Flashback Friday: Hibiscus Tea vs. Plant-Based Diets for Hypertension & How Much Is Too Much?

Flashback Friday: Hibiscus Tea vs. Plant-Based Diets for Hypertension & How Much Is Too Much?
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How do the blood-pressure lowering effects of hibiscus tea compare to the DASH diet, a plant-based diet, and a long-distance endurance exercise? And be aware, the impressive manganese content of hibiscus tea may be the limiting factor for safe daily levels of consumption.

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The latest research pitted hibiscus against obesity, giving hibiscus to overweight individuals, and showed reduced body weight, but after 12 weeks on hibiscus they only lost like 3 pounds, and really only one and a half pounds over placebo—clearly no magic fix.

The purported cholesterol-lowering property of hibiscus tea had looked a bit more promising. Some older studies suggested as much as an 8% reduction drinking two cups a day for a month, but when all the studies are put together the results were pretty much a wash. This may be because only about 50% of people respond at all to drinking the equivalent of between 2 to 5 cups a day, though those that do may get a respectable 12 or so percent drop, but nothing like the 30% one can get within weeks of eating a healthy enough plant-based diet.

High blood pressure is where hibiscus may really shine, a disease affecting a billion people and killing millions. Up until 2010, there wasn’t sufficient high quality research out there to support the use of hibiscus tea to treat it, but we have since seen randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled studies where hibiscus tea is compared to artificially colored and flavored water that looks and tastes like hibiscus tea, and the tea did significantly better.

We’re still not sure why it works, but hibiscus does appear to boost nitric oxide production, which could help our arteries relax and dilate better. Regardless, an updated review acknowledged that the daily consumption of hibiscus tea may indeed significantly lower blood pressures in people with hypertension, but by how much? How does this drop in blood pressure compare to that of other interventions?

The premier clinical trial when it comes to comprehensive lifestyle modification for blood pressure control is the PREMIER clinical trial. Realizing that 9 out of 10 Americans are going to develop hypertension, they randomized 800 men and women with high blood pressure into one of three groups. One was the control group, the so-called advice only group, where patients were just told to lose weight, cut down on salt, increase exercise and eat healthier, here’s a brochure. But in the two behavioral intervention groups they got serious. 18 face-to-face sessions, groups meetings, food diaries, monitored physical activity, calorie and sodium intake. One intervention group just concentrated on exercise and the other included exercise and diet. They pushed the DASH diet, high in fruits and vegetables, and low in full-fat dairy products and meat. And in six months they achieved a 4.3 point drop in systolic blood pressure, compared to the control, slightly better than the lifestyle intervention without the diet. Now a few points might not sound like a lot—that’s like someone going from a blood pressure of 150 over 90 to a blood pressure of 146 over 90—but on a population scale a 5 point drop in the total number would result in a 14% fewer stroke deaths, 9% fewer fatal heart attacks, and 7% fewer deaths every year overall.

And a cup of hibiscus tea with each meal didn’t just lower blood pressure by 3, 4 or 5 points but by 7 points, 129 down to 122. And in fact tested head-to-head against a leading blood-pressure drug, captopril, two cups of strong hibiscus tea every morning, using a total of 5 tea bags for those two cups, was as effective in lowering blood pressure as a starting dose of 25mg of captopril taken twice a day.

So as good as drugs, without the drug side-effects, and better than diet and exercise? Well, the lifestyle interventions were pretty wimpy. As public health experts noted, the PREMIER study was only asking for 30 minutes of exercise a day, whereas the World Health Organization is more like an hour a day minimum.

And diet-wise, the lower the animal fat intake, and the more plant sources of protein the PREMIER participants were eating, the better the diet appeared to work, which may explain why vegetarian diets appear to work even better, and the more plant-based the lower the prevalence of hypertension.

On the DASH diet, they cut down on meat, but are still eating it every day, so would qualify as nonvegetarians here in the Adventist 2 study, which looked at 89,000 Californians and found that those who instead only ate meat on more like a weekly basis had 23% lower rates of high blood pressure. Cut out all meat except fish and the rate is 38% lower. Cut out all meat period—the vegetarians have less than half the rate and the vegans—cutting out all animal protein and fat—appeared to have thrown three quarters of their risk for this major killer out the window.

One sees the same kind of step-wise drop in diabetes rates as one’s diet gets more and more plant-based and a drop in excess body weight such that only those eating completely plant-based diets fell into the ideal weight category. But could that be why those eating plant-based have such great blood pressure? Maybe it’s just because they’re so skinny. I’ve shown previously how those eating plant based just have a fraction of the diabetes risk even at the same weight, even after controlling for BMI, but what about hypertension?

The average American has what’s called prehypertension, which means the top number of your blood pressure is between 120 and 139. Not yet hypertension, which starts at 140, but it means we may be well on our way.

Compare that to the blood pressure of those eating whole food plant-based diets. Not 3 points lower, 4 points lower, or even 7 points lower, but 28 points lower. Now but the group here eating the standard American diet was, on average, overweight with a BMI over 26, still better than most Americans, while the vegans were a trim 21—that’s 36 pounds lighter.

So maybe the only reason those eating meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk had such higher blood pressure was because they were overweight, maybe the diet per se had nothing to do with it.

To solve that riddle we would have to find a group still eating the standard American diet but as slim as a vegan. To find a group that fit and trim, they had to use long-distance endurance athletes, who ate the same crappy American diet — but ran an average of 48 miles per week for 21 years. You run almost two marathons a week for 20 years anyone can be as slim as a vegan—no matter what you eat. So where do they fall on the graph? Both the vegans and the conventional diet group were sedentary—less than an hour of exercise a week.

The endurance runners were here. So it appears if you run an average of about a thousand miles every year you can rival some couch potato vegans. Doesn’t mean you can’t do both, but it may be easier to just eat plants.

Over-the-counter antacids are probably the most important source for human aluminum exposure in terms of dose. Maalox, for example, taken as directed, can exceed the daily safety limit more than 100-fold, and nowhere on the label does it say to not take it with acidic beverages such as fruit juice. Washing an antacid down with orange juice can increase aluminum absorption 8-fold, and citric acid was worse—the acid found naturally concentrated in lemon and limes.

Just as sour fruits can enhance the absorption of iron, which is a good thing, through the same mechanism they may enhance the absorption of aluminum, raising the question what happens when one adds lemon juice to tea? Previously, I concluded that the amount of aluminum in tea is not a problem for most people because it’s not very absorbable, but what if you add lemon? No difference between tea with lemon, tea without lemon or no tea at all in terms of the amount of aluminum in the bloodstream, suggesting that tea drinking does not significantly contribute to aluminum actually getting inside the body. They’re talking about black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, what about the red zinger herbal tea, hibiscus? The reason it’s called sour tea is because it has natural acids in it like citric acid—might that boost the absorption of any of its aluminum? Well, a greater percentage of aluminum gets from the hibiscus into the tea water, but there’s less aluminum overall. The question is, does the aluminum then get from the tea water into our body? We don’t have that data so to be on the safe side we should assume the worst—that is hibiscus tea aluminum, unlike green and black tea aluminum, is completely absorbable. In that case, based on this data and the World Health Organization weekly safety limit we may not want to drink more than 15 cups of hibiscus tea a day, but that’s based on someone who’s about 150 pounds. If you have a 75 pound 10-year-old, a half gallon a day may theoretically be too much. And more extensive testing more recently suggests levels may reach as high as twice as much, so no more than about two quarts a day for adults, or a quart for kids every day or for pregnant women. And hibiscus tea should be completely avoided by infants under 6 months—who should only be getting breast milk—as well as kids with kidney failure, who can’t efficiently excrete it.

The study also raised concern about the impressive manganese level in hibiscus tea. Manganese is an essential trace mineral, a vital component of some of our most important antioxidant enzymes, but we probably only need about 2 to 5 milligrams a day, and 4 cups of hibiscus tea can have as much as 17, averaging about 10. Is that a problem?

Women given 15 cups a day for 4 months, if anything, only saw an improvement in their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant enzyme activity. This study using 20 a day similarly showed no adverse short-term effects, and importantly showed that retention of dietary manganese is regulated. Our body’s not stupid; if we take too much in, our body decreases the absorption, and increases the excretion. So even though tea drinkers may get 10 times the manganese load, 10 or 20 milligrams a day, the levels in their blood is essentially identical. So there is little evidence that dietary manganese poses a risk. That was regular tea, though, we don’t know about the absorption from hibiscus, so to err on the side of caution we should probably not routinely exceed the reference dose of 10 mg per day, so that’s only about a quart a day for adults, a half quart for a 75 pound child. So that’s actually changed my consumption. Given the benefits of the stuff, I was using it as a substitute for drinking water, so like 2 liters a day, and I was blending the hibiscus petals in, not throwing them away, effectively doubling aluminum content, and increasing manganese concentrations by about 30%. So given this data I’ve cut back to no more than a quart of filtered a day.

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 Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to kattebelletje and Pgoyette via Flickr.

The latest research pitted hibiscus against obesity, giving hibiscus to overweight individuals, and showed reduced body weight, but after 12 weeks on hibiscus they only lost like 3 pounds, and really only one and a half pounds over placebo—clearly no magic fix.

The purported cholesterol-lowering property of hibiscus tea had looked a bit more promising. Some older studies suggested as much as an 8% reduction drinking two cups a day for a month, but when all the studies are put together the results were pretty much a wash. This may be because only about 50% of people respond at all to drinking the equivalent of between 2 to 5 cups a day, though those that do may get a respectable 12 or so percent drop, but nothing like the 30% one can get within weeks of eating a healthy enough plant-based diet.

High blood pressure is where hibiscus may really shine, a disease affecting a billion people and killing millions. Up until 2010, there wasn’t sufficient high quality research out there to support the use of hibiscus tea to treat it, but we have since seen randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled studies where hibiscus tea is compared to artificially colored and flavored water that looks and tastes like hibiscus tea, and the tea did significantly better.

We’re still not sure why it works, but hibiscus does appear to boost nitric oxide production, which could help our arteries relax and dilate better. Regardless, an updated review acknowledged that the daily consumption of hibiscus tea may indeed significantly lower blood pressures in people with hypertension, but by how much? How does this drop in blood pressure compare to that of other interventions?

The premier clinical trial when it comes to comprehensive lifestyle modification for blood pressure control is the PREMIER clinical trial. Realizing that 9 out of 10 Americans are going to develop hypertension, they randomized 800 men and women with high blood pressure into one of three groups. One was the control group, the so-called advice only group, where patients were just told to lose weight, cut down on salt, increase exercise and eat healthier, here’s a brochure. But in the two behavioral intervention groups they got serious. 18 face-to-face sessions, groups meetings, food diaries, monitored physical activity, calorie and sodium intake. One intervention group just concentrated on exercise and the other included exercise and diet. They pushed the DASH diet, high in fruits and vegetables, and low in full-fat dairy products and meat. And in six months they achieved a 4.3 point drop in systolic blood pressure, compared to the control, slightly better than the lifestyle intervention without the diet. Now a few points might not sound like a lot—that’s like someone going from a blood pressure of 150 over 90 to a blood pressure of 146 over 90—but on a population scale a 5 point drop in the total number would result in a 14% fewer stroke deaths, 9% fewer fatal heart attacks, and 7% fewer deaths every year overall.

And a cup of hibiscus tea with each meal didn’t just lower blood pressure by 3, 4 or 5 points but by 7 points, 129 down to 122. And in fact tested head-to-head against a leading blood-pressure drug, captopril, two cups of strong hibiscus tea every morning, using a total of 5 tea bags for those two cups, was as effective in lowering blood pressure as a starting dose of 25mg of captopril taken twice a day.

So as good as drugs, without the drug side-effects, and better than diet and exercise? Well, the lifestyle interventions were pretty wimpy. As public health experts noted, the PREMIER study was only asking for 30 minutes of exercise a day, whereas the World Health Organization is more like an hour a day minimum.

And diet-wise, the lower the animal fat intake, and the more plant sources of protein the PREMIER participants were eating, the better the diet appeared to work, which may explain why vegetarian diets appear to work even better, and the more plant-based the lower the prevalence of hypertension.

On the DASH diet, they cut down on meat, but are still eating it every day, so would qualify as nonvegetarians here in the Adventist 2 study, which looked at 89,000 Californians and found that those who instead only ate meat on more like a weekly basis had 23% lower rates of high blood pressure. Cut out all meat except fish and the rate is 38% lower. Cut out all meat period—the vegetarians have less than half the rate and the vegans—cutting out all animal protein and fat—appeared to have thrown three quarters of their risk for this major killer out the window.

One sees the same kind of step-wise drop in diabetes rates as one’s diet gets more and more plant-based and a drop in excess body weight such that only those eating completely plant-based diets fell into the ideal weight category. But could that be why those eating plant-based have such great blood pressure? Maybe it’s just because they’re so skinny. I’ve shown previously how those eating plant based just have a fraction of the diabetes risk even at the same weight, even after controlling for BMI, but what about hypertension?

The average American has what’s called prehypertension, which means the top number of your blood pressure is between 120 and 139. Not yet hypertension, which starts at 140, but it means we may be well on our way.

Compare that to the blood pressure of those eating whole food plant-based diets. Not 3 points lower, 4 points lower, or even 7 points lower, but 28 points lower. Now but the group here eating the standard American diet was, on average, overweight with a BMI over 26, still better than most Americans, while the vegans were a trim 21—that’s 36 pounds lighter.

So maybe the only reason those eating meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk had such higher blood pressure was because they were overweight, maybe the diet per se had nothing to do with it.

To solve that riddle we would have to find a group still eating the standard American diet but as slim as a vegan. To find a group that fit and trim, they had to use long-distance endurance athletes, who ate the same crappy American diet — but ran an average of 48 miles per week for 21 years. You run almost two marathons a week for 20 years anyone can be as slim as a vegan—no matter what you eat. So where do they fall on the graph? Both the vegans and the conventional diet group were sedentary—less than an hour of exercise a week.

The endurance runners were here. So it appears if you run an average of about a thousand miles every year you can rival some couch potato vegans. Doesn’t mean you can’t do both, but it may be easier to just eat plants.

Over-the-counter antacids are probably the most important source for human aluminum exposure in terms of dose. Maalox, for example, taken as directed, can exceed the daily safety limit more than 100-fold, and nowhere on the label does it say to not take it with acidic beverages such as fruit juice. Washing an antacid down with orange juice can increase aluminum absorption 8-fold, and citric acid was worse—the acid found naturally concentrated in lemon and limes.

Just as sour fruits can enhance the absorption of iron, which is a good thing, through the same mechanism they may enhance the absorption of aluminum, raising the question what happens when one adds lemon juice to tea? Previously, I concluded that the amount of aluminum in tea is not a problem for most people because it’s not very absorbable, but what if you add lemon? No difference between tea with lemon, tea without lemon or no tea at all in terms of the amount of aluminum in the bloodstream, suggesting that tea drinking does not significantly contribute to aluminum actually getting inside the body. They’re talking about black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, what about the red zinger herbal tea, hibiscus? The reason it’s called sour tea is because it has natural acids in it like citric acid—might that boost the absorption of any of its aluminum? Well, a greater percentage of aluminum gets from the hibiscus into the tea water, but there’s less aluminum overall. The question is, does the aluminum then get from the tea water into our body? We don’t have that data so to be on the safe side we should assume the worst—that is hibiscus tea aluminum, unlike green and black tea aluminum, is completely absorbable. In that case, based on this data and the World Health Organization weekly safety limit we may not want to drink more than 15 cups of hibiscus tea a day, but that’s based on someone who’s about 150 pounds. If you have a 75 pound 10-year-old, a half gallon a day may theoretically be too much. And more extensive testing more recently suggests levels may reach as high as twice as much, so no more than about two quarts a day for adults, or a quart for kids every day or for pregnant women. And hibiscus tea should be completely avoided by infants under 6 months—who should only be getting breast milk—as well as kids with kidney failure, who can’t efficiently excrete it.

The study also raised concern about the impressive manganese level in hibiscus tea. Manganese is an essential trace mineral, a vital component of some of our most important antioxidant enzymes, but we probably only need about 2 to 5 milligrams a day, and 4 cups of hibiscus tea can have as much as 17, averaging about 10. Is that a problem?

Women given 15 cups a day for 4 months, if anything, only saw an improvement in their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant enzyme activity. This study using 20 a day similarly showed no adverse short-term effects, and importantly showed that retention of dietary manganese is regulated. Our body’s not stupid; if we take too much in, our body decreases the absorption, and increases the excretion. So even though tea drinkers may get 10 times the manganese load, 10 or 20 milligrams a day, the levels in their blood is essentially identical. So there is little evidence that dietary manganese poses a risk. That was regular tea, though, we don’t know about the absorption from hibiscus, so to err on the side of caution we should probably not routinely exceed the reference dose of 10 mg per day, so that’s only about a quart a day for adults, a half quart for a 75 pound child. So that’s actually changed my consumption. Given the benefits of the stuff, I was using it as a substitute for drinking water, so like 2 liters a day, and I was blending the hibiscus petals in, not throwing them away, effectively doubling aluminum content, and increasing manganese concentrations by about 30%. So given this data I’ve cut back to no more than a quart of filtered a day.

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 Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to kattebelletje and Pgoyette via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

For more on hypertension, see:

And check out my other hibiscus tea videos:

Lemon can actually boost the antioxidant content of green and white tea. See Green Tea vs. White. And for a comparison of their cancer-fighting effects in vitroAntimutagenic Activity of Green vs. White Tea.

For more on the iron absorption effect, see my video Risks Associated with Iron Supplements.

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

79 responses to “Flashback Friday: Hibiscus Tea vs. Plant-Based Diets for Hypertension & How Much Is Too Much?

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  1. Re the three groups in the graph at t=7:00:

    Put me solidly in group 3 – Vegans. I was an omnivore 3 years ago (my BNF, Before-NurtriionFacts, days). My BP was 140/80+. NF.org moved me into the WFPB camp almost overnight. Benefits followed almost as quickly.

    I just checked my BP a minute ago: 107/58, pulse 58. I’m 67. As far as exercise goes, I’m nowhere near any “one hour a day” minimum. (Who does that anyway?) I “run” a 2 mile circuit twice a week, but at my age I run only half of the 2.0 miles and walk the other half. That’s enough for me.

    There’s no way I’d go back to omni.

    1. dr cobalt,

      I love your story! Thanks for sharing. I find it almost incredible that people can see almost immediate results, but apparently they do. Perhaps not all; my brother’s results were more gradual. So there could be variation in how quickly benefits are observed.

      But as for exercise: housework, cooking, and laundry, etc all count as moderate exercise. Gardening and yard work might be a bit more strenuous. I monitor some of my activity levels with my AppleWatch; yesterday, it counted my 20 minutes of watering plants in the backyard as consuming more calories than my 30 minutes of riding my Me-Mover, which is a 3 wheeled “stair-stepping” rehab/mobility device (with carving ability) and more strenuous than riding a bicycle, which is what I recorded it as. So take heart; your normal everyday activities are probably giving you more of a work-out than you realize.

      1. if your heart rate doesn’t reach to (64% – 76%) of your maximum heart rate it won’t be considered as moderate intensity physical activity and I doubt that house work like cooking or laundry will hit that number may be gardening and yard work did So I think you have to check your Apple Watch settings.

    2. Congratulations, Dr. Cobalt!

      It is good to hear the stories!

      Yesterday, John claimed that people here aren’t reversing diseases and gaining health.

      I have read so many testimonials but I know that we need people to keep sharing them so that visitors don’t end up believing the wrong thing.

      1. He means well but I get the impression that John is one of those people who don’t let the facts get in the way of their opinions.

    3. Dr. C,
      I envy your running. I ran 2 miles on Saturdays for six years, several years ago now. Euphoria. Walking is better exercise but not the high running gives. My body works better during the warmer months but winter can be crippling. I’m supplementing with Vitamin D. At 60, my muscles may need the supplementation. I also get lots of sun. I eat vegan with lots of fruit and vegetables. On a few rare days I can jog for awhile. I feel something is missing and I suspect my aging body. Older people who are still running gives me hope. I live on a slope near a lake and I’ve found I can run uphill, say from the dock to the house.

      1. For years I had abandoned running and substituted bicycle riding. I rode it as hard as I could for a 30 minute aerobic workout (clocked myself going 25mph on my Nuvi!).

        Then one day I had a minor scare that compelled me to run back to my car to get home quickly. I was stunned at how my legs seemed to be like lead. They just wouldn’t work. All that bicycling and yet when I tried to run, it was like my legs were rubbery or partially paralyzed. After 100 feet I was exhausted and had to walk the rest of the way to the car. It was very disquieting to discover this.

        So I elected to begin a disciplined running regimen again. At first I could only run 100 feet with rubbery legs. But over time I built it up to where I am now: I can run a full block before I need to walk it off. Then, when able, I run another block. At the end of two miles, I figure I’ve run maybe one.

        I suspect this kind of workout is better for you than bicycling. Swimming laps in a pool is also a good workout, but it also takes time to build it up.

        1. Dr. C,
          Thanks for sharing your running recovery story. I’ve got the rubbery legs that just won’t run sometimes also. I would do several laps at the gym like this, breaking into a run bit by bit. There is something going on in my body causing me to lose strength. I can only guess at causes, like Vitamin D not being absorbed into muscles or maybe my cellular mitochondria are not working as well or maybe my teleomers are shortening (ageing). Maybe something else. Running uphill is something I can still do and I will train with this function to get regular running back.

        2. Isn’t this the old Boy Scout pace? Walk 100 yards, run/jog 100 yards, walk 100 yards etc etc . Continue all day.

          1. Yeah, I think so.

            You know who beats the Boy Scouts though? Bushmen of the Kalahari. With them it’s run all day… and, ugh, I think that’s the only rule.

            I’ll bet their BP is under 100/60 and their LDL under 50.

    1. Claudia, I don’t get the intestinal or headaches from Hibiscus tea, but I wheeze something terrible! I cough and wheeze, and wheeze with just general talking, and would get dizzy. As soon as I stop drinking it- those symptoms disappear. I was really disappointed too, because I absolutely loved the taste of the hibiscus tea! I even tried diluting it to almost nothing.. nope.. still wheezed. Bummer.

      1. YR, According to a previous NF video, hibiscus tea also harms tooth enamel.

        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/protecting-teeth-from-hibiscus-tea/

        My strategy is to brew a batch of hibiscus tea, then mix a tablespoon at a time in with a 12 oz cup of black tea. Just hoping to get a few of the benefits without any side effects. I’ve always liked the taste of black tea, and this doesn’t seem to affect the taste at all.

        And one of the side effects in that website you posted has me confused:

        “hibiscus tea expands our blood vessel. As a result, the risk of suffering heart disease increased.” I don’t see how they can jump from expanding blood vessels increasing heart disease! I do see how expanding blood vessels would lower blood pressure, in most cases a good thing.

        1. Hi Darwin Galt, thanks for your comment and question. Actually what Dr Greger is indicating is that hibiscus does appear to boost nitric oxide production, which could help our arteries relax and dilate better and that can lower blood pressures. I hope this will clarify the question for you.

        2. I brew the tea with a cinnamon stick and mix with brewed hibiscus about 50/50, then add some orange juice to sweeten. Serve over ice with a fresh pineapple spear in the glass. Fresh peaches, or any other stone fruit such as nectarine and cherries works great too.

          It can also be served warm leaving out the fruit and adding some cloves along with the cinnamon stick before brewing.

    2. CY,
      No, but hib tea used to make me pee alot. Any fluid can do that though. I’m drinking some cold hibiscus tea now as a pick up from working in the sun today. I drink it now and then. Chai tea some too. Coffee in the morning and lots of water on hot days.

      1. Considering hibiscus ‘lowers blood pressure’ and a great many blood pressure lowering drugs are in fact diuretics, you may be on to something.

  2. Can you make a quart of tea and leave in the fridge for a few days to get the 2 cups/day or do you need to steep it fresh each time? I want to use it for BP but I know I won’t make it daily

    1. SS,
      I put a tea bag in a cup and fill the cup with water. Weak at first. Gets stronger with a refill and then weaker after more refills.

  3. It is a good Friday for me.

    I saw my cousin last night and he is going to use 2 of my gadgets.

    I told him that I would show him videos of yucky images that got healed with infrared and PEMF so he could be motivated to try them.

    One of my favorite yucky avoid amputation presentations.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q-CC3kdSc0&list=WL&index=10&t=547s

    It still frustrates me that doctors don’t do infrared or PEMF or other modalities. They are trying to get him to go straight to a vascular surgeon.

    Dr. John Campbell talked yesterday about the “crisis of trust” and THAT is right on the nose.

    I don’t trust that years later, the doctors won’t mention diet AND they won’t mention things like infrared or PEMF or other things that improve microcirculation.

    They are cutting peoples’ limbs off.

    I found out that it was the visiting nurses who goofed up that he may need amputation soon but I watch Dr. Burke and Forks Over Knives and I am going to do whatever I can to save his foot and I believe it will work.

    1. YR,

      That terrifies me.

      I know that Patch Adams had said many of those same sentences when Robin Williams killed himself. That if a person doesn’t want the quality of life they believe they will have, they should be allowed to die.

      I wonder how many prisoners and poor people and handicapped people or people with autoimmune or diabetes or cancer will choose it even before going through.

      I look at groups like foster children or the minority community in the inner cities or homeless people or depressed teenagers.

      Seems like the list could be pretty inclusive at that point.

      1. There are a lot of people who are in relationships even with stomas.

        A person at the beginning of a process often feels like things are impossible when there is still plenty of possibility that a 34-year old might not understand.

        I say that because I would have done it at 15 and maybe even at 30 but I am on the other side.

        1. I will be looking next year to see their suicide rate. I expect it to go up. Suicide often brings lemmings.

          I could imagine the mentally ill community and the physically handicapped community and prisoners and homeless people and people with addictions and obese people and poor people all choosing it.

          1. Their logic becomes anybody who is an adult gets to choose their quality of life.

            I think about a man from California who was diagnosed diabetic and he said that he couldn’t live with things like checking blood sugar or injecting insulin.

            My friend said to him, “There are things we do daily like going to the bathroom that are very unpleasant but you get used to it.”

            He didn’t kill himself and it is 30 years later.

            1. The concept of having everybody 18 or older looking at their future and thinking about quality of life and deciding whether to be checking out is a big deal.

                1. Suicide because someone would not marry them is the epitome of self absorption. Already we see incel manbaby’s all over, obese, unkempt, often wearing belligerent or even racist slogan shirts, and always walking around with a scowl on their faces convinced there is an actual conspiracy among women not to sleep with them. They go to such lengths because actually looking at themselves and working on themselves can only happen if they realize their own actions are the problem. Unkempt bitter men are not attractive to women. It is this demographic that is currently taking their emotional support weapons and killing themselves because they can not admit the world they want to believe in does not match actual reality. And they have to confront reality every day. And as they say, reality has a liberal bias.

  4. Is there any info on whole dried hibiscus flowers? I usually make 2 mugs from a single flower, and was also wondering about blending the soaked flower into a smoothie. This maybe too much?

      1. Thanks, Barb. :-) Although for just a couple of USD I can buy a large jar of flowers that lasts a whole year.
        I was thinking about the health benefits/risks of consuming the whole dried flower (after using it to make tea), but am concerned about oxalate and manganese levels. Dr G does say in this video: ” I was blending the hibiscus petals in, not throwing them away” suggesting he consumes the whole petals.
        In the case of green tea, I seem to remember Dr G saying it was not a good idea to add whole green tea leaves to smoothies due to possible heavy metals.
        Best bet is maybe to have hibiscus tea and smoothie only every couple of days.

  5. Hello,

    I just thought I’d ask this question here since I didn’t find anything on the site where yogurt or skyr was discussed.

    So another expert in nutrition, David Katz, says he eats plain not-fat greek yogurt every morning for breakfast. And I was just wondering whether or not Dr Greger has discussed this anywhere or whether anyone has reliable data in regards to this.

    Because I mean, if you are going to recommend a completely vegan diet, you should have studies that show all animal-foods to be bad, no? Since something like fat-free greek yogurt is recommended by many health experts and i didn’t find a video from Dr Greger about this, there seems to be a kind of hole in the whole “a vegan-diet is the best diet” thing? And I’m asking/saying this as someone who is currently eating a vegan diet.

    1. Just to add to Barb’s comments, there isn’t a lot of good evidence that fat free yogurt is healthy. If you or Dr Katz has any, I am sure we would all be interested to see it.

      That said, it is undoubtedly healthier than full fat yogurt because it has little or no saturated fat. Pretty much all health authorities agree that people eating dairy should replace full-fat products with low or no fat products.
      ‘• Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages’
      https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf

      It also has fermentation bacteria that may be helpful to people eating Western diets with a consequently dysfunctional gut microbiome (although fermented vegetables will offer similar or better benefits). Further, yogurt has a lower lactase content than other dairy products which means it may be more tolerable to the majority of the world adult population that is lactose intolerant. Finally, it also contains some B12 and this may be useful to people on a largely vegetarian diet who do not supplement with B12 or eat B12 fortified foods..

      These things are all about context. Relative to eating meat, refined carbs, full fat dairy etc, low fat yogurt may well be a healthy alternative (many commercial low fat Greek yogurts have lots of added sugar though). Whether it is a useful addition to a nutritionally adequate WFPB diet where people are eating B12 fortified foods or taking B12 supplements is another matter. There is no evidence that I am aware of that it would be.

      1. “Pretty much all health authorities agree that people eating dairy should replace full-fat products with low or no fat products.”
        – — – – – – – –

        Except for “occasional”…..”moderate”…….”small amounts”……of ICE CREAM, right Fumbles? :-)

        1. No YR.

          I am sure that even you eat some unhealthy foods occasionally even though you know that they aren’t good for you. Like perhaps (?)

          “Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
          Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
          Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
          Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
          For a charm of powerful trouble,
          Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

          Come to think of it, that makes my ice cream 3 or 4 times a year and Lonie’s ‘better living through chemistry’ pills and potions sound relatively harmless.

          1. Hmmm. (Yeah, where IS Lonie? Hope it didn’t turn out he had the critter after all.)

            You say you eat ice cream 3 or 4 times a year. Am thinking you may have forgotten to insert “at least” in front of those numbers. :-) But you’re correct. We all fall off the wagon occasionally when it comes to eating things that aren’t in our best interests, nutritionally speaking.

      2. Sugar?  Most fat-free dairy products add more sugar to offset the loss of fat in the product.

        “God comes to us disguised as our lives.” [Paula D’Arcy]

  6. For information on dairy, this link may help you. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy/

    Also, this video is about how the dairy industry designs misleading studies https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-the-dairy-industry-designs-misleading-studies/

    In my own case, my health did not improve substantially until I dumped the last bits of dairy products from my diet including yogurt, cottage cheese and kefir.

    Dr Greger does not recommend a vegan diet… he recommends a whole food plant based diet. Whole plant foods, not processed.

  7. hi I am trying to find a video on beyond meat and similar meat replacements, tried really hard could not find it can anyone show me the way Please ??? thanks!!

  8. I’ve been tested for mold And it’s come back VERY high. Besides now testing my hone as the source, Ice been advised by my WFPB doctor that we should examine food sources. Can you advise on which foods? I know that coffee is a source of mold as are most teas. Non-mold coffee/tea are really expensive. I’ve always used INSTANT coffee (regular & decaf). Do you know if these are mold-free? Is this really a problem?

      1. Thanks for the response.  I had mentioned that I found non-mold coffee (beans/ground) and that it’s very expensive.  I’ve found no research though on INSTANT coffee which is what I prefer to use.

        “God comes to us disguised as our lives.” [Paula D’Arcy]

      1. Thank you.  I’m aware of these foods but I’ve not found any research that indicates that the molds survive the digestive process and cause toxicity.  Have you?

        “God comes to us disguised as our lives.” [Paula D’Arcy]

      2. Interesting. I wonder why that diet does not mention (unless I missed it) nuts and seeds as sources of mold? I don’t know much about the subject, but do know that peanuts (and peanut butters) as well as other nuts and seeds are sources of aflatoxins.
        “Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens and mutagens that are produced by certain molds which grow in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains. They are regularly found in cassava, chili peppers, cottonseed, millet, peanuts, rice, sesame seeds, sorghum, sunflower seeds, sweetcorn, tree nuts, wheat, and a variety of spices”.
        I hope Dr Greger covers this in a future video, as I eat lots of nuts & seeds ! (I keep them sealed airtight, stored in the refrigerator).

        1. photoMaldives,

          Your absolutely correct when it comes to molds and aflatoxins. The good news is that suspectable crops are examined. (From the National Peanut Board: For products such as peanut butter, the FDA conducts random checks and removes products from sale that fail food safety standards. We are not aware of any instance of this involving peanut products made from US-grown peanuts. Aflatoxin does not form in peanut butter once it is packed in containers, so if the production process is safe then the final product will be too when it reaches the consumer.) and for more on the subject: , “Heat is relatively ineffective for destruction of aflatoxin although normal roasting, as of peanuts for the preparation of peanut butter, results in considerable reduction in aflatoxin content.” (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02544572)

          Not to confuse the issue however, if your taking about peanuts going to the EU, there are some issues: https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2020/04/u-s-lacks-sufficient-aflatoxin-checks-on-peanuts-destined-for-europe/ (There were 85 notifications concerning aflatoxins in nut products and seeds in 2018. So far this year, there have been 17 alerts.) Keep in mind that we are talking about ~1.5 Million tons of unprocessed peanuts/yr.

          Maintaining your nuts and seeds in an airtight colder environment is an excellent idea. Another thought on safety: : ,” preliminary research(https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2001/chlorophyllin.html) from Johns Hopkins University suggests that there is a way to inhibit aflatoxin’s effects through a chlorophyll compound in green vegetables, such as spinach.”

          Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

          1. My original question was about molds in INSTANT coffee, regular or decaf.  I’ve never seen any studies on mold in these.  And are there any studies about whether molds survive the digestive process?

            “God comes to us disguised as our lives.” [Paula D’Arcy]

        2. I’ve never read any research study that indicates that molds survive the digestive process!

          “God comes to us disguised as our lives.” [Paula D’Arcy]

    1. Deb, absolutely. I find this problem frequently. One reason I ask people about their ethnic background.
      Some people in order to thrive on a vegan diet must supplement.

  9. Is there a way to get notified of any replies to your own comments here? Or do you just need to keep re-checking?
    I wonder if the Facebook comments system would be a better option?

  10. “Flavor [of a tea] is usually a good coarse indicator of the level of acidity. For example, hibiscus, consumed on its own, and frequently added to herbal blends, has a strong sour flavor, and can make a blend considerably more acidic. One study found the pH of hibiscus tea to be 2.5,” which is more acidic than vinegar! So drinking hibiscus tea is probably not something you would consider if you buy into the acid-alkaline balance theory of bone health, and it would be a good idea to rinse your mouth after drinking it to prevent damage to your teeth, as Dr. Greger’s 2014 video suggests. I added baking soda to a cup of the tea, and it fizzes just like vinegar and baking soda. If you prefer to drink an alkaline tea, green tea is a good choice.

    1. Younger subjects with better renal function are able to maintain their blood pH in the higher range of normal, while older subjects with worse renal function are only able to maintain their blood pH in the lower ranges of normal. As renal function declines, renal acid production goes down, but not as much as renal acid excretion and the tradeoff is that the blood acid levels and therefore acid balance are higher. These higher acid levels appear themselves to lead to more rapid damage to the kidneys

      Diets high in acid precursors add to the body’s acid burden. For the majority of people eating typical western diets with acid loads of ≤1 mmol/kg, whose renal function and acid excretory ability is normal, dietary acid loads would not be a readily detectable factor in altering bone mineral density leading to the development of osteoporosis. Other factors such as age, gender, race, and immobility are quantitatively more major factors in determining bone mass and bone breakdown.

      However, body retention of only 1 or 2 mEq of acid each day, barely detectable by current measurement techniques, buffered by muscle and kidney and titrated by skeletal base over decades, could potentially result in major depletion of bone mineral. Thus, we suggest that those older subjects with diminished renal function, decreased renal acid excretory ability, and lower buffering capacity due to lower muscle and/or bone mass, whose diets contain high net acid loads could potentially benefit the most from alkali therapies.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946302/#:~:text=In%20healthy%20humans%2C%20the%20normal,as%20the%20pH%20approaches%207.4.

    2. A pH of 5.5 is considered a “safe” level for beverages in terms of tooth damage. Soymilk, which curdles at pH of 4.6 to 4.7 (depending on temperature) is a good indicator of which beverages are too acidic. Soy milk is more sensitive to acidity than dairy milk.

      Average pH level of teas:
      green 7-10
      chamomile, mint, fennel 6-7
      black 4.9-5.5
      rosehip, blackberry, hibiscus 2-3

  11. My blood pressure has been creeping up so thought I would give hibiscus tea a try. I have been using tea bags but decided to get the loose organic tea from Amazon. Here are my observations: (1) in order for hibiscus tea to work, you must drink some every hour as the effect wears off per one of Dr. G’s other hibiscus videos. This means you have to drink it every day, all day long. Not very convenient especially when not at home. 2) it is high in citric acid which is going to erode the esophagus and cause acid reflux and eat away at tooth enamel. One of the reasons there is so much PPI usage in the US has been the acidification of our food supply. (The government has mandated that citric acid be added to canned goods in order to prevent spoilage.). After one large glass of hibiscus ice tea, I can already feel the effects on my throat and my tongue and mouth feel very dry. Yes, going vegan might help lower blood pressure and I am trying.

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