How to Make Hibiscus Tea (2 Ways)

Updated: March 4, 2019

How to Make Hibiscus Tea

You may be familiar with the hibiscus flower, Hibiscus sabdariffa, which is made into a popular tea and makes for a refreshing summertime drink. In other parts of the world, it is also known as bissap, roselle, red sorrel, agua de Jamaica, Lo-Shen, Sudan tea, and sour tea.(1) It does indeed have a sour taste, similar to cranberry juice. But it’s low in calories and caffeine-free – making it a fantastic choice for every day (and all day) consumption.

Hibiscus imparts a vibrant red color when steeped that not only looks beautiful but also boasts beneficial health properties. Published research on hibiscus have focused on its effects on blood pressure and cholesterol, in particular:

  • Blood Pressure: One study found that consuming hibiscus sadariffa (HS) tea was just as effective at lowering blood pressure as a common blood pressure medication known as Captropril, but less effective than Lisinopril.(2)
  • Cholesterol: A 2009 study looked at HS tea’s ability to support cholesterol maintenance.(3) Participants were given either HS tea or black tea for one month. After the month, researchers saw that participants who drank HS tea were able to help maintain total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol levels. Black tea on the other hand only impacted HDL levels.

Hibiscus is safe and has shown no adverse side effects.

However, positive studies have used the following doses:

  • For blood pressure maintenance: One cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily
  • For cholesterol maintenance: One cup of hibiscus tea 2x daily

This is my current go-to tea when I want something refreshing. I even make a big batch of it iced (recipe below) and take it in my water bottle to the gym or on hikes. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

How to Make Hibiscus Tea

Lemon Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea is just as wonderful cold and can be made into a refreshing lemonade, too!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 8 kcal


  • 1 tsp hibiscus flowers dried, organic
  • 1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh, organic


  • Using a single serve tea steeper or tea bag, place hibiscus flowers in the steeper.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice into your cup.
  • Add hot water.
  • Let steep for 5 minutes (or longer for strength). Enjoy!


Calories: 8kcalCarbohydrates: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 12.5mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword hibiscus, lemon, tea
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Lemon Hibiscus Tea
How to Make Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Mint Ice Tea

Refreshing and healthy!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 239 kcal


  • 1 tbsp hibiscus flowers
  • Handful of ice
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup to sweeten (optional)


  • Place hibiscus flowers in a tea bag.
  • Add tea bag, mint leaves and water to a pitcher.
  • Stir briefly to combine and then place in the fridge overnight to steep.
  • When the tea is finished steeping (when the flavor and color are to your liking) add your ice and serve!
  • If you’ve decided to sweeten, use simple syrup as regular honey and sugar won’t dissolve well in the cold tea. To make simple syrup heat equal parts sugar (I use coconut sugar) and water in a pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then add to your ice tea.


Calories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 64gSodium: 52mgPotassium: 117mgSugar: 62gVitamin A: 480IUVitamin C: 6.3mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 4.9mg
Keyword hibiscus, mint, tea
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you tried hibiscus tea before? Let me know in the comments below.

Want more refreshing drink recipes like this one? Download your FREE Recipes for Stronger Bones Ebook now.




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Recipe Rating

  1. Carrie McGee

    August 24, 2016 , 8:16 am

    I’ve been drinking hibiscus tea for several months, as part of a plan to manage my blood pressure through diet and exercise. I find the tea beautiful and satisfying in the way red wine or cranberry juice can be, and perhaps it makes a difference in my blood pressure, which has improved. I like to think so! During cooler times of year I add chopped cinnamon stick to the mix. I’m looking forward to trying your summery additions of lemon and mint – sounds delicious!

  2. Shahnaz

    December 1, 2016 , 12:29 pm

    Hi Monica.
    I am so glad to see that you at AlgaeCal also drink this. I can swear by this for blood pressure, been taking it for the past 5 years instead of blood pressure meds, even my doctor is surprised. I am even thrilled to know it is good for bone health!!! I am a big fan of AlgaeCal and it has helped increase my bone density by +1% since last year.

  3. Gaila Moore

    August 24, 2016 , 1:46 pm

    I’ve been drinking hibiscus tea for months and I prefer to brew in the refrigerator like your recipe above. Sometimes I mix a little of the cold tea in my blender with fresh mint leaves and then add that to the whole pitcher. It is delicious. And I’ve noticed an improvement in my blood pressure. The tea is beautiful and children can also drink it. I add very little sweetener and if I do, I use Erythritol (Wholesome Zero).

    Thank you for all the good tips you provide for those of us who have osteoporosis. I am also vegan and welcome any tips for vegans who have osteoporosis.

  4. sandy

    August 24, 2016 , 11:36 pm

    I have been drinking Jamaica as it called in Mexico for literally years. I brew it cold in the summer and add a couple sticks of cinnamon and leave it overnight. I make it by the pitcher. I like it pretty dark red. If you are in Mexico, you can buy the flowers in the produce department or at a local market for around 7$ per kilo so it is good thing to bring back as here it can be a lot more expensive. I think my blood pressure over the years has come down to the point where i now have low blood pressure; i used to be around 120/70 and now i am around 98/58. I drink a minimum of 2 tall glasses per day but often more. I always drink it everyday. It is also a very popular drink in Egypt- drank both hot and cold there too. High blood pressure seems uncommon in Egypt. Other people in my family mix an ounce or two of pomegrante juice with it or use a bit of honey, Some people carbonate it by using a soda stream machine.

  5. Monica

    August 25, 2016 , 1:18 am

    Hi Sandy,

    Mixing with some pomegranate juice and carbonation sounds lovely! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  6. Judy

    August 25, 2016 , 3:43 am

    I will definitely try the hibiscus tea to help lower my blood pressure. Does it help to lower blood sugar?

    I would like to know your preferred brand and where it can be purchased.

    Thanks much.

  7. Monica

    August 26, 2016 , 1:26 am

    Hi Judy,

    Hibiscus tea has mostly been studied for cholesterol and blood pressure and it doesn’t look like there is any research looking at blood sugar. So unfortunately, I can’t say.

    As for the brand, I have been buying the dried hibiscus tea leaves in bulk at my local health food store. The most important thing to look for is it being organic if possible, as you are steeping the leaves and then drinking it.

    Hope this helps!

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  8. Shahnaz

    September 9, 2016 , 7:57 pm

    I got a hypertension in 2011. Doctor gave me prescription, that I took for just a few days and found this amazing tea info online. Started taking that immediately and high blood pressure was gone. It’s been 5 years and I never need to take any medicine for my hypertension. It’s gone, no more high blood pressure.

  9. Monica

    September 10, 2016 , 10:47 am

    Wow – thanks for sharing Shahnaz! So wonderful to hear you found a natural treatment (tea!) for your high blood pressure.

  10. leroy wright

    August 28, 2019 , 5:14 am

    do you use only the petals or the stamen and pollen producing parts?

  11. Megan AlgaeCal

    August 28, 2019 , 7:54 am

    Great question, Leroy!

    We used only the petals 🙂 Hope you enjoy the delicious tea!

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  12. Shawn Fecke

    September 2, 2022 , 7:43 am

    Question, at what point should the flowers be harvested?

  13. Chelsea Dugas

    September 2, 2022 , 11:50 am

    Thanks for reaching out, Shawn! According to various sources, the best time to harvest your hibiscus flowers is when they are in full bloom. Make sure to only harvest from hibiscus plants that are free from chemicals and pesticides for the best-tasting and healthiest tea. You can also easily find dried hibiscus through various online merchants, and possibly even at your local health food store. Hope this information helps! 🙂

    – Chelsea @ AlgaeCal


    November 21, 2022 , 3:24 pm

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious. Use agave and fresh hibiscus we found at the market in Puerto Vallarta.

  15. Shelby AlgaeCal

    November 22, 2022 , 1:11 pm

    Hi Mark!

    Thank you for the feedback on our recipe – we’re so glad you enjoyed it, and it’s so neat to hear you were able to use agave an hibiscus from a market in Mexico! 🙂

    – Shelby @ AlgaeCal

  16. Sharon

    April 17, 2023 , 2:10 am

    5 stars
    Love cold hibiscus tea! Try it

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,