxidants like curcumin and others which promote circulation among other things. I eat a little raw and cooked everyday pretty much. I would search “turmeric.” I can’t remember the exact video, sorry!

              I’d also keep drinking your tea, too. Green and white tea and herbal teas like hibiscus have so many amazing benefits.

  2. I wanted to know the actual number of antioxidants for the hibiscus tea to see how much higher it is than matcha tea. I couldn’t read the number in the video. When I click on the link for “Source Cited”, I didn’t see hibiscus on the report (though I admit that I skimmed it pretty quickly).

    I have the DVD for this, so I can probably get the number myself. I just thought I would ask here, because I figure I will not be the only one with this question.

    1. I second your question to Dr. Greger.

      I have downloaded the document and the highest value I found was for Sangre de grado (Dragons Blood). I haven’t seen hibiscus anywhere in this document.

      1. If you look through the comments you’ll see the question’s been answered a bunch of times (that’s why I put Jamaica flower in parentheses in the subtitle above). Hibiscus tea is also known as “Agua de Flor de Jamaica,” agua de Jamaica or rosa de Jamaica.

  3. Also, after seeing Dr. Greger’s other videos on matcha, I did some research on it and tried to buy some. The research turned up various levels of quality of matcha, which I found a bit daunting. Which one should I get. Then when I tried to just go out and buy some, I wasn’t able to find just “matcha” tea. I found lots of tea bags that claimed to have matcha in it, but the matcha was always the last ingredient, and I suspect the amount actually present is microscopic.

    So, can someone recommend a product from a mainstream American store? Or (maybe even better) recommend a specific website and product for matchs tea? I’d like to try it, but I don’t want to waste money. I’d love to get a recommendation.


    1. You can find matcha at the tea stores that have popped up in malls over the last few years, but it’s usually really overpriced and bitter and stale. I found the best matcha through a recommendation on for a farm in Japan called Hibiki-an which ships directly to you.

    2. Sprouts in California carries organic Matcha Tea. However, it is not in the tea isle. You can find it with their vitamins and other supplements.

  4. Finally, this video is awesome and I particularly appreciate that Dr. Greger not only gave us the scientific info, but his latest recipe.

    My question is a bit of push-back on the effectiveness of drinking the zinger teas mentioned in the video vs green tea. My thoughts are: green tea is usually all green tea or green tea with some flavoring. All the hibiscus teas that I have seen have hibiscus listed as only one of many ingredients and often not even the first ingredient. Did the study look at the antioxidant levels of real-life hibiscus tea or only pure 100% hibiscus?

    My point is: depending on how much hibiscus is really in the tea, I wonder if in practice, drinking green tea (or matcha) might still give one the most antioxidants. Perhaps? hibiscus tea is merely a flavor alternative rather than a dramatically superior antioxidant option? Just wondering.

    1. If you want 100% Hibiscus tea, go to your local Mexican or Asian Market and there you can find large bags of the dark purple colored flowers for a couple dollars. It is called Jamaica in the Mexican markets. Steep like you would any loose tea, and you can eat the cooked flowers too :) I’m sure if you wanted you could grind up the dried flowers into a sort of “hibiscus matcha” tea as well. In fact, I’m going to try that in a smoothie of acai, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, date sugar, flax and hibiscus “matcha”. (:

      1. livetodiscover: Thanks for the tips on getting 100% hibiscus. Much appreciated!

        I hope your smoothie was delicious. I don’t think it could possibly be any healthier!

        1. I ended up making a smoothie with banana, frozen strawberries and blueberries, ground flax, non-dairy milk, erythritol, and ground hibiscus. It was great! (I didn’t have any acai or goji berries at the moment-time for a trip to the store!)The way I ground the hibiscus was with a mortar and pestle then sifted out until I got a fine powder. It took a little time, I’m sure with some sort of electric grinder it would work much better. Being in the military I don’t have room for too many gadgets; but if you do, more POWER to you! (excuse my pun) I’m sure an electric spice grinder would work great! I found the ground hibiscus ads well to smoothies or to powdered healthy drink mixes. Cold brewed “Agua de Jamaica” works great too. Pretty much the same recipe as Dr. Greger explains on the video but use the powdered Hibiscus; brew it, shake it up, and drink it all. (I haven’t tried it with the lemon yet) Good luck! :)

          1. livetodiscover: Thanks again for the second update. I love how you found a way to make it work without a bunch of silly gadgets. Me, I love the gadgets and I don’t have space problems. So, I also appreciated the idea of using the coffee grinder. I don’t drink coffee, but I have a grinder to grind my flax seed.

      2. That sounds good , I have been soaking the the dried flower in 4oz of water over night , then drain it and use it my morning smoothie.. :-)

  5. This sounds like a fantastic drink, and I plan to make it. Just wondering, though, to what extent do antioxidant compounds survive the digestion process and how do they ultimately affect the body? Are there studies that indicate differences in people who consume high levels of antioxidants versus those who don’t—all other factors controlled for?


  6. An FYI. My mother used to take Lasinopril (sp?) for high blood pressure. It gave her a terrible dry cough and she quit taking it. Then I read hibiscus tea was good for high blood pressure and bought her tea where hibiscus was the 2nd ingredient. Then one day I found one where it was all hibiscus tea and bought that. It made her dry cough come back (so the active ingredient in lasinopril must come from hibiscus). Anyway, if you develop an unknown cough, it could be from the hibiscus tea.

    1. cbetter: So interesting. Thanks for sharing! I hope you find a remedy for your mom that addresses the high blood pressure without the coughing.

    2. The mechanism of action for the blood pressure lowering effect of hibiscus tea does appear to be the same (at least in part) as that very drug. Both hibiscus and lisinopril act to inhibit an enzyme called ACE. When our kidneys detect a drop in blood pressure they release an enzyme called renin into our bloodstream which converts a protein secreted by our liver into something called angiotensin I which in our lungs is converted into angiotensin II by our angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). That angiotensin II then acts to constrict our arteries and boost our blood pressure–isn’t our body neat? Anyway, lisinopril (and the anthocyanin phytonutrients that so brilliantly color hibiscus flowers) inhibits ACE, preventing the formation of angiotensin II and subsequent rise in blood pressure. But that’s not all ACE does; it also degrades bradykinins, which can increase cough reflex sensitivity. So that’s the reason ACE inhibiting drugs may cause coughing in up to a third of users and it makes sense that hibiscus could cause a similar reaction. So there’s definitely science to back up your intuition cbetter–thanks so much for sharing (and letting me geek out on physiology :). If you do develop a chronic cough on hibiscus, please stop drinking it.

  7. I just finished reading the cited study and the antioxidant tabel for the 3139 tested food stuffs, nowhere can I find any references to hibiscus. Where do you derive the antioxidant values for hibiscus from?
    Kind regards

    1. Sebastian,

      I have essentially the same question as you. I think I made some progress in finding answers. The article only summarizes a subset of the values. There is a supplementary file for this article that gives the complete listing for all of the 3100 items:

      Although there was no entry for “Hibiscus”, according to Wikipedia an equivalent name is “Tea, flor de Jamaica”, which was listed and provided 6.99 mmol/100g. To convert to the units given in Dr. Greger’s video, I assume that he means that a serving is 1 cup or 250 mL of tea. Therefore, if density of tea is 1 g / ml, I can convert 6.99 mmol/100g to 175 on his scale (which is in units of 0.1 mmol/serving). However, his chart gives 132 for presumably the same item.

      Additionally, matcha tea is not clearly listed … though “Tea, green (pink) powder” gives an enormous value of 1347.83 mmol/100g, leaving me even more puzzled.

      Until these issues are resolved, I am unconvinced by the argument presented in this video.

      1. BCPveg,
        Thanks you for your input, I remain just as confused as you.
        I sincerely hope Dr Greger will clarify the values for us.

      2. Thanks for clarifying the flor de Jamaica for Sebastian–imagine how excited I was when I saw that it was actually something folks could actually get (and in bulk no less)! Now you just have to do some detective work and find that pink tea for us :). I had to go elsewhere for the matcha. I looked at a bunch of sources; This the most recent I found: Draženka Komes, , Dunja Horžić, Ana Belščak, Karin Kovačević Ganić, Ivana Vulić. Green tea preparation and its influence on the content of bioactive compounds. Food Research International Volume 43, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 167–176 (I added it up to the sources section). Once I learned that flor de Jamaica was just hibiscus tea I dug up as many hibiscus studies as I( could find so I could I could arrive at a mean value, but it came pretty close to what Carlsen et al. came up with.

        1. Thanks for your response, Dr. Greger.
          It’s funny how such a comprehensive study on antioxidants by Carlsen et al, did not provide a value for matcha tea.
          Though I appreciate that you used a mean value for hibiscus.
          And it sounds like the difference between using matcha or hibiscus is not so great when one considers all possible sources of variability.

        2. I think the pink tea is a product made by green teahp.They have a web have 36 flavors and one is pink.I’m wondering what dr. Greger thinks of this product?

        3. Hi Dr. Gregor,

          I’ve read through the comments here and I still don’t fully understand why hibiscus (flor de jamaica) is interpreted as the most antioxidant rich beverage. I’ve read the Carlsen et al. study and understand that some ingredients in the beverage table are dried vs prepared, however I was puzzled why the study itself didn’t give special mention to hibiscus, if it truly topped the charts. The study states that, double espresso, prepared, weighing in at 16.33mmol/100g is, “…the highest antioxidant value of all prepared beverages in present study”. Perhaps I’m missing something, but please clarify if you can!

          Thank you!

          1. Hi Natasha, thank you so much for your comments!

            Is this the study you’re referring to?

            Interesting that they didn’t mention the Hibiscus tea maybe they are in the dried tea leaves but didn’t mention the hibiscus?

            However, there’s a whole collection of videos related to Hibiscus Tea which you can watch HERE , there’re some of them which go deeper in the antioxidant power of this beverage. And if you’re interest to learn about antioxidants check Dr. Greger’s videos about the subject:

            Hope this is from help

      3.  I just made a similar comment. 
        Tea, leaves, fresh  gets 26.55 

        Tea, instant, dry powder,  unsweetened  gets 165.86 

        very confusing.  maybe powder is more concentrated.  help explaining figure would be helpful ; -)

      4. In some Spanish speaking countries, hibiscus is called “flor de Jamaica’ (Hibiscus Flower). For tea its ‘te de Jamaica’ ( Hibiscus Tea ).

  8. You can get matcha tea and hibiscus tea from The have 100% hisbiscus. Just a warning – matcha is very expensive. If there’s a Whole Foods near you, they carry Rishi, but don’t have a huge variety. There’s also a great independent tea shop called Tea Trekker in Northhampton, MA. They are extremely knowlegeable about tea (no herbals) and will ship. The owners wrote a very informative book called “The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook”.

  9. Hi Dr Greger
    I have read in a magazine that there are several types of vitamin K. According to the article:
    – Vitamin K1 is found in vegetables.
    – Vitamin K2 mk7 is found in meat, fish and eggs.
    The article also said that Vitamin K1 is stored in the liver for only one hour, time not enough to perform all its tasks. On the contrary, vitamin k2 mk7 would stay in the liver for the whole day. So my question is: should vegetarians take supplements of vitamin k2 mk7 (created from natto) ?

    1. Not sure what magazine you were reading, but the scientific consensus is that either one (menaquinone or phylloquinone, formerly K1 and K2) is fine for maintaining human vitamin K status. The recommended intake is about 100 mcg. A half cup of kale? >500. No need for natto; just eat your greens. In fact dark green leafies are so packed with vitamin K that if you’re on the drug coumadin (warfarin), a drug that works by poisoning vitamin K metabolism, you have to closely work with your physician to titrate the dose to your greens intake so as to not undermine the drug’s effectiveness!

        1. Timo,

          Nice finds in the literature on K2. It’s a clear cut situation that those on the typical SAD diets have a deficiency of both vitamin K’s.

          In regards to vitamin K2 , my clinical experience has shown clear benefits for both those with osteoporosis and CV disease.

          Both disorders have been slowly reduced or reversed with a combination of diet and supplementation. May I suggest you view the video: for some input on how to maximize your intake ?

          Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger

  10. Hi again
    I’m checking in internet hibiscus tea. I have found two possibilities: tea made from leaf or tea made from the flower. Which one is the right one?

    1. Definitely! The more antioxidants we have the better we can protect and repair our DNA and considering that our cells are under thousands of different superoxide attacks each day, it is crucial to have a big supply of antioxidants.
      Also, we cant max out on antioxidants so this is a plus!

      1. Toxins: Great reply. (as are most of your replies) BCPveg had a very good, thinking question. I’ve seen versions of this question posted on this site in various places. I haven’t had a good response. Now, (if only I can remember where this post is), I will simply point people to your post. Thanks!

  11. I’ve noticed that when I drink hibiscus teas during spring and fall allergy seasons my allergies are exacerbated by the tea. Has anyone else found this?

    FYI – Orange zinger tea, my favorite of the zingers, lists hibiscus as the first ingredient. I usually find it at Vons or Safeway; I’m not sure why the orange is not stocked as widely as the other flavors.

    1. Lisa: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t know if this reply will help or not. But I wonder if you saw Dr. Greger’s note above concerning hibiscus and coughing? Maybe your allergies feel worse for the same reason that the person above started coughing more when drinking hibiscus?????

      Thanks for the tip on the orange zinger. I’m going to look for it.

  12. Michael,

    Excellent video as always. I like the fact that hibiscus has no caffeine. I’m using 1 quart of water, 3 tablespoons of crushed hibiscus flower (9 grams), 1 tablespoon of ginger juice, 1/2 lime, & 1/4 cup of z-sweet cold steeped. It’s adapted from a recipe in Going Raw by Judita Wignall. Her’s is similar except 1/3 cup honey for the z-sweet (nope) and a little too much ginger juice for my liking.

    I’m organic hibiscus leaves from Amazon for $12.90 per lb. I dry blend them into powder in my Blendtec and store them in Pyrex glassware in 4 ounce batches. I make the ginger juice in my juicer on a per batch basis since it is perishable.


  13. Is comparing 6.99 mmol/100g for “Tea, flor de Jamaica” with 0.72 mmol/100g for “Juice, fruits with pomegranate” the same as comparing apples with apples? Ten times the antioxidants? If so, I’ll quit buying the expensive mail-order FruitFast Wonderful Pomogranate concentrate and buy the relatively cheap Celestial Seasons Zingers!

  14. According to the USDA Database, an 8 fl oz (237g) serving of hibiscus tea has 20.48 mg of Iron, while the RDA for a male is 8 mg with an upper limit of 45 mg. Furthermore, apparently the Vitamin C in the drink itself or added to increase the antioxidant content tends to increase the absorption of Iron by the body.

    Will a few glasses of hibiscus tea a day be a few too many from the perspective of potentially developing an Iron Overdose, and especially in males?

    1. I love the USDA Nutrient Database! (accessible here). That’s where the data for videos like The Best Nut, The Best Bean, and The Best Apple came from. I can see how you could get confused, though. I know it says “fluid ounce” but they’re just multiplying their 100 g portion by 2.37. So what they’re referring to is 237 grams of the dried bulk petals (the ash and fiber content can tip you off). So even if you chew and swallow the hibiscus flowers after you drink your tea (or do what I do: blend them in with a high speed blender), it would take about 400 cups to reach that 20 mg, so no need to worry!

  15. I think you raise a valid issue. Assuming an average cup is 4 ounces, you’d need 4 to hit the threshold or two if it’s a large cup. Three thoughts.

    1. If it is non-heme iron and you hot steep it, some of the vitamin C that helps absorption will be destroyed. and the bioavailability of the iron will be lower than heme iron found in meat and animal products. I don’t know what tolerable upper limit is based on, but I assume its heme iron. Of course if it is cold steeped like Michael suggests that’s a different matter.

    2. At least in red zinger tea, the hibiscus is an ingredient in a medley meaning that the hibiscus loading is less than if you were drinking straight 100 percent hibiscus tea.

    3. finally, the definition of the IOM about what constitutes a tolerable upper limit is the lowest level at which a food can be consumed without negative side effects. I’d want to know what the side effects are and how serious to adjust my intake.

    That said Pat, I think you raise a valid issue. Perhaps 1 to 2 cups of pure hibiscus tea or 3 to 4 of red zinger could be prudent. Good catch!


  16. Like JMS, above, I wonder what is the ECGC content of hibiscus. Matcha is extremely high in ECGC — 10 times a high compared to regular green tea. How much does hibiscus have? And, to my knowledge, matcha is the only food that contains L-Theanine (the amino acid that helps one feel relaxed yet energized). I will continue to drink matcha tea but will also add hibiscus tea to my diet. Sometimes I need to remind myself that it does not need to be “this not that” but instead “this PLUS that.”

  17. I love Red Zinger style teas but I had been avoiding them because I haven’t been able to find a brand that doesn’t contain ‘natural flavors’. (I ran out of my bag of hibiscus flowers and haven’t been able to find more). What are your thoughts on ‘natural flavors’ in general?

    1. The exact definition of natural flavorings & flavors from Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations is as follows:”The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” In other words, natural flavors can be pretty much anything approved for use in food. Since these are typically considered “proprietary information” it can be difficult to find out what is in each product. By eating whole foods you avoid things with labels and hence avoid products with natural flavorings. When you cook you control the spices that you add so you know exactly what is in the food. Looking at the big picture the ingredients are a small part of the problem. More of a problem are the various sugars, fats and animal products listed above natural products on the labels and the tricks the food processing industry uses to hide these… like “Zero percent fat” in sprays that contain 100% oil… check out the number of servings on the back of those products. Of course, that doesn’t make them bad products. The point is it is hard to get to the “truth” of what is in products. Personally I use products like Red Zinger realizing the benefits probably outweigh the risks… it is a confusing world out there. helps us chart the best course possible so stay tuned… You never know when someone will do a study on natural flavors. Congratulations on paying attention to labels. The best advice on reading labels that I have seen is Jeff Novicks DVD entitled, “Should I eat This” available through his website… although he doesn’t get into natural flavorings but more about fats and sugars. Hope these comments are helpful.

  18. Could you please advise if hibiscus tea have the same effect as green and black tea, preventing the absorption of the calcium.

  19. Hey! Here is a great means of getting several beneficial ingredients into 1 serving of food rather than the tea. In an equivalent half cup of water (You can use a tall baby food bottle with a cap to be able to shake it) add 1/2 teaspoon of Konjac powder, which has many benefits you can read about on their website ( a dozen Goji berries and 1/2 teaspoon of Hibiscus flowers that can be bought in many health food stores in their organic bulk spice/herb section and a cap full of freshly blended lemon water. Finally, add a teaspoon of pre soaked Chia seed that helps your body retain the liquid and releases its carbs slowly assisting the Konjac powder that’s mostly soluble fiber to amplify the slowing of sugar assimilation . It comes out like a Jello that is a super antioxidant mixture and great for kids, I don’t add any sweetener due to the sweetness of the Goji Berries but you decide…In my humble opinion, any artificial sweetener you may use tries to fool the body but you can’t fool your body, it will later say Hey! I want some real sugar so you end up craving and eating a typical high fat/sugar product that defeats the whole purpose…peace

    1. From what I have researched of konjac, the only credible information i can find is that it is a good source of fiber, but i fail to see any other benefits from this root. I prefer not to use your website as a source since it sells this product, and they can glamor the “science” however they please.

      The emphasis on the website is on “soluble” fiber. Soluble fiber is abundant in the plant supply, just look at oats, barley, almost all fruits, and many vegetables. They are rich sources of soluble and insoluble fiber.

      This root seems like an overhyped marketing ploy to me.

      1. Dear Mr Toxins,

        I apologize but even though it looks like I was trying to promote Konjac I was really trying to relate what a good medium it is for making a healthy snack because of its Jello like gelatinous properties. I’m accustomed to making green smoothies every morning and found myself getting hungry about 1-2 hours after consuming them. I recently learned from Nutritionist Jeff Novick that when you blend foods that are supposedly high in fiber, you lose the benefit of the fiber when you blend the food, reason being is that food in its natural state has fibrous branches that do their work when consumed by simply chewing them but blending the food breaks up those branches into microscopic particles and you lose the effect to a large degree. So when I saw this video on Hibiscus, I had a brainstorm on a snack that was less in carbs and fat and more on a filling high fiber meal that that not only works but is high in antioxidants. However, I know enough about this substance because I do, do the research and am aware that for all its purported benefits, it has some issues, I purposely don’t make it too thick because of possible choking or lower intestinal blockage after consuming it. I haven’t experienced any of the noted possible side affects. Just because a website claims health benefits doesn’t mean they’re not true. Here is some information for your review.

  20. Dear Dr. Greger, I am drinking hibiscus tea, which is cool. But this question is about: Valerian root tea, which I didn’t find on your website. I am taking valerian root as a tea — 1 tsp. steeped for 20 minutes in hot water — just before bed for staying asleep. I have been using it for about four days and have been getting amazing results — being able to sleep 5 to 7 1/2 hours per night and waking up rested and not groggy. I have three questions and seem to get different answers on the web and from where I purchased it. 1) Users are supposed to “take a break from using it.” Please let me know how long of a break. 2) One site says that if you have been using it for a long time you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as: headache, insomnia, racing heart, general grouchiness and depression. How does one avoid those unwanted withdrawal symptoms, if one takes a break from using it? 3) Is valerian root tea safe? Thank you. –Alice

  21. I’m confused. I went to to buy Matcha Tea and there’s a comment on there that Hunmatsu-Ryokucha is the tea with health benefits and Matcha tea is a ceremonial tea – it doesn’t have high nutritional value. The commenter seemed to know what he was talking about :

      1. Actually I think the comment on Amazon is valid, although it’s a question of degree, and of which nutrients you’re looking for. I doubt that Matcha is completely devoid of nutrition, but it does have fewer EGCG’s (the cancer fighting catechin) than Sencha. Shade grown teas have less EGCG’s than teas that have been exposed to sunshine. Matcha is kept in the shade for about a month before harvest, thus reducing the amount of EGCG’s compared to a tea like Sencha, which is grown in the sun.

        This, from

        “The amount of catechin tends to increase as the season progresses. Spring tea (first crop) contains 12-13% catechin (13-17% as tannin) while summer tea (third crop) contains 13-14% (17-21% as tannin). If leaf order is compared, younger leaves include more catechin than mature ones. First leaves contain 14%, second 13%, third 12%, and fourth 12%. This explains why second and third crop summer teas are more astringent while Bancha is less so. Gyokuro green tea, whose leaves are covered during growth, contains less catechin and astringency (10% as tannin) because it gets less sunshine then Sencha.”

        I buy my matcha from Here is what they say about their matcha: “Our House Matcha is Ichibancha, the first tea harvest of the year, like all our teas, and is carefully grown in the shade for 20 to 30 days before harvest…”

        And here is what they say about their sencha: “Sencha contains more of the beneficial nutrient Catechin than other green teas, because it is grown in full sunlight, thus it becomes yellow-green in color.”

        I also have found the same information in a book called “Foods to Fight Cancer”, by Richard Beliveau, Ph.D. and Denis Gingras, Ph.D. I think they look reasonably trustworthy. (Beliveau holds the Chair in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where he is a professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Dr. Béliveau is the director of the Molecular Medicine Laboratory of UQAMHôpital Sainte-Justine (Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau).

        They also say that in general, green teas from China have less EGCG’s than teas from Japan. And they rank teas from Japan from least EGCG’s to most EGCG’s and Matcha has the least and Sencha has the most.

        Much ado about tea!!


  22. Can you give me any insights to Pu erh Tea? I drink lots of it, and have done for years. There are two varieties, the more common of which is the cooked variety which is fairly processed and far from natural. I personally drink the “raw” variety, which apart from sun drying and packing processes is completely natural, to my current understanding. I believe it can be classified as green tea. My question is, how does it rate vs. Matcha, or any other variety of green tea? And do you believe it falls into the “good for me” category, or am I somewhat deluded?

  23. One major problem I see is most of the Hibiscus teas have “Natural Flavors” which are anything but natural, it’s a lot of junk. Comment(s)?

  24. Green tea has nothing ,this is just marketing!!!
    You can take more anti oxidan via vegtables(Carrot and……….)
    You can see that how bad is Greentea for Iron

  25. I keep a pot of Green/White Chai Tea with Hibiscus in the ‘fridge and use it as the liquid in my morning oatmeal. Because of your videos, I also add a handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit, to include dried Goji Berries. I also sprinkle it with Clove, Cinnamon, Allspice, Ginger, and Nutmeg. Its delicious and loaded with antioxidants!

  26. Sounds great, I’d like to add it to my diet. BUT as far as I understood from the discussion below, hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure. Is this true? If so, is it also recommended for people (like me) with sometimes rather low blood pressure levels, I could hardly benefit from something that makes it even lower???

  27. The benefits of cold brewing “tea” tea were pointed out in another video. I’m wondering if there are documented benefits to cold brewing hibiscus tea, or if he is just assuming there would be. I prefer making it this way, but if it was tested brewed hot then why assume cold would be as good if not better, when it is a completely different plant. Just wondering.

  28. Thank you so much Dr. Greger. Today I blended a Hibiscus/Matcha tea soda using my Soda Stream because I love the idea of bathing my organs in antioxidants all day AND promoting alpha brain waves at the same time.  You ROCK!

  29. Are there any studies on dehydrated food?  I love dehydrated kale but found that it is hard on the intestinal tract if too many dehydrated foods are eaten…and I doubt that they are as nutrient dense since they lack water and possibly other nutrients that go with the water.

  30. I’m trying to make a great antioxidant herbal tea… and from what I have gathered from your tea videos…

    I have been making cold-brewed white tea with lemon, a hibiscus infusion (Red Zinger) with added peppermint and Chai spices (clove, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg).

    Anything missing? Maybe matcha?

  31. Also, if you brew or store tea (or any antioxidant beverage) in a plastic container, do the antioxidants interact with the phthlates to reduce their harm or do they draw them out of the plastic increasing your exposure?

  32. Just as amla can be found cheaper at an Indian market, or goji berries less expensive at an Asian market, so hibiscus (ie Jamaica) can be found in bulk in any hispanic market in the produce section.

    My wife who was born and raised in Mexico was thrilled to discover that “Agua de Jamaica” which she has been drinking all he life (and serving to us) because it’s so cheap, is really good for you.

    Thanks Doc!

  33. I made this tea and it is wonderful!!  I actually used aguave nectar that I had.  What else could you substitute if you didn’t have the sweeteners you suggested? 

    1. Vegan4life…and Wal-Mart sells the Red Zinger hibiscus berry flavor shown in Doc’s video here for $2.09 per box of 20.  I like blending it with Trader Joe’s organic green tea and fresh lemon!

  34. You posted a video in 2011 stating that dandelion tea has the most antioxidants of herbal teas with no mention of hibiscus.

    But there is no mention of dandelion tea in this video.

    So which is better?

  35. Green tea (pink powder) is clearly the winner based on the research you cited. 
    It’s antioxidant content was 1347.83 de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea) is only 6.99 Please explain why you think hibiscus is a higher antioxidant beverage


  36. I have been drinking “Dragon’s Well” (LongJin) green tea for the past 10 years (about 10-12 cups per day), I just love the taste of it and how I feel after 2 or 3 cups.  I should also mention that I remove the caffeine when I steep it.
    Wondering if there is any substantial antioxidant content among different varieties of green tea.

    1.  Misworded my question: it should say:  Is there any substantial antioxidant content difference between different varieties of green tea?

  37. Ok, I’ve read all sources cited and I cannot find any information on Hibiscus other than the mention of it in the first study, which clearly states it is not a potent as green tea. I am not alone in my confusion I see by the comments.

  38. Dried bulk Hibiscus flowers are inexpensive (a lot less
    than tea bags).  Like coffee but concerned
    about raising blood pressure? Grind some Hibiscus with your beans.  Or better yet, for maximum effect of this überflower,
    toss a few flowers into your green smoothie concoction – gotta have higher
    impact than water extraction. 

  39. Dried bulk Hibiscus flowers are inexpensive (a lot less
    than tea bags).  Like coffee but concerned
    about raising blood pressure? Grind some Hibiscus with your beans.  Or better yet, for maximum effect of this überflower,
    toss a few flowers into your green smoothie concoction – gotta have higher
    impact than water extraction. 

  40. The Wild Berry Zinger in this video is not organic.  I’m surprised that Dr. Greger drinks non-organic tea.  Do you think pesticides in tea are a problem?  I even worry about dioxin in the bleached paper tea bag, so I cut it open and dump the leaves into hot water, then strain it.

  41. As someone with a high risk of breast cancer (per a stong family history as well as an incidence of DCIS), I am very concerned about identifying whether a particular food or beverage has estrogenic qualities.  I try to eat in a way that does not encourage the production of estrogen–i.e., avoiding foods identified as “estrogenic.”  (The DCIS tumor, which I had removed six yeas ago,  was estrogen positive.)  I read that Hibiscus does encourage estrogen production (cannot remember the exact source).  Do you have any information on this? 

    I also have a large goiter and so have had to cut my intake of soy and raw greens in the cabbage family because they are goitrogens.  I have been wondering if the Matcha tea that I now drink every morning is made from raw tea leaves and, hence, “goitrogenic,” or does the hot water in which it’s mixed negate that effect?

    These two concerns have complicated my food selection process.  Of course, having become totally vegan over three years ago, I believe that I have substantially cut my cancer risk (and have certainly improved my overall health), and that is heartening. Still the BC and thyroid concerns are ones with which I have to deal, and I could use any information you can provide.

    I find your website very helpful.  It helps me stay “on track” with my still “new” diet and lifestyle.

  42. I’m having difficulty referencing this for wikipedia.  Table 2 (excerpt) doesn’t mention Hibiscus.  In the extra documents, Table 2 (full) has   

    Tea, Flor de Jamaica, prepared — 6.99 (mmol/100g)

    I assume this is Jamaica flower – Hibiscus? 

    Also, did you not mention the following because of availability?-

    Tea, Combe Tea, dried  — 57.57 (mmol/100g)
    Tea, green, (pink) powder — 1347.83  (mmol/100g) ???

    Maybe you can further explain the figures.

  43. Antioxidant ..Green Tea I was told to discontinue as it effected my hypertension medication. I stopped any my pressure decreased and was back to behaving.  Would hibiscus tea have the same effect with my medication ?

    1. Elizabeth, the likeliest culprit is the caffeine in green tea. The Mayo Clinic says that there are about 24 to 40mg of caffeine in green tea (vs. 95 to 200mg in coffee), which can be enough to affect you. Also, depending on the type of medication you take, the caffeine could interact with it, making it less effective. Hibiscus tea, however, does not contain caffeine, and can possibly help lower blood pressure. That being said, though, it also can interact with some medications, so it’s best to consult your personal physician to ensure that hibiscus wouldn’t put you at risk of disrupting your meds. Best of luck!

  44. I would like to print your beautiful color chart on the beverages in the Antioxidant Food Table for my family; is there any way that I could do this?

  45. I read quite a bit about consuming too many anti-oxidants and this causing them to actually contribute to the oxidation process. What are your thoughts on over-consumption of anti-oxidants?

    1. The bacteria are not found in your stomach, but in your intestines.The warm liquid should not affect the bacteria once it enters your intestines as I am sure you are not drinking boiling water, and even so, it would cool in your stomach.

  46. Dear Dr Greger,

    Thank you for the gorgeous, lovingly made, humorous information that you provide so faithfully.

    As an ideologically lonely mum of one raising a healthy little vegan girl, you have been a source of assurance, confidence and inspiration! I also have a lot to learn, and you are helping me.

    Can you answer a query about tea? I do love my tea. Afraid I really mostly get on with black tea, though I dabble in other hues! My question is this-try as I might, I cannot deny that I really like my black tea with a good slug of soy milk. I can’t help it. It is something I look forward to! Am I totally negating all the tea’s benefits this way? What if I had a couple sips, then added my plant milk? Any good?! We follow a mostly wholefood diet free from any refined sugars, and love it – yet this little thing I really struggle with giving up!

    I would be so grateful for your comments.

    With sincere best wishes.

    Abi Hardy

    1. I would not worry about adding the soy milk to your tea. The rest of your diet is particularly healthy, and I am sure adding the soymilk to your tea does not pose any negative health detriments. I say keep adding the soymilk!

  47. Maybe an even better way to get your Hibiscus is to place dried Hibiscus flowers into the blender (for example I use Davidson’s Tea Bulk, Herb Pure
    Org Hibiscus Flowers, 16-Ounce Bag). It’s about 1/10 the cost per oz than tea bags and it’s whole plant, so got to be better, right? BTW I’m taking this approach generally no water extracted food – I even “eat” my coffee (put the beans in the smoothie).

  48. Dr. Greger,

    You’ve unlocked the secrets of Mexico….I remember going to Mexico City when I was a kid to visit my Grandmother and there would always be “Agua de Jamaica,” which is essentially cold hibiscus too like you make (but with a lot of sugar).

    Great stuff!


  49. Hello Dr. Gregor,
    I drink Hibiscus tea every day now and love it, used to drink green tea. Is there any problem making a mix of hibiscus and earl grey (black tea)? I mix them in the morning to wake up, and drink it through out the day, the mix of both. Thank you very much.

  50. Dear Dr. Greger,

    I was interested in your take on this article in Scientific American about studies that are questioning the harmfulness of free radicals and the importance of antioxidants. Apparently it’s more complicated than free radicals = bad and antioxidants = good. Since you’re all about consuming the maximum amount of antioxidants that you can, I thought you’d want to read this:

  51. I drink this tea everyday. I love it! I use the Wild Berry Zinger. Instead of lemon, I use the juice and partial rind of a lime. I don’t use any sweetener and I like it that way. One day it tasted a bit too tart so I added some canned (not from concentrate) pineapple juice to sweeten it up a bit. It turned the drink purple. I repeated it another time and it turned purple again. I am curious to know what made this happen.

  52. Hibiscus sounds very healthy but I’m unclear about its effect on estrogen. Some internet sources say it increases estrogen and equally other sources say it reduces it. If it increases estrogen my concern is it may encourage the growth of some types of cancer. Any clarify on the topic?

  53. I use this pretty much the same as Erythritol?? is one better than the other?..let me know…Thanksfor the great info! cant wait to get some
    hibisus drink and use topically! :)

      1. However Xylitol mixed with cinnamon and clove is great for brushing teeth. It does not kill plaque germs but prevents them from sticking leading to hard tarter around gum line. Also over time it changes the flora of the mouth to a healthy flora which never produces bad breath, even in the morning.

        1. Roberta: Do you mix it all with water to form a paste? Or how to you do it?

          What is the point of the cinnamon and the cloves? Just for taste? Do you have any evidence that brushing something as abrasive (in my opinion) as cloves against teeth and gums does no harm? Have you researched this?

          I’m asking because I’m very interested in this idea. I’m just exercising judicial (to me) caution by asking questions.

          Thanks for your thoughts.

  54. Dr. Greger – You didn’t elaborate on limiting consumption in pregnant women. I’m currently 8 months pregnant and my doula gave my a recipe for a pregnancy blend tea, to drink plenty of, everyday (which I have been), which calls for a handful of hibiscus flowers. Also, can you confirm: I’ve read hibiscus flowers contain a good amount of vitamin C, would that be the same/similar as antioxidants? Do you think it matters to try to obtain organic hibiscus flowers? I get mine from the Mexican produce markets in town and I’m pretty sure they are not organic. Thanks

  55. For anyone in need of a source, I quickly found organic hibiscus tea (with just one ingredient: hibiscus tea leaves) on at a great price: 100 tea bags for $12. The brand is Davidson’s Tea.

  56. When left out exposed to the air, in the refrigerator or otherwise, does the good stuff, maybe the antioxidants, oxidize and lose its usefulness?

  57. Dr. Greger,

    Do you know if there’s any relation of Hibiscus to Ragweed? There are two sites that say you should avoid Hibiscus tea and Chamomile tea if you’re allergic to ragweed. They also talked about other foods to avoid for ragweed allergy but when I tried to google about a specific relationship to Hibiscus and ragweed I couldn’t really find anything.

    Do you know if the plants are related or if they pollinate closely or something like that?

    I just bought some hibiscus tea (wasn’t expensive) but I was planning on taking it religiously, however, I have sinus and skin allergies and will avoid allergens like the plague because of the reaction I get.

    Btw, love the info on this site, please, keep up the good work. I’ve learned so much.

  58. Great video ~ loved it ~ I have been drinking a homemade tea of ~ lavender blossoms , hibiscus blissoms, nettles & alfalfa ~ brewed & stepped 8 hrs~ add desired sweetener ~ I use juice ~

  59. Simply looking at so-called antioxidant potential is not sufficient. We always have to consider the total impact of ingesting a food or beverage to determine its actual overall value. i.e. The “whole thing” or holism.

    Hibiscus is “better” than green tea in terms of having less toxic elements and compounds like aluminum and fluoride etc. However hibiscus is still high enough in aluminum to warrant limited consumption to a quantity appropriate for an individual’s ability to excrete such toxic elements…

    “…hibiscus….appeared to contain the greatest contents of Al, Fe, K, Mn, Ni, Zn…..”

    Aluminium and other elements in selected herbal tea plant species and their infusions.
    Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):728-34. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.02.013. Epub 2013 Feb 16.

  60. Matcha has received a lot of press but there is a lot of confusion around it. Matcha is grown in the shade. Sencha is grown in sunlight. Both can be consumed as powdered whole tea. Matcha is higher in caffeine and L-theanine while Sencha powder is actually higher in catechins (antioxidants) than matcha.

  61. I have a fatty liver which gives me lots of pain and read here where I shouldn’t be drinking Nonni Juice (which I don’t) but good to know. Would it be fine to drink this Hibiscus tea? I’m suspicious now of what I should and shouldn’t eat/drink because of my liver problem. New to NutritionFacts and loving it!

  62. Hi,
    Thank you so much for all the helpful info provided on this site!
    A question about the blood pressure lowering quality you mentioned below: I guess this means I should stay away from Hibiscus tea if I have low blood pressure to begin with, correct?
    (Don’t really like the taste of green tea – what would be your next anti-oxidant drink recommendation for me?)

  63. I didn’t add Erythritol to my Wild Berry Zinger, (I don’t need sweet), & I prefer lemon to taste, cup by cup. When my 9 & 5 year old granddaughters tried it, I was going to add ‘E-tol’ / no lemon, but my wife waved me off…They loved it unsweetened! Now, when I bring it to their house for myself, they want it, too, (& the 6 year old suddenly prefers my “Field Roast” over beef). I was already somewhat satisfied that my daughter severely waters-down fruit-juices, & allows no soda, but now…! Hibiscus is a blessing.

  64. I’m confused now. Wikipedia says that the antioxidant and anthocyanin activity of the hibiscus tea is not conserved after ingestion. Meaning it is converted to other things and won’t benefit like eating berries for example. HUH?

  65. We’ve had such good luck reversing my husband’s prostate cancer with, among other things, lots of green tea that I am a little afraid to change to hibiscus, even if it does taste better! Is there any science linking hibiscus tea and cancer cell apoptosis?

  66. A warning/caveat: dentists have discovered that drinking lemon juice can be very destructive to your tooth enamel. Additionally, you should not brush your teeth until an hour after consuming it as the fact of the lemon juice softening the enamel puts you at risk of actually brushing it off. My dentist suggests only ever drinking lemon juice through a straw.

  67. Is there a way to measure the amount of antioxidants your getting because I recently read an article saying,like many other things,too many antioxidants can be harmful…….also from an natural energy stand point is there anything better than matcha green tea?

  68. great work dr greger. however your decision making seems slightly flawed. the highest antioxidant content doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. not all antioxidants work inside the body to quench oxidation, they have many effects within the body. lets use EGCG in matcha tea. the list of benefits are profound. what is it in hibiscus that gives it such a high rating? besides anti-oxidant capacity what do these compounds do inside the body? which is the most relevant to preventing disease? until there is a breakdown of the primary compounds in hisbuscus tea and a similar amount of impressive research to matcha tea, it would seem wise to keep drinking green tea rather than switching entirely. it’s not just the anti-oxidant value but the biological value of those compounds, full spectrum phytonutrients is i believe the best way forward. thanks.

    a brief link for those that are interested.

  69. How quickly do you have to drink the ice tea before antioxidants start to decrease or do they not decrease?

  70. Do you need the mint to make this taste like fruit punch?
    The green foam will turn my kids off to this…
    Also how many dates do you think it would take to sweeten this?

  71. I just read a report that the Celestial Seasonings Company was under a lawsuit for their tea’s containing numerous insecticides and pesticides above EPA level… We have to pay attention to details! So I guess I’m going to spend my night looking for a clean source…

  72. Hi, great information. I was doing some research on hibiscus and have found it has been the center of some breakthrough research in cancer fighting proprieties. At the same time, I would love to try the tea, I am allergies to ragweed. Should people like me with this kind of allergy drink the tea?

  73. I have been drinking hibiscus nearly daily for six months. I think it aides in weight loss.
    Here’s my recipe for a virgin Jamaican:

    A tea ball full of flowers (ordered online)
    1/2 Lime (just juice)
    a shake of cinnamon
    a couple squirts of liquid stevia
    ice and water

    Steep for at least 15 minutes, I make a drink in the morning for lunch. So 3-4 hours of cold soak. Nice and red by then.

    It is delicious and nutritious!

  74. I downloaded the 2010 Antioxidant Food Table with ORAC ratings for over 3100 foods which listed the tea you referenced. It is listed as “Tea, green, (pink) powder, NPS Japan” with a rating of 1347.83 mmil/100 mg, the highest rating in the entire table. Is this indeed “hibiscus tea”? Is hibiscus tea “green”? I’m confused. I thought it was a decaffeinated tea made from the hibiscus flower. Please advise. Btw, I am new to your website and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! So much good information. I subscribe to your emails, watch your daily videos and read the blogs every day. I always learn something new.

    1. Hibscus is under the name Flor de Jamaica. However, in this study is scores well under coffee, seeing that it has a 6.99 score while double espresso was 16.33.

      What other studies are there showing the antioxidant amount in hibiscus tea? I haven’t been able to find any yet. Can you help Dr Greger?
      Thank you

      1. (just to be sure we all are on the same page; we are talking about this list , link that can be found in the paper “The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods […]” found at – which is listed as a “Sources Cited” for this video)

        kat, maybe the explanation is that 6.99 mmol/100g is the antioxidant content for Tea, Flor de Jamaica, *prepared* and the 16.33 mmol/100g is for Coffee, Espresso, double, *prepared* and I guess it means the did the measurements were done on the final ‘product’ (the ‘water’ we call tea, coffee), not on the pure ingredient. And maybe dr Greger somehow deduce from this data which is the antioxidant content of the pure ingredient.

        The graph from the video (where he ranks the beverages from water to hibiscus) says the unit of measurement is 0.1 mmol/serving.
        So, to get the data from the video (132 for tea, 40 for espresso) we need to consider 1 serving of tea aprox 200 ml and 1 serving of espresso aprox 25 ml.

        Note that “Tea, green, (pink) powder” mentioned by citygirl, which I think is what dr Greger calls macha, has indeed a very big antioxidant value (1347.83 mmol/100g), but I think the value is for pure product, the powder. Probably dr Greger did the math and calculated the value corresponding to 1 serving of macha (water+powder) and the result was 100 (expressed in 0.1 mmol/serving). (The remaining question would be how dr Greger knew to use the same concentration for his prepared macha tea like the authors of the study for their prepared hibiscus tea.)

  75. I am suffering from Erectile dysfunction. Is there any solution? Does all these herb can cured, green tea, hibiscus, cranberry etc?

  76. Also was it “Zinger” that was tested or Hibiscus ?
    As I noticed that zinger contains over 15 ingredients although hibiscus was listed first, theoretically it could be approx. 1/14th of the total.

  77. I looked at the ingredients for the Wild Berry Zinger and was dismayed to find this in the list, “natural flavors of black raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, cranberries and cherries with other natural flavors”. Natural flavors? Not the actual food item? And what are the “other natural flavors”? Any idea what this actually means? Are they using beaver butt perchance?

  78. I thought I read to only drink 4 cups a day of this. But now I can’t find where I read that and wondering if I imagined it. Is it true and if so, why?

  79. As a Dentist who specialises in dental erosion, Im a little concerned about day long sipping this suggested hot drink containing fresh lemon juice.
    That would be around pH2, not far off battery acid.
    I hope Dr Gregers teeth dont feel sensitive when he breathes in cold air. Especially if hes has been drinking this powerful antioxidant, and highly acidic drink now for several years.
    Dental erosion from dietary acids is not easily measured, monitored or reversed.
    Thinning of the enamel from acids is an increasing issue in our population and is essentially irreversible.
    Frequent exposure to acid is the most destructive of diets for enamel.
    And you can forget brushing your teeth to re-mineralize. Brushing destroys the protein fingers left behind by the dissolved minerals, thereby doubling the damage.
    You have A higher pH tea alternative Dr Greger ?

    1. Try this: omit the lemon. I’m no dental expert, but I am of the opinion that my own teeth will survive the rest of their tour of duty in much better condition now that I have adopted green tea and herbal teas as my daily beverages (replacing full-flavor soda and coffee). They certainly feel better and I do too. Amla will be added soon.

      1. Hi Wade, unfortunately omitting the lemon will reduce the nutrient availability by a large factor. (although thats not my area)
        Im just putting out a warning about frequent lemon consumption as Lemon juice is apx pH2
        Carbonated drinks somewhere around pH3 , Coffee pH5. So coffee is not an erosive concern.
        But remember: pH scale is logarithmic. Hence there is TEN times more erosive hydrogen ions in pH2 than pH3. !
        These de-mineralising ions will have significantly more effect in a hot solution! You may notice your teeth feeling different and more sensitive after drinking hot lemon. (or you may not… , which may be more concerning)
        Do not brush your teeth after oral exposure to acid (including stomach acid (ph2 also)) as this will brush away the potentialy reparative protein matrix in dentine that could be re-mineralised later on by saliva..
        Instead, wait at least an hour before brushing. Or use a non alcohol based fluoride mouth rinse to speed up the partial repair process.
        Hope that helps everyone out. Dental erosion is the most complex and expensive thing to get “fixed”. Id rather have tooth decay than dental erosion. Stay away from hot acids! Or get guys like me to repair your mouths for 20K$+

        1. Thanks Neil. I’m not interested in the lemon part. I don’t add sweetener, and don’t drink lemon juice in anything. I never liked lemon in iced Southern Sweet (strong and black) tea. I cold steep all teas now and drink them room temp. I do have hot coffee, but usually only one cup. I do like the limes though!

          1. A neutral solution such as water will not reverse the etching. However a high concentration fluoride mouthrinse will start to reverse it. But… yuk!
            Bicarb will destroy the drink in a volcano of froth! … pls post the video for fun!

  80. I heard that black tea is bad for one’s vision once, on a progressive radio program. anyone have any insight into this?

  81. Thank you Dr Greger. Read your article and then found by chance the hibiscus jamaica flower tea at chinese shop for $2.50 a bag available loose. I merely threw 4 pieces of the tea flowers into jug of cold water and got the most delightful coloured water and so tasty and so easy to drink. Sent hubby to work now with a thermos and a bag of loose tea to make daily. So so easy and so delightful to drink. Didnt even bother with lemon or sugar.
    Thank you so much again for sharing this with us your avid followers :)

  82. I really enjoy the information you provide on living a healther life and I had a question about Gynostemma Tea and how you would rank it VS Hibiscus tea?

    Thanks again for all you do.

    David W.

  83. Dr. Greger – Happy 4th of July! I was reading through The Antioxidant Food Table. I was surprised to find that some of the powdered drinks were highest in antioxidants. For example, the “tea, instant, unsweetened, dry powder” from Nestea has 166 millimoles/100g. Also, a lot of the nutritional supplements were high in millimoles. I know that you have discussed that whole foods produce the best results. But should I consider these products for their high antioxidant levels? Thanks, Doc!

    1. Hi Dylan,
      Dr. Greger generally recommends that we get our antioxidants from whole foods rather than supplements. Regarding the instant tea, personally I’d recommend getting some organic macha powder (finely ground whole tea leaves that dissolve it water), which beats instant tea for antioxidant power and certainly qualifies as a whole food rather than a supplement (If you need a sweetener for it, you could add some stevia and/or erythritol crystals, which are both “Dr. G approved” sweeteners although are not whole foods, technically, unless you use pure ground stevia leaves) In addition to the potential problem of losing valuable nutrients, fiber, etc with antioxidant supplements, pills don’t replace actual food or satisfy hunger; therefore, it creates a very tempting mentality to eat unhealthy food and just pop a pill, with the *delusion* that one just at a healthy meal. The closest thing I’ve found to a balance between the convenience of a supplement and the nutrition from whole food is a well-thought-out smoothie, created using water as the base (no fruit juice). Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks David – it’s good to chat. The stevia and erythritol crystals are good tips that I hadn’t heard of before. I am familiar with Dr. Greger’s stance on supplements. However, if we are strictly looking at the science, the powdered drinks and the pills have high mmol/100 g of antioxidants. Seems difficult to dismiss just because it doesn’t fit with our framework. Anyway, it probably isn’t worth spending too much energy on, but it can be difficult to explain away.

  84. Dr. Greger, In Mexico City we drink a lot of Hibiscus water like lemonade only with Hibiscus, Dos it have the same effect? Thanks

  85. I’ve been taking your advice and mixing my green tea leaves in my smoothies or whatever I’m cooking. I just bought an organic Costco brand which is a mix of sencha and macha. 100 packets for $15 :) I’m not going to give up green tea just yet, but I’ll give this hibuscus drink a shot. I’m waiting for my amla powder to come in from India in a couple weeks. I’ll mix some of that in for good measure. Can we eat hibiscus leaves the same as the green??

    On a personal note… I recently became mostly vegan, and your book gave me the evidence and science to balance my eating. I have sent 4 copies to friend and family, and have told countless people to read it. I’m excited to your follow up on dieting, and especially the bits on fasting. My friend is vegan, and swears by fasting cleanses from time to time.

  86. I see you choose erythritol. What are you thoughts on Stevia, (which I grammatically and correctly
    pronounce as stev(short e)-ee(long e)-ah(short a), as apposed to

  87. Hello Sir, I ant to say thank you so much for your time and cooperation from your videos. I have learned so much! My question, I love green tea and matcha.
    What brand of both of these do you use?
    I greatly appreciate you.

  88. Hi I’m a 61 year old black woman who was diagnose with Lou Gehrig’s Disease 3 years ago. I’m still working full time and I take the medicine to prolong it from my doc to slow it down. I also get the IVIG treatment, Invite bone powder, collagen powder, vitamin B. What else can I do to keep my body going strong??

  89. If I take a Beta Blocker (Metoprolol Tartrate) can I drink Hibiscus tea?

    I use to drink it all the time, I ordered and brewed the buds of the flowers because it was suppose to lower your blood pressure but then, my BP was too high and had to go on beta blockers.

    The warning about Beta Blockers was not to use any herbs that are known for lowering BP while on beta blockers.

    I enjoy this tea but now I’m afraid to drink it.

      1. I have a BP monitoring system. I have a cardiologist. I wouldn’t want to try and drink the tea and then have my BP go too low as a result. I’ve inherited high BP from a maternal grandmother and she died as a result of her BP going too low, her BP meds were too strong which caused the heart attack. This happened so fast, she could not be saved by CPR. I’m only 100lbs at 5’5″ so my high BP is not from being overweight.

        I’m so small and metabolize fast that little things like Tamari sauce affected me on 2 occasions and made me dizzy so, I had to eliminate it. I think it was the salt level in Tamari. I don’t eat a lot of salt usually. I took my BP when this happened and it was high…but that could have also been from immediate anxiety/fear at becoming dizzy. It scared me.

        Thanks for answering me. I appreciate it.

          1. I asked because the only advice I had was the warnings on my Beta Blocker and didn’t know if they included Hibiscus tea since it’s a flower and it wasn’t specifically listed. I was hoping that (it) was ok to drink since it’s not really an ‘herb” or ‘herbal supplements” which they warn against taking. I use to take Hawthorn extract so, I stopped taking that as well.

            Thanks again.

    1. The main nutritive quality in tea is its antioxidants. According to some tests done by Prevention magazine, hot brewed and cold brewed tea both retain a high amount of antioxidants. The difference is more in the tea brand and even different batches of tea within the same brand contained different antioxidant levels.
      A study was done comparing hot tea and iced tea with their effects on weight loss and it showed hot tea reducing weight and iced tea increasing weight.
      Whichever way you prefer it, tea is a good addition to a healthy diet as it is high in antioxidants. Be careful that you don’t add too much sweetener or other additives to it or it will loose its amazing healthfulness!

  90. Hello, I’ve heard Yerba Mate Tea is an Antioxidant power house, I know not all antioxidants are created equal – I’m wondering how Yerba Mate Tea compares to green tea and coffee for antioxidant content? per cup or a measure serving.
    Any information on this would be valuable – thanks!

    1. He has at least one video on here referencing yerba-mate. I don’t know about the antioxidant content, but it seems to be harmful and increases chances of oral cancer. Dr. Greger put a red light on it. This was disappointing to me as I used to drink it.

  91. I swear, since I’ve started consuming about a gallon of hibiscus tea (coldbrewing about 1 tablespoon), my acne is improving. I’m already vegan, stay away from caffeine and regular sugar, but still suffered from acne. It still isn’t perfect, but hibiscus has helped!

  92. Hi, I was curious about the paper and downloaded it but don`t seem to find the “hibiscus tea” information on it :/, could you please point out where the study mentions it. Thanks!

  93. Dr Greger wrote that “What beverage could possibly be better than actually eating green tea leaves? Matcha ”
    And I wonder :”What beverage could possibly be better than actually eating hibiscus ? Maybe Finely ground pearl powder for the very same reason”.
    So I have try it and it is easy to do it(<1mn) and the powder is surprisingly very uniform and very very thin.

  94. Flor de Jamaica (Roselle) flowers also make an excellent taco or enchilada filling – they have the consistency of pulled pork! Just make your roselle tea by boiling the buds and then strain out the liquid. You can rinse or even re-boil the flowers to remove some of the acidity. Next sautee them with garlic onions and spices if you like – they go very well with cumin. You can even make a homemade Pibil or enchilada sauce and stew them in there. Throw them in tortillas to make tacos and add more sauce for enchiladas – this is a real vegan treat that is commonly enjoyed in Mexico among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!

  95. I appreciate the fact that erythritol is low on the glycemic index, but I recently read some negative information about it that you may not (yet) have addressed. I personally have no issues with my gut, nor am I a diabetic, so my go-to sweeteners have always been natural (e.g., organic maple syrup, raw honey, organic blackstrap molasses). However, if I did have issues, I would avoid all sugar alcohols, including erythritol, based on what is presented on this web page:

  96. I am unable to edit my previous comment. I noticed a comment posted by Dr Patrick Barron, ND MD at the same page (see link at end of this comment) in which he wrote the following comment. I assume (hopefully correctly), that he is acquainted with the facts. He wrote, “Erythritol is actually (almost completely) absorbed in the small intestine and excreted unchanged through urine, so that it contributes no calories. It’s not metabolized, and hence it’s glycemic index of 0.” Based on his input, erythritol would be an exception, just as you (Dr Greger) have pointed out.

  97. Hi, I was just looking at the full study of the 283 beverages and I see that Flor de Jamaica tea (Hibiscus) has a value of 6.99 mmol/100 g and the tea, green, (pink) powder has 1347.83 mmol/100 g, which is the maximum value in the table. Can you tell me where you see that Hibiscus has a higher number than the green tea??

  98. I’m late to the game, but I’m looking to increase antioxidants in my diet. However, I was surprised there was no caveat mentioned about the increased risk of poor pregnancy outcomes with hibiscus. Are those overstated, or should pregnant women and those intending to become pregnant continue to avoid hibiscus? Thanks!

  99. I was reading through the Antioxidant Food Table from the study referenced in the video, and was curious about the hibiscus tea, flor de jamaica, having only 6.99 mmol/100g. Am I reading that correctly?

  100. Should several weeks of the dried hibiscus be kept in fridge. Will it get moldy if kept on counter. I ordered driedEgyptian hibiscus for tea. Can’t tell how fresh.

  101. I downloaded the antioxidant food table from the paper and hibiscus tea is not mentioned anywhere in it. Nor does anything in that table have 132 antioxidants in mmol/100g.

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