Does green tea reduce blood pressure?

Green tea is believed to contain compounds that relax blood vessels but scientific evidence supporting this is fairly weak.

green tea

The claim: Green tea can help lower blood pressure.

The facts: Few foods have a reputation for soothing stress quite like a hot cup of tea.

Green tea, in particular, has been credited with reducing stress and anxiety and is believed to contain compounds that relax blood vessels.

However, when scientists looked at whether it lowers blood pressure, even by a little, the evidence is fairly weak.

Some small studies have found that a few cups a day can shave some points off blood pressure levels, but others have found that it provides no help at all and may even be counter-productive.

Green Tea

Still, the news is not all bad for tea drinkers.

In a recent randomised study financed in part by the United States Department of Agriculture, scientists at Tufts University recruited 65 men and women with modestly high blood pressure who were not taking medication.

Some were randomly assigned to drink a cup of hibiscus tea three times a day, while others received a tea-flavoured placebo.

After six weeks, the hibiscus tea group saw a respectable drop in systolic pressure – the top number in blood pressure readings – compared to the placebo group, suggesting that the tea made an impact.

However, experts said that more study is needed.

The bottom line: Green tea does not seem to have much effect on blood pressure while hibiscus tea may have the potential of lowering blood pressure.