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How Effective is Tea for Hypertension?

By D. Rambo
Updated May 17, 2024
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The benefits of tea for hypertension are many. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine has revealed that a small cup of green or oolong tea each day for a year can lower the risk of hypertension by nearly 50 percent. Furthermore, consuming more tea on a daily basis for a year's time can lessen the risk of hypertension even more. This is something from which many people can benefit, because diet and lifestyle choices have been proved to not affect the overall effects of using tea for hypertension.

Hypertension, commonly referred to as high blood pressure, is when there is an above-average amount of pressure as blood travels throughout the body's arteries. Obesity, sodium and alcohol intake, a lack of vitamin D, stress and lifestyle choices such as frequent inactivity are all regarded as prominent contributors to hypertension. The American Heart Association maintains that hypertension affects more than 70 million individuals in the United States alone, with roughly two million of those individuals being teenagers and children. Hypotension is the direct opposite of hypertension, because it is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is dangerously low.

Individuals in the study of tea for hypertension by the Archives of Internal Medicine who claimed to drink more than a small cup of tea each day prior to the experiment were, statistically, more often obese, more prone to habitual smoking and drinking and less likely to eat the daily recommended amount of vegetables. Even so, they managed to have lower systolic and diabolic blood pressure levels than subjects who consumed no more than a small cup of tea on a daily basis. This suggests that there is a clear link between the amount of tea imbibed and the positive effects on hypertension.

Studies have shown that consuming 20 ounces (600 mL) or more of tea daily has the potential to lower one's risk of hypertension by approximately 65 percent, but anything less than four ounces (120 mL) daily for a year has little to no effect on the drinker. It also is crucial for the tea to be either green or oolong. Black tea, green tea and oolong tea all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, but the importance appears to lie in how the tea is processed. Black tea is oxidized longer than green tea or oolong, and it also is fermented. The fermentation alters its natural antioxidants to a point where it does not carry the same health benefits that green and oolong tea do.

The precise component of tea that reduces the risk of hypertension has not been identified. Scientists believe that it most likely is attributable to caffeine, theanine, polyphenols, an extract in green tea or an undetermined compound. Regardless, the benefits of drinking tea for hypertension are well established.

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Discussion Comments
By donasmrs — On Jun 19, 2014

One other reason why tea is good for hypertension is because tea has diuretic effects. This means that tea can help remove excess water from the body. Sometimes hypertension patients are given diuretic medications because it lowers their blood pressure. Too much water in the system causes the pressure inside blood vessels to increase. So tea can help do the same thing, but of course in a more mild way. Tea should never be used in place of medications though.

By ZipLine — On Jun 19, 2014

@candyquilt-- You've brought up an important issue. I think all types of tea and all amounts are not good for hypertension. The article mentioned green tea and oolong tea. Both of these are low in caffeine and I think that's why they're beneficial and safe for people with hypertension.

My mother has hypertension and drinks black tea every day. The tea has never been harmful to her, but on days when she also has a cup of coffee or a caffeinated soda, her blood pressure goes up. So those who enjoy black tea and have hypertension might want to reduce their intake of other caffeinated drinks. Green tea or oolong tea won't cause problems because of their low caffeine content.

By candyquilt — On Jun 18, 2014

I'm not sure why, but I've always thought that tea and coffee are bad for people with hypertension. So I'm very surprised to know that tea is not harmful, but in fact beneficial.

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