Hibiscus Tea Side Effects


Hibiscus tea is an infusion primarily made from the flower, or calyx of the flower, infused/steeped in water. The particular strain of hibiscus that is medicinal is Hibiscus sabdariffa.  It is known to have an incredible amount of natural benefits associated with it, and many of these benefits can be considered Hibiscus Tea Side Effects as well.  The best way to reduce negative side effects is to consume the tea in moderation and ensure that it doesn’t interact with any prescription medications that you are currently taking.  I cover the main Hibiscus Tea Side Effects in this post.

Discover how to lose pounds with my related post, Hibiscus Tea Weight Loss


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I highly suggest speaking with a healthcare professional prior to ingesting any forms of herbal tea.  This includes hibiscus tea.  This specific tea is considered safe, but as you can see below, it may interact with prescription medications or other conditions.  Your doctor can advise you to give you the best information to fit your personal needs.

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Hibiscus tea is a popular worldwide tea because of all of its health benefits.  It does have several potential side effects.  These Hibiscus Tea Side Effects are not all negative; many of them are actually positive for a majority of the population.  It is very easy to avoid all of these side effects, and I include the steps to follow at the bottom of this post.  Please don’t let this list scare you; herbal tea is actually considered to be one of the safest forms of herbal tea, which is why I feel comfortable drinking it several times a week.  Here is my list of the Top 10 Hibiscus Tea Side Effects:

 Low Blood Pressure

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure.  If you are already known to have lower blood pressure, this could be a side effect that you would want to be aware of and a reason to reduce intake of the tea.  If you are taking medications to lower your blood pressure, make sure to speak with your doctor and consume the tea in moderation.

If you would like to learn more about this (usually positive) effect, check out my related post titled, Hibiscus Tea Blood Pressure.


Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Hibiscus tea improves digestion and bowel movements for a majority of the population because it acts as a mild laxative and diuretic.  Improved digestion helps your body eliminate waste, which leads to better overall health.  When consumed in very high amounts, Hibiscus Tea Side Effects may include uncomfortable digestive issues.  These potential issues include gas, bloating, and mild stomach cramps for some individuals.


Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Hibiscus tea may slightly lower estrogen levels in the body. This means that it may interact with birth control medication and cause the levels to drop more than desired.  If you are on birth control, you should speak with your doctor and always consume in moderation.

Fertility and Pregnancy

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Hibiscus tea, as previously stated, lowers estrogen levels. Lower estrogen levels can have a negative effect on fertility and reproductive ability. There aren’t any studies related to how this affects the fetus, but it may put pregnant women at risk for premature labor according to one paper in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Interaction with Prescription Medications

hibiscus tea side effects prescriptions

Hibiscus tea may cause complications when taken along with some prescription medications including cancer medications. The National Cancer Institute states that if you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy that you should avoid hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus tea can interact with some medications. Besides interacting with the cancer drugs mentioned above, it decreases the effects of anti-malaria drugs, and it increases the effects of anti-viral medications. Hibiscus tea changes processing of some of the anti-inflammatory drugs are by your body. It is suggested that you wait at least 2 hours when taking anti-inflammatory medications to consume hibiscus tea.

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects: Dizziness

This is another one of the Hibiscus Tea Side Effects that potentially occurs after consuming very large amounts of tea.  Hibiscus tea can cause some people to feel light-headed, sleepy, and dizzy after drinking it.  It is due to the impact on blood flow. It is best to make sure that you know how you feel before you have to drive or operate any heavy machinery.


hibiscus tea antioxidants

Hibiscus tea contains a great deal of antioxidants and minerals, but one doctor warns that you should not consume more than one quart a day, as a healthy adult, due to the acidic nature of the beverage, aluminum content, and manganese content just to be on the safe side.

 Improved Liver Health

You may be wondering why improved liver health is considered a Hibiscus Tea Side Effect. This is another perfect example of a benefit that could turn into a potential negative in high doses.  Hibiscus tea may promote liver health and help reduce fatty liver in overweight patients, but extreme amounts can be toxic to the liver in extremely high doses.


Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Many forms of herbal tea have the potential to cause allergic reactions.  Hibiscus tea has a low potential to be an allergen for some people. This can develop as hay fever, itchy eyes, watery nose after consuming the tea.

Reduced Blood Sugar

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

Hibiscus tea is known to lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and have low-uncontrolled blood sugar, you may want to stay away from this drink. WebMD warns that due to hibiscus tea affecting blood sugar levels, anyone having surgery should avoid drinking the tea at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery so that their blood sugar levels can be properly controlled.

How to Avoid Hibiscus Tea Side Effects

You can avoid almost all of these Hibiscus Tea Side Effects by following a few simple rules:

  1. Speak with your doctor or healthcare professional prior to consuming hibiscus tea
  2. Always consume in moderation
  3. Avoid consuming Hibiscus Tea if you have certain medical conditions such as low blood pressure

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Western medicine has just begun to study the benefits and side effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa. So much is still yet to be learned about how it interacts with medications and conditions in a clinical way. Be sure to take this tea in moderation and only if you are a healthy adult who has already checked with your doctor about its use.

Looking for something else to read?  Discover my favorite Hibiscus Tea Recipe post.

Hibiscus Tea Side Effects: Comments

Have you experienced any of these Hibiscus Tea Side Effects?  What about other side effects?  Please share your experiences with the HTH Community by posting a comment below.  I read all of the comments and appreciate it!

9 Replies to “Hibiscus Tea Side Effects”

  1. I was drinking hibiscus tea when I was fasting and also eating raw garlic to help do a Candida cleanse. I felt really faint and lightheaded and dizzy at times. I realize the garlic could be causing it but then this article really helped me figure out that I was drinking too much of the tea. Thank you for the information. I think I may have low blood pressure also.

    1. Leanne,

      That is a scary experience! We are glad to know that this article was able to help you find the cause of your symptoms.

      Its so important to maintain a healthy balance. Too much of one thing can always have unintended consequences!

      – Brandon

  2. I love how it tastes and recently started drinking too much…I guess.
    I was making it as suggested for iced tea…2 bags per 6 ounces…I thought very strong. I had the tea for about a week but developed some serious stomach issues…pain, gas, constipation. I still have these symptoms and stopped the tea altogether about 2 days ago.

  3. Tea lover: unfortunately i start to cough and get a raspy throat, like i am ill. This is just taking a few sips of tea. I tried it again and it did the same thing. So hibiscus is not for me.

    1. Annie,

      We definitely understand. Not all teas are ideal for all people. Better to stay on the safe side and listen to your body. Remember, always consult with a medical professional. Please let us know if you find a more desirable alternative!

      Be safe!


  4. I’m not sure but I think this tea is making me very dizzy and giving bad headaches. I have high blood pressure and recently went off verapamil. I tried drinking this tea and it definitely lowers blood pressure but I think I’m consuming too much.
    Bought a medicinal brand that has 1.200 milligrams per bag
    I was drinking 3 a day.
    I got super dizzy and it lasts most of the day.
    I just cut out that brand and am drinking tea that has other berries as well
    But I’m still dizzy with headache.
    I cut down to 2 cups.
    I hope this helps
    I don’t want to go on meds with all their horrible side effects.

    1. Rebekah,

      I hope you’re beginning to bounce back. It sounds like you need to consult with a medical professional. Better to be safe than sorry. Everyone is a little different than the next. Be safe and keep us posted!


  5. Thank you for posting about this!! I can’t find this type of information on Hibiscus Tea anywhere else!!

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful, James.

      Hibiscus tea is continuing to boom in popularity. Just like the Spearmint Tea Recipe, Hibiscus is very easy to work with! We think that is the reason for its BOOM in popularity!


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